Women assign a lot of importance to the appearance of their breasts. From size to shape to firmness, the breasts can be an important part of body confidence for many. But most people aren’t born with perfect breasts or breasts that resemble breasts portrayed by the media. While breasts come in enough shapes and sizes that there is no “normal” appearance, it’s understandable if you want to augment your breasts to achieve a certain aesthetic goal. At Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in Marietta, GA, we know that fat transfer breast augmentation is a good option for many women.
Fat transfer breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery that augments the size and shape of the breasts by using the body’s own fat storage. Essentially, fat is grafted from one part of the body and placed in the breasts to achieve mild to moderate augmentation. In general, this treatment is most appropriate for women who want to increase their cup size or slightly alter the shape of their breasts.
How Long Does a Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Last?
You can expect the results of a fat transfer breast augmentation procedure to last a lifetime. That’s right – the results of this procedure can last for decades. Unlike breast implants, which need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years (or sooner if there is an implant complication), you only need to have a single fat transfer to achieve long-lasting results with this augmentation treatment.
So, why do the results last so long? To put it simply, fat cells are incredibly stubborn, so once they find a home somewhere, they aren’t likely to leave. Fat cells are known to grow and shrink depending on how much fat they are storing, so fat cells placed in the breasts will generally last for as long as you do not lose a significant amount of weight.
When Will You See Results?
Most women will be able to see the results of this fat transfer procedure about one month after the surgery. At this point, your initial results will be a preview of what your final results will look like once your body fully recovers from the treatment and the new fat cells placed in your breast settle.
You will likely be able to see the final results of your treatment within one to three months, depending on how much fat was transferred and how quickly new fat cells settle into their new location. During this time, you may attend follow-up appointments to assess the progress of your treatment.
How Does This Treatment Work?
A fat transfer is generally a two-part process, so your procedure may take a bit longer to complete than traditional breast augmentation with implants. The first part of your treatment will be liposuction. A small amount of fat will be removed from a donor site on your body, usually an area of the body where fat is abundant, such as the stomach, hips, or thighs.
After the fat has been grafted, it will then be prepared and injected into the breasts to augment the shape and volume of the bust. The injections will be placed on other fatty areas of breast tissue and administered in a way that will correct the shape or size of the breast naturally. There are no incisions on the breasts involved in this treatment.
Why Do Surgeons Overfill?
You may be surprised that your surgeon will likely overfill your breasts with the donated fat cells. More fat cells than are necessary for your augmentation will be harvested from your body and injected into your breasts. The reason for the overfill is simply because up to 20% of donated fat tissue will die off during the first month after your treatment.
For most people, about 60 to 80% of donated fat tissue will remain in the breasts after the procedure. This means that donated fat cells will attach to the breast tissues and existing fat in the breasts. This process will take several weeks to complete. By overfilling your breasts with donor fat, you will not need to have this procedure again to achieve your aesthetic goals since some fat cell death is already accounted for.
This breast augmentation procedure is still a surgery, so even though the procedure is minimally invasive, you will still need to make some preparations. For example, for about one week before your surgery, you should stop the use of any blood-thinning medications, like Aspirin, and blood-thinning supplements, like ginkgo and vitamin E.
You will need to arrange for transportation after your procedure. Some patients may need to stay in the hospital overnight. The night before your surgery, you should eat lightly and fast for at least 8 hours before your procedure to avoid any nausea caused by the use of general anesthesia. We strongly encourage patients to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.
Your aftercare instructions will involve directions on how to care for your breasts and how to care for the areas of the body where liposuction was used. It’s common for compression garments to be used on donor sites and sometimes the breasts to encourage faster healing and more even tissues, particularly on areas where liposuction was used. Some of your aftercare instructions may include avoiding hot water, strenuous activity, and other specific tips that will help you heal more quickly.
How Long Is Recovery?
Compared to other breast augmentation methods, such as implants, your recovery time will be much shorter and more comfortable with a fat transfer. You can generally expect your immediate recovery time to last for at least two to three weeks. After one to two weeks, most people can return to work and other daily activities; after three weeks, you will be able to resume most strenuous activity, including exercise.
During your initial recovery period, you will be advised to move carefully and follow all of the aftercare instructions given to you. In general, your occupation will determine how quickly you are able to return to work. Some people who work in offices may go back to work in less than a week, and others who have more physically active jobs may need more than a week for immediate recovery.
Is Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Better Than Implants?
If you’re thinking about breast augmentation, then the chances are high that you’ve done your homework already. Many women struggle to choose between implant augmentation and fat transfer augmentation. Ultimately, the best breast augmentation treatment for you will depend on what your aesthetic goals are, how much volume you want to increase in the breast, and your lifestyle.
Why Choose Fat Transfer?
Many women opt for a fat transfer breast augmentation because the general recovery time is much easier than implant breast augmentation. But there are other reasons why a fat transfer may be the best fit for you.
No Breast Implant Complications
Breast implants can dramatically augment the appearance of the breasts, but they also come with certain risks. For example, leaks, deflation, and capsular contracture are all complications that can happen with breast implants, regardless of whether you choose silicone or saline. Many women who want to avoid those complications opt for a fat transfer procedure instead.
A fat transfer is generally low-risk in terms of potential complications down the line. Not only will you never need to replace a flawed implant, but your immune system will also not try to reject the implant or create painful scar tissue in the breasts that will require another surgery. After the fat is injected into the breasts, you will only need to focus on recovery while the fat cells make a new home in your breast tissue.
Placing a breast implant is somewhat traumatic to the body. With breast implants, it’s common for multiple incisions to be made on the breast or beneath the breast tissue to give your surgeon enough room to place and inflate the breast tissue. With this procedure, the fat injections are far less traumatic for the breasts.
More Natural Results
Breast implants such as gummy bear implants try to achieve a natural feel and look, but some women are still dissatisfied by the artificial appearance of these implants. However, with a fat transfer, you will be able to enjoy results that look and feel natural. Not only will the shape of your breasts appear more naturally round, but the breast tissue itself will be as soft as your natural breast tissue.
The results of this procedure will last for decades – or even a lifetime. This is a vast improvement to other breast augmentation procedures that may not produce long-lasting results. For example, it’s common for breast implants to have complications that mean they need to be replaced. Because the fat transfer will bond with your natural breast tissue, you will be able to enjoy your results permanently.
Who Are Ideal Candidates?
Most women who aren’t satisfied with the size, shape, or overall appearance of their breasts are good potential candidates for this fat transfer procedure. More often than not, candidates are between the ages of 20 and 40. It’s common for women who have recently stopped breastfeeding to use this treatment to correct the size and shape of the breasts. Other signs you may be an ideal candidate for this procedure include:
The surgery portion for this procedure means you will need to use general anesthesia to complete the liposuction and fat injection process of the treatment. Candidates must be in good general health to be qualified for this treatment.
Patients Who Want Moderate Breast Size Increase
This procedure is ideal for women who want to moderately increase the size of their breasts or subtly correct shape concerns. If you want to drastically increase your breast size, then you may not be a candidate for this treatment.
Patients With Adequate Fat Donation
Patients will also need to have an adequate amount of fat to donate to the breasts. During your consultation, we will examine potential donor sites to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for fat grafting.
Enjoy Natural-Looking Results With Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Being confident about the appearance of your breasts can make a huge difference. If you want to enjoy breasts that look and feel natural and enjoy results that can last a lifetime, then fat transfer breast augmentation might be an ideal choice for you. Please contact Georgia Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in Marietta, GA to schedule your consultation appointment today.