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While most of our patients choose an implant for their breast augmentation, newer techniques and natural options are now available. Fat grafting – or fat transfer – is growing as an exciting and natural option for small breast augmentation.
Fat grafting to the breast involves the harvest and transfer of fat cells to a more desirable location, in this case, the breasts. Fat is harvested via a standard liposuction technique. Most patients choose to remove fat from the love handles, abdomen or hips.
This unwanted fat is then sterilely processed in the operating room by the plastic surgeon. The processed fat is then put into small syringes and safely injected into the breast tissue to improve the size of the breast and cleavage, and then give the upper pole fullness that is often lost after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Natural augmentation with fat grafting has very different outcomes as compared to breast augmentation with implants. Fat is only able to give moderate enlargement of the breast and improvement of shape.
For patients complaining of gapping of the top of their bra, injected fat into this area will give more fullness. It will help them to fill out their bra size, but not necessarily change their bra size.
Combining fat grafting to the breast with a breast lift is one of my favorite surgeries for new mothers. The lift will restore the shape and position of the breast, and the added fat gives back the volume and fullness that they had lost.
Recovery from fat grafting the breast is usually well-tolerated in patients. Liposuction sights may have a burning feeling that persists for some time, but the breasts themselves are often less sore. There are very few restrictions after a liposuction procedure, and many patients elect to have surgery on a Friday and return to work the following Monday.
If you've done your research and think this procedure might be right for you, it may be time to speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon about your aesthetic goals. You can use the ASPS Find a Surgeon tool to get connected with a plastic surgeon in your area and set up a consultation.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.