Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation / Lipoaugmentation
For more than a century, plastic surgeons have used patient’s own fat (autologous fat) to enlarge and reshape breasts. Since early 1980s, plastic surgeons began using liposuction as a potential source of autologous fat for breast augmentation. Over the last decade, many scientific reports from the United States, France, Italy, China, and Japan have surfaced about the efficacy of fat grafting for soft-tissue coverage of breast implants, breast reconstruction, treatment of radiation damage to the chest, and correction of breast shape deformity.
However, none of these approaches were widely used because of safety concerns, which include scarring and calcification after fat injection, which may compromise breast cancer detection. At the recent American Society of Plastic Surgeons meeting in 2008, Plastic Surgeon panelists revisited the topic of fat grafting to the breast and its efficacy in breast augmentation. Breast augmentation via fat grafting can produce natural-looking results for patients who require reconstruction or augmentation.
The technique involves harvesting of fat from areas such as the abdomen and waist using a small cannula. After centrifugation, wash, processing and refinement, the fat is transferred to smaller syringes. Blunt infiltration cannulas are then used for wide-spread disruption of the fat as minute droplets within the overlying breast fatty layer and underlying chest muscle. Shaping of the breasts, according to aesthetic features and your Plastic Surgeon’s artistic expression, is accomplished by layering the fat into different levels until the desired contour is achieved.
Although a breast implant augments the breast effectively, it is not able to reshape the form and contour of the breasts. Breast lipoaugmentation allows selective augmentation and contouring from the chest wall to the skin. Using this technique, Orange County breast augmentation surgeon Dr. Agha has been able to correct for chest wall deformities that can cause breast asymmetry. Dr. Agha has found that natural improvements in the size and shape of a breast are possible with a specific technique of fat grafting. When harvested and refined with minimal trauma and injected as small micro-droplets, the fat grafts can remain viable and provide a structure and shape to the breast that cannot be achieved with implants alone. In most cases, the largest portion of the fat is infiltrated into the chest pectoralis major muscle and surrounding spaces. Reshaping of the breast is accomplished with placement of the injected fat into the superficial breast fat layers.
The 52 year old female shown above did not want an implant or a breast lift. She desired a natural augmentation of her breast with her own liposuctioned fat. Dr. Agha performed diffuse fat transfer to her breasts with special attention to the upper chest area.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Breast Lipoaugmentation has advantages and disadvantages when compared to implants.
Breast augmentation using fat grafting is not associated with implant-related complications, such as implant leakage or deflation, implant migration, implant rippling, visible implants, or the development of breast capsular contracture.
Whereas breast augmentation solely enhances the size of the breasts, fat grafting is an approach to correction of breast shape, form, and asymmetry.
The technique is a very time-consuming procedure and may take 2 to 3 hours
The amount of fat that can be injected is limited and thus the large volume changes commonly attained with implants are not possible.
Fat dispersed even in small amounts can develop small cysts and calcifications. However, breast cancer detection, not the incidence of calcifications, remains the safety issue.
More about Dr. Siamak Agha
Dr. Siamak Agha is a board certified plastic surgeon who performs a range of aesthetic procedures for the skin, face, body and breasts. Over the years, he has built a reputation as a top liposuction,abdominoplasty and breast implants Newport Beach surgeon. In addition, he performs delicate facial procedures such as face lift, nose surgery and eyelid lift. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact his practice today at 949-393-4213.