What is Fat Transfer?
Over time, the body can change due to gravity, aging, and hormonal fluctuations, leading to dissatisfaction regarding certain areas, including the breasts. Fat transfer to the breasts uses liposuction to collect fat from other areas of the body to inject into the breasts. This is a form of breast augmentation that may benefit women who are looking for a small increase in their breast size and would prefer natural results.
Who is a Good Candidate for Fat Transfer?
For those who wish to decrease excess fat in other areas of the body while achieving a small augmentation to the breasts, fat transfer may be a good option. Ideal candidates will have breasts that already have a nice shape and good skin tone. The best way to determine if fat transfer to the breasts is right for you is through a consultation appointment at our Tucson office.
PLASTIC & RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGEONS
Our mission at Tucson Plastic Surgery is to provide you with an unparalleled experience by taking time to listen and understand your individual needs and concerns. We believe creating a custom-tailored plan based on your goals and unique anatomy is essential to achieving your best possible results.
Fat Transfer Procedure
The fat transfer procedure is done through a three-step process. Sometimes, the fat grafting procedure may need to be repeated several times to achieve the desired result. The three steps to this process include:
First, you and your plastic surgeon will agree on a site for fat removal. This area will be injected with a local anesthetic, and a small incision will be created, through which a cannula connected to a syringe will be inserted. Liposuction will then be used to carefully harvest enough fat for the fat transfer process. Fat is most commonly collected from the abdomen, back, buttocks, and thighs.
Purification and Transfer
Once the fat is collected, it will be processed to prepare the fat cells for injection. Purification is done by placing the fat cells into a centrifuge, which spins to remove impurities. The purified fat is then transferred into small syringes.
The breasts that are being treated will then be prepared for injection. Small syringes will be used to inject a specific amount of fat into the treatment area for the desired outcome. Your plastic surgeon may massage the area that was injected to create an improved contour.
It’s about enhancing your inner beauty. ”
Fat Transfer Recovery
After your fat transfer procedure, swelling and bruising are to be expected, though should dissipate over time. Once swelling begins to go down, patients can begin to see their new breast contours. The breasts should appear softer and fuller, resulting in a more proportionate body. When the fat is injected into the breasts, it establishes a new blood supply to survive. When this happens, results can be long-lasting, however, there may be a percentage of fat that does not take.
Your plastic surgeon will provide you with instructions on how to best care for your breasts after surgery for safe healing. Do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns post-surgery.
If you are looking to achieve a natural-looking breast enhancement using fat transfer, contact Tucson Plastic Surgery today! We will be happy to help you schedule your initial consultation to get started on your breast enhancement journey.
Fat Transfer FAQs
Does fat transfer last?
Fat transfer is permanent. When it is first injected into the breast, there is some swelling with the procedure, so what you see in the first days after surgery is not all fat. And not all of the fat transferred will survive. On average, about 70% lives. We dont overcorrect as occasionally all of the fat survives and then you would be overdone. You can expect to see the final result by 2-3 months and then the fat remains forever thereafter.
What are the risks of fat transfer?
Fat transfer to the breast is typically well tolerated and can markedly improve the appearance of the breast following breast reconstruction or enhance the natural result following augmentation / lift. Complications of this procedure are rare. The most common concern is a loss of fat in the first month after surgery. The fat that does not survive may cause microcalcifications (that can be seen on a mammogram), cysts or small firm areas (fat necrosis) that typically resolve over time.
Can a mammogram detect a ruptured implant?
Mammograms are of little value in the detection of implant rupture. In fact, several cases of implant rupture from compression during a mammogram have been reported. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is the gold standard to assess implant integrity. It has both sensitivity and specificity meaning that it can easily detect a rupture and differentiate a rupture from other issues.
Can belly fat be used for breast reconstruction?
Yes! There are two main ways belly fat can be used for breast reconstruction. Fat transfer to the breast can noticeably improve and enhance the natural appearance of the breast following breast reconstruction with implants. Or, the breast can be entirely reconstructed with belly fat using the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap procedure. With this technique, fat from the belly is transplanted from the belly to the breast with its blood supply. In this way, we can totally reconstruct a breast with fat only, no implants.
How long do I need to sleep upright after breast augmentation?
After breast augmentation, it is important that you do not sleep on your chest or belly. For the first few days after surgery, it is more comfortable to sleep on your back with the head of the bed slightly elevated (30-45degrees) or at least on a few extra pillows. Within a week you can sleep flat on your back or sides without any issues.
Can I take my surgical bra off for a few hours?
Immediately after surgery, you should wear it most of the time. After that, we like the 80/20 rule. You should be wearing your postop bra for 80% of the time, especially when you are up and about. If you are quietly resting, it is okay to remove the surgical bra for a little break and then put it back on. It is important to support the breasts as they heal.
Is natural breast augmentation safe?
Fat transfer to the breast is safe and can markedly improve the appearance of the breast following breast reconstruction or enhance the natural result following augmentation / lift. Complications of this procedure are rare. The most common concern is a loss of fat in the first month after surgery. The fat that does not survive may cause microcalcifications (that can be seen on a mammogram), cysts or small firm areas (fat necrosis) that typically resolve over time.
How long is recovery after fat transfer?
Recovery from a fat transfer is surprisingly quick. The same day you will be up and walking with only slight discomfort. You can normally be back to work in a few days and you can be back to activities without people noticing much by 2-3 weeks. We ask you have to refrain from vigorous physical activity for about 4 weeks after surgery.
When can I run after breast augmentation?
With our enhanced recovery protocols, you will be pleasantly surprised how little discomfort there is after a breast augmentation. Most people describe a sensation of pressure and not much after that. You will be up and walking the same day and, depending on your job, you may be back to work in a week or two. Bruising and swelling may persist for up to 2 weeks. While light walking and lifting may be resumed fairly quickly after surgery, you cannot return to a running or regular workout routine for 6 weeks.
Can you transfer fat to your breast?
Yes! Surgeons use liposuction to take fat from your belly, hips, back, legs, or arms and inject the fat cells into the breast.