08 Jun Redistributing Your Fat: Great Idea With Unsatisfactory Results In Breast Augmentation
Same Fat Tissue, Different Place
Breast implants are one of the most successful cosmetic procedures, providing millions of patients with renewed confidence. However, there is still a perception that implants are unsafe, leading to the rise in fat transfer procedures. Fat transfer, or fat grafting, takes fat tissue from another body part to enhance the breasts. This concept sounds safe and natural compared to installing saline or silicone implants. However, moving fat tissue may lead to disastrous results.
Not what it seems
Fat transfer starts with liposuction from the thighs, abdomen, back, or buttocks. The fat tissue is then transferred to the breasts to provide a breast lift. Patients are surprised that fat redistribution does not bring the desired results. At best, patients can experience a 1 cup size increase. While there is less fat in the midsection, the transferred fat does not necessarily translate to larger, symmetrical breasts. Over time, fat reabsorption can lead to dissatisfaction.
What is fat reabsorption?
Fat cells need oxygenated blood to survive. When the fat moves to the breasts, there must be enough blood through nearby fat. In most cases, patients do not have enough fat and oxygenated blood in the breasts to support all the new tissue. As a result, up to 50% of the transferred fat is reabsorbed by the body. The surgeons have no control over when this will happen or in which breast. The result could be an uneven appearance and poor long-term outcomes.
More fat equals more risk
To compensate for fat reabsorption, surgeons inject extra fat. Patients who want larger breasts also need more fat, often via additional transfers. An over-injection of fat can lead to more risks. There is an increased chance of infections, leading to red, swollen breasts, abscesses, and other serious side effects. Fat tissue can also die, causing oily cysts and lumps in the breast. These lumps can appear near the skin and create uneven breasts. These results can require corrective surgery.
Is fat grafting breast augmentation a good idea?
Doctors understand why there is such an appeal for fat transfer in breast augmentation. Patients are only using existing tissue in a minimally invasive procedure. The same goes for those who want subtle, natural changes. However, the results are difficult to predict. The chances of fat reabsorption, uneven breasts, lumps, and cysts are high. Breast implants give a more predictable outcome, more volume, and create an overall happier patient.