American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Breast Augmentation

Fat transfer breast augmentation

8 months ago

What are the risks of fat transfer breast augmentations? What is the down time? What is the average price for these type of breast augmentations?

J. Gerald Minniti, MD Beverly Hills, CA
8 months ago

There are general risks to liposuction associated with fat transfer, like irregularities and the possible risk of revision. With regards to the breast, there is the risk that an insufficient amount of fat survives, necessitating further grafting. Best of luck!

Aaron Stone, MD Beverly Hills, CA
8 months ago

The risks are numerous and you need to be careful before proceeding. I have seen disasters from bad surgery that could only be solved by subcutaneous mastectomy. The injected fat has to be evenly and thinly distributed. Large clumps of fat will not survive and will leave you with lumps, fat cysts and/or chronically draining areas. Before you consider price and down time you need to consider and prioritize the amount of fat transferred per session and the technical measures employed to ensure that it is evenly and thinly distributed. The down time is impacted more by the areas from which and the amount of fat that is harvested than by the recipient breasts. The price is dependent on the amount that is transferred and operating room time.

Steven Wallach, MD New York, NY
8 months ago

I prefer to use breast implants for primary breast augmentation. I have used fat grafting for breast reconstruction, however, I feel that for primary breast augmentation you will get a more reliable consistent result with an implant. Fat grafting is not an exact science, and therefore not all the fat you place will take and live. Many times repeated fat injections required to achieve the desired volume. It is not without its own risks and complications.

Jon Ver Halen, MD Colleyville, TX
8 months ago

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. Fat grafting has 2 main areas of concern. The first is liposuction, and the second is the fat transfer itself. General risks of liposuction are asymmetry, poor cosmesis, need for further surgery, infection, bleeding, and fluid collection. Fat transfer has risks of asymmetrical fat graft loss versus acceptance, the need for multiple sessions, fat necrosis, and fat or oil cysts in the event of fat cell death. It is best to answer your question during a face-to-face evaluation, when you can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, and you can have a physical examination to evaluate for that procedure. If you have any questions, call our office for assistance. Good luck!

Lisa Cassileth, MD Beverly Hills, CA
2 months ago

Fat transfer to the breast is a wonderful procedure, done right! First, the liposuction has to be, of course, amazing. If you have some areas that are hard to lose that fat from , those are perfect, as using that area will allow your breasts to keep their size even with weight loss. I personally love arms and knees, which look great with every bit of fat removed. Next, the grafting must be meticulous,, with the fat suctioned with low suction strength, all oil and tumescent removed, and packaged into small syringes. I use 3cc. THEN, the fat is injected in 0.1 - .3cc passes, with many pinpont access sites. It may take 1,000 passes to correctly place 100cc of breast tissue, but this avoids fat necrosis, which you get when lumps of fat are injected. FINALLY, don't overgraft. A good rule of thumb is you can double your breast size, so make sure that this is what you want. If you are an A and want 400cc implants, it will not be enough. But if you had kids and lost a cup size, perfect!

Great question! The risks include the regular risks of liposuction such as bleeding, infection, irregular surfaces etc plus the risk of placing the fat into the breasts. The main risk of this is fat necrosis (death of fat cells) which can result in cysts, contour deformities or infection to name just a few.

There is a lot more to this procedure than just sucking the fat out of one area and sticking it in your breasts. It's an art form and when done correctly can result in beautiful results but don't expect to get much more than one cup size of enhancement. My advice is to choose your surgeon carefully. Many doctors advertise they perform this procedure but don't do it correctly. Definitely seek out a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who is experienced in fat transfer.

Best of luck to you!

G. Robert Meger MD


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