20 Oct Augmentation: When Is Better Breast Implants Or Fat Grafting?
A New Option In Breast Augmentation
Breast augmentation continues to be a coveted procedure in the cosmetic surgery space. For medical or cosmetic reasons, more and more patients want larger, fuller breasts. For decades, the choice was limited to a silicone or saline breast implant. Today, patients have the option of fat grafting or fat transfer. Fat grafting promises more natural results with less downtime but is not suitable for everyone. Exploring both options with a cosmetic surgeon can help patients make the best decision.
Implants vs. fat grafting
Implants involve placing round implants in front or behind the chest wall. The implants contain saline, silicone, or a dense, gummy-like silicone. The surgeon will make an incision on or near the breast to install the desired implant. Fat grafting, on the other hand, is a 2-step process of liposuction and augmentation. The surgeon uses large syringes to extract fat from the midsection. The fat is processed, then injected into the breast at strategic points. Once the fat settles, the breast should increase in size and fullness.
The pros and cons of implants
Implants allow patients to choose the size, shape, material, and profile. That means the procedure has high success and satisfaction rates. Saline and silicone implants can last well beyond 10 years. In most cases, the process could even be revised if necessary. Breast implants also come with risks. These include implant rupture, scarring, longer recovery, and additional procedures.
Fat grafting has pros and cons too
Surgeons and patients alike prefer fat transfer as the process uses natural fat cells. The process reduces fat in problem areas through liposuction, making augmentation an excellent body contouring option. Since the procedure uses needles, there are almost no signs of scarring. Despite the upside, the breast size is limited by the amount of fat in the body. Fat cells will also die and turn into cysts, lumps, and nodules, making breast cancer detection difficult. There’s also limited research on the long-term effects of fat grafting compared to implants.
Here’s when breast implants are better
Implants are great for patients looking for a significant increase in size and profile. Fat grafting cannot guarantee a size beyond one cup. Implants have higher satisfaction rates since the patient can choose size and profile. Breast implants are also significantly cheaper than the 2-step process of liposuction and fat transfer. Implants are also better from a trust standpoint. Since there is more research, these will last longer with a better chance of managing risks.
When to consider fat grafting
Fat grafting is best for patients looking for a modest yet natural increase in breast size, with minimal downtime. The change in size will be about one cup based on the fat available. This option is great for women looking to slightly improve deflated breasts due to weight loss, lumpectomy, or breastfeeding. These patients should also have additional fat in other problem areas to transfer to the breast. If the patient meets these criteria, fat grafting will provide favorable results.
Make the choice that’s right for you
Breast augmentation is a fantastic option to improve the fullness and size of breasts. Patients now have fat grafting as another option for implants. For patients looking for more significant augmentation with predictable, long-term results, breast implants are best. However, fat grafting is limited to the available fat and the limited research on the process. Speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon to weigh both options and make the best choice.