A breast augmentation with your own body fat is the ideal approach in breast augmentation. Your own living fat tissue is used to increase the volume, enhance the aesthetic appearance or rejuvenate specific parts of the breast. There is no foreign-body reaction as seen with implants. However, there is an unpredictable resorption rate (part of the injected fat will disappear).
Why is this the ideal approach?
- no implants (foreign material)
- your own body fat tissue is used
- no incisional scars
- specific parts of the breast can be treated
- fast recovery
- liposuction is used to remove the fat and will improve your body contour
What are the disadvantages?
- indicated for small volumes (one cup size)
- for larger volumes a second or third lipofilling session could be necessary
- unpredictable resorption rate (injected will disappear to some degree and the rate varies between 20 – 80%)
- bruising from the liposuction
Important issues before surgery
- your expectations and feasibility (is there enough donor fat?)
- skin quality
- skin laxity (is skin expansion possible when fat is injected?)
- breast asymmetry (more fat injection in one breast?)
- attention for the aesthetic parts of the breast (lower pole and cleavage)
- breast deformities (previous surgery or congenital)
- genetic predisposition (breast cancer)
Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation with fat grafting?
- good general condition, not pregnant and no breast feeding
- realistic expectations with a clear understanding of how grafted fat behaves
- breasts are fully developed
- the breast size bothers you
- you are disappointed by volume loss
- asymmetrical breasts
- empty upper breast pole
- breast malformation or contour deformity
A breast augmentation with lipofilling or fat grafting is indicated to add small volumes (one cup size). Breast augmentations with larger volumes require additional insertion of an implant. Lipofilling is also an elegant solution to correct breast asymmetry. See the gallery for examples.
How does it work?
Fat is removed with liposuction. The fat tissue is removed gently to avoid major trauma to the cells. Removed fat is called lipoaspirate and is further processed to obtain purified fat. This fat is injected in the subdermal layers of the breast and not within the breast gland itself. There are no major incisions because the fat is injected with small cannulas. The advantage is that specific areas of the breast can be treated. Click on the image.
It is important to realize that living tissue has been used to increase your breast volume. Those cells need to survive in order to achieve a stable result at the long-term. Pressure should be avoided and patients are advised to wear a sportsbra for 3 weeks for their comfort. Patients should maintain a healthy lifestyle and are advised not to smoke. Smoking has a very negative impact on the survival of fat grafts and the procedure should not be done in smokers. For your comfort a lipopanthy is prescribed for 2 weeks to prevent excessive bruising from the liposuction.
I advise my patients to keep their breast skin warm during the first couple of days after surgery. Warmth will dilate the blood vessels and the blood flow will increase in favor of the survival of the grafted cells. Skin hydration will also be advised.