Breast augmentation has been one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. Augmentation can be done with implants for more immediate and greater enhanced results. Augmentation with fat transfer is an increasingly requested service due to the more natural result with no foreign body associated problems. Many women also desire some degree of breast lifting for a more “perkier” look. A traditional breast lift requires general anesthesia, long incisions, more risks, and greater contouring skills.
Many women may only desire a mild to moderate enhancement in breast size or breast lift. Traditional breast implants or breast lift will still be necessary for those women desiring greater breast enhancement is size or women with a greater degree of breast ptosis (saggy breast) or more moderate to severe cases of breast deflation. We will only address fat transfer and other less invasive procedures for breast augmentation and breast lift.
As with the rest of your body, those choices are personal and individualized. However, enhancing the appearance of your breast may improve self-confidence, psychosocial well-being, and sexual well-being. If it is your desire to enhance your breast, that is good; don’t do it to satisfy anyone else. As with all cosmetic procedures, the surgeon can only enhance what God has given you.
An advantage of fat grafting to the breasts requires liposuction of another area of the body which can be simultaneously contoured along with breast enhancement. There are two choices to choose from to satisfy the patient’s desires and goals to increase the size, shape, and lift of the breasts.
Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation
The method that is most appropriate for your particular circumstances and physical features will be determined by your cosmetic surgeon according to your aesthetic goals at the time of your consultation. Generally, the amount of fat transferred to each breast depends upon the volume of each breast recipient site (larger the breasts, more fat transfer is possible). However the smaller the breasts the more noticeable the difference post fat transfer. Generally, the volume of fat transferred ranges from 300cc to 900cc which will increase the size of the breasts from one half a bra size to a full bra size larger. Although there will be immediate results which are temporary as the body reabsorbs the fat cells that die. The final breast size will depend upon the extent of baby fat cells that survive, mature, and enlarge. The final results will not apparent for 6-9 months.
Skin tightening for Breast Lift
The method that is most appropriate for your particular circumstances and physical features will be determined by your cosmetic surgeon according to your aesthetic goals at the time of your consultation. Generally, the amount of lift obtained to each breast depends upon the size of each breast (larger the breasts, less lift) and the quality of the skin (thicker good quality skin, more lift). However the smaller the breasts the more noticeable the difference posts treatment. All larger breasts will require the traditional surgical breast lift to obtain a satisfactory breast lift. However, sometimes women are more interested in obtaining a more forward nipple projection with some lift without a full lift which can be done with less invasive skin tightening surgery and avoid the long incisions. Results will take several months as the body remodels and soft tissue contracts from new collagen deposition. Improvements in lift and projection are even seen 6 months to a year later.
Who Is a Candidate for Breast Fat Transfer / Lift?
- Patients who are in good overall health including those individuals with well-controlled medical problems.
- Patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance (too small or asymmetric) of their breasts.
- Patients who desire to increase the size, shape, or lift of their breasts.
- Patients who have sagging or deflated breasts from aging, pregnancy, or significant weight loss.
- Patients that have reasonable and realistic expectations.
- Patients committed to good nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle.
Who Is Not a Candidate for Breast Fat Transfer / Lift?
- Patients whose general health is compromised.
- Patients who do not have reasonable and realistic expectations.
- Patients who smoke.
- Patients who want absolute perfection.
Do Breast Fat Transfer / Lift produce permanent results?
It is the goal of either Breast Fat Transfer / Lift to permanently improve the size, shape, and projection of your breasts. The amount of improvement depends upon a number of factors. As with all things in life; age, gravity, and time will eventually change the size, shape, projection, and overall appearance of the breasts.
General Description of Breast Fat Transfer
- Either tumescent or general anesthesia is available.
- Fat is harvested from the donor site(s).
- The harvested fat is prepared for reinjection.
- The sterile fat is reinjected into the breasts.
General Description of Breast Lift
- Either tumescent or general anesthesia is available.
- The radiofrequency device (BodyTite) is used to contract the skin and soft tissue of the breast
How long will it be before I see results?
The preliminary enhanced results are seen immediately but are temporary. The initial improvement is followed by loss of volume as the body reabsorbs the fluid and the fat that doesn’t survive the fat transfer, followed again by gradual enhancement over the next 6 months to a year as the new fat cells grow into mature fat cells.
Will I be in pain?
Breast Augmentation with fat transfer (requires liposuction to harvest the fat) can be performed with either general anesthesia in a certified outpatient surgical facility or in the surgeon’s specialized procedure room in his office depending upon various patient’s factors and considerations. Your post-operative pain will be the same with either anesthesia technique. With general anesthesia, you will experience no operative pain or discomfort. With awake tumescent anesthesia, patients will receive pre-operative medication to help them relax so that they can more easily tolerate the initial discomfort with administering the tumescent anesthesia into the treatment area and donor area. The tumescent technique produces profound and long-lasting local anesthesia of the skin and subcutaneous fat. Since the patient is awake and relaxed, they can notify the surgeon immediately of any discomfort. The tumescent anesthesia technique in many cases eliminates the need for general anesthesia along with its additional risks and costs.
How long does Breast Fat Augmentation / Lift take?
From the time that you arrive at the facility until the time that you are discharged home will require several hours. Usually, it takes 2-3+ hours to for liposuction and fat augmentation and less time for less invasive radiofrequency breast lift. Either procedure depends upon the extent of the procedure and if tumescent or general anesthesia is administered.
How much does Breast Augmentation / Lift cost?
The fee for breast fat augmentation (liposuction with fat transfer) depends on how fat needs to be harvested and whether tumescent or general anesthesia is selected. The less invasive breast lift procedure is less expensive. Liposuction with fat transfer usually begins around $2500-3000. For an accurate estimate, it is necessary to have a consultation with the surgeon.
What is the recovery like?
- HOME CARE: You will be discharged home to the care of a responsible adult.
- ACTIVITIES: Plan to rest in bed immediately after treatment. Later in the day, short walks are good. Resume light daily activities the following day after your procedure. Depending upon extending the procedure and your tolerance for discomfort. You may be required to miss work from a few days to 2 weeks. Resume exercise gradually as tolerated by “listening” to your body’s messages.
- ELASTIC COMPRESSION GARMENT: Wear your compression garment for the first few weeks.
- WOUND CARE AND DRAINAGE: Some blood-tinged drainage is expected for usually the first several days.
- BATHING: It is preferable to shower rather than bathe for 7 days after surgery.
- DIET: Generous fluids are recommended in the first 24 hours and resume light foods as tolerated.
- FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT: Usually 3-7 days after your procedure.
As with all surgical procedures, there are inherent risks. The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can only be fully determined at the time of consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. All surgical procedures have some degree of complications. Most are minor and rarely affect the overall cosmetic results, occur occasionally such as swelling, bruising, minor lumps and bumps, and skin numbness. Major complications are uncommon but include significant cosmetic irregularities such as lumps and bumps, poor contouring or body shape, indentations, scarring, skin necrosis, discoloration of the skin, infections, bleeding or hematomas, seromas, or fat embolism that could be lethal. Some major complications can take months to resolve or improve, or maybe permanent and should be discussed with your surgeon prior to the proposed procedure.