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Breast Fat Transfer Information Columbus

Why is Fat Transfer to the breasts for augmentation still controversial today?

The pros and cons of Fat Transfer to the breasts clarified for women.

Why choose The Columbus Insitute of Plastic Surgery for your Fat Transfer to the breast augmentation procedure?

Fat Transfer for breast augmentation remains a somewhat controversial procedure today.  Dr. Centeno and Dr. Shah have significant experience in all fat transfer procedures.  In addition to their experience, they have significant knowledge regarding the research and regulatory status of this procedure.  As participants in the original Brava Bra fat transfer study, they bring practical knowledge regarding the logistics of this approach to bear on this important decision.  Consider an in person consultation to discuss these issues in further detail.

Why would you get Fat Transferred to the breasts?

Fat grafting to the breasts, although still somewhat controversial, has been a very successful procedure. Fat transfer to the breasts has been performed for many years with very good results.  It was initially used to correct problems after breast cancer surgery and breast reconstruction.  These procedures can help women feel whole again after a debilitating disease such as breast cancer.  Many women have benefited from fat transfer to the breasts to correct deformities left by cancer, radiation or mastectomies.  Recently, the success of fat grafting in other parts of the body like the face and buttocks for cosmetic reasons naturally led to it being used in the breasts for augmentation. 

What are some of the concerns about Fat Transfer for breast augmentation?

The success and popularity of Fat Transfer to the breasts for augmentation has led to some concerns being raised today by surgeons and the FDA.   Although it is natural, your own tissue, and does not have any of the long term issues associated with implants, there are reasonable concerns that it can potentially cause unforeseen problems.   Potential side effects of Fat Transfer to the breasts include the formation of oil cysts, fat nodules/masses, abnormal changes on mammograms and unnecessary biopsies.  From a scientific stand point, we know that fat contains stem cells.  We do not know if these stem cells can interact with your breast tissue causing some change in the risk of developing breast cancer.  These concerns about stem cells are mostly theoretical concerns that have not been studied…that is they are neither proven nor disproven. 

How can I learn more about Fat Transfer for breast augmentation?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery have both issued position papers on this issue.   We recommend that patients read these patient education pieces by the leadership of the specialty to educate themselves further.  Currently, our professional society has a registry to collect data on this procedure to ensure that it is safe for patients. The goal of this unique initiative is to collect data to answer some of the unanswered questions and address the concerns of surgeons, patients and regulatory agencies such as the FDA.

How is Fat Transfer for breast augmenation performed?

Fat Transfer to the breast is performed by first doing liposuction of the body in areas where excess fat is undesireable.  The fat is then processed and injected into the breast below the skin in a sterile fashion.  If you have very loose skin, then a significant amount of fat can be injected. If the skin is tight, then only small amounts can be injected without first expanding the skin.  Somewhere between 50-80% of the fat survives depending on the technique used and if pre and post operative external breast expansion is performed. 

How can external breast expansion with Brava Bra improve your results?

External breast expansion is performed using a device called a Brava Bra.  The Brava Bra was originally invented for non-surgical breast augmentation without surgery.  The device works, but only modestly increases breast size by about ½ a cup size.  A recent study has shown that if Brava Bra is used with Fat Transfer, that breast size can be increased by 1-2 cup sizes without an implant.  One “wrinkle” with respect to the Brava Bra is that the FDA considers the use of the Brava Bra for pre-expansion prior to fat transfer augmentation an experimental procedure and an unapproved use of the device.  This is another factor that you need to understand and be comfortable with if you are to pursue this procedure. 

What will my results look like after Fat Transfer for Breast Augmenation?

The results of Fat Transfer breast augmentation are very natural and do not look anything like a breast implant augmentation, so this kind of outcome should be your end goal.  It is also only for patients who want a very conservative augmentation of ½ cup to max 2 cup size increase with pre and post expansion.  Patients must also be well educated and willing to accept the aforementioned risks and uncertainties.  Unfortunately, women have a 1in 8 to 1 in 9 chance of breast cancer in their life time. This reality and the breast implant controversy of the 1970's and 1980's has affected how we react to and discuss new breast augmentation procedures today.  Take some time as you are doing to educate yourself regarding the pros and cons of this procedure and make an informed decision that meets your needs and risk tolerance level. 

In what areas does fat transfer of the breast work best?

Fat transfer of the breast is a very useful technique despite the unanswered questions.  It works very well for correcting contour deformities after lumpectomy and radiation and breast reconstruction for breast cancer.  It does a really good job of correcting depressions, irregularities and asymmetries of the treated breast.   It is also very effective for treating breast implant problems such as wrinkling and palpability after breast augmenation in very thin patients.  Some patients with lower grade capsular contracture can also be helped.  Finally, in combination with a breast lift, fat transfer is very effective to restore some lost volume to the upper pole of the breast to give you better cleavage.

For additional information regarding Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation, contact us at office@instituteplasticsurgery.com.

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