What is Fat Grafting to Breast?
Fat grafting to the breast is the process of taking fat from an area of the body with excess fat, and transferring it into the breasts to enhance their size and volume. The goal of fat grafting to the breast is to increase breast volume without using a breast implant. The amount of volume that fat grafting can provide is small, and cannot be used to create a large breast. Fat grafting can also be performed in addition to breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. In these situations, fat grafting is used to contour and fill areas of the breast that are not being filled by the implant.
Who is a candidate for Fat Grafting to Breast?
You may want to consider fat grafting to the breast if you have:
- A wish to avoid breast implants, a desire for a small increase in breast size, and you have areas of excess fat that can be donated
- You currently have or will be undergoing breast implant placement and would like to fill small areas around the implant to improve breast contour
How is Fat Grafting to Breast performed?
Fat grafting starts with liposuction of areas that have excess fat – typically the thighs, flanks, or abdomen. The fat is carefully washed and processed to remove contaminants. The filtered fat is then injected back into the breasts. The injection technique requires multiple injections of small amounts of fat deposited in a layered fashion. This technique allows for the highest percentage of fat cells to survive. The incisions for both the harvest and the injection sites are very small. At the completion of the procedure, a soft bra is placed and compression garments are placed around the areas that underwent liposuction. Typically, 50-75% of the fat that is grafted will survive and remain. For this reason, several sessions of fat grafting is typically required to obtain desired volume changes.
All surgery is associated with risks. The risks associated with fat grafting to the breast include bleeding, infection, asymmetry, and need for additional procedures. When areas of fat do not survive, they can sometimes become firm and occasionally painful, a process known as fat necrosis. It is important to talk with Dr. Rovelo about the risks of your surgery and how the risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.
Fat grafting is performed in the outpatient surgical setting, under general anesthesia. The procedure takes 2-3 hours and patients can go home the same day. Patients will be seen in clinic in one week. At that time, they can resume light activity and may return to work. Heavier exercise and lifting may be resumed at 4-6 weeks.