Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Your complete guide and quick links to everything you want to know!
What Is Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation involves the removal of fat by liposuction from parts of your body and then injected into your breasts. It is a great alternative for women looking to enhance their breast size without implants and who would be content with a moderate increase in breast size by using their own tissue.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation is fast becoming an increasingly popular procedure to restore or increase breast volume in a more ‘natural’ way!
The Advantages of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
- Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation uses your own tissue, so your breasts will have a more natural feel and shape than with a breast implant.
- As Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation uses your own tissue, your body will not reject it.
- Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation has dual benefits: it increases breast size while slimming down other body areas with excess fat such as the abdomen, thighs, hips or buttocks.
- The removed fat is transferred to the breasts by small injections so there are no tell-tale incisions or scars as occur after breast implant surgery.
- Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation avoids all the potential problems that can occur with breast implants.
- There is minimal downtime compared to breast implant surgery.
- Fat Transfer can even be used to enhance the breast appearance in those who already have implants.
- Fat Transfer can also be used to improve cleavage, improve breast shape and correct breast shape deformities whether naturally-occurring or after implants.
- Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation is also useful for reducing breast size differences whether naturally-occurring or after implants.
The Disadvantages of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
To be suitable for Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation, patients must have enough fat available for harvesting and transfer as not all the fat harvested will be available for transfer after it has been processed.
- Lean women are not good candidates for Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation.
- Current techniques of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation should increase your breast size by about 1-1½ cups. If you desire a larger increase by Fat Transfer, more than one session would be required until you reach your desired breast size.
Who Is A Good Candidate?
- Women with adequate fat stores for harvesting by liposuction.
- Those who are content to have a moderate increase in breast size of 1-1½ cups.
- Women seeking a natural and subtle increase of breast size without scars.
- Those who do not wish to have breast implants or are unsuitable for them.
- Those who have been left with a ‘deflated’ breast appearance after permanent removal of breast implants.
- Patients wishing to improve various breast appearances, be they naturally-occurring or following implants, such as:
- Size differences.
- Breast shape deformities or asymmetry.
- Poor cleavage.
- ‘Double Bubble’ deformities after breast implants.
- Insufficient upper breast fullness after breast reduction or breast lift surgery.
How Is It Done?
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation is performed in a Licensed Hospital under General Anaesthesia. administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist.
Hospital stay is not required and you can go home shortly after your procedure. However, you cannot go home alone. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can also be with you for the first 24 hours after surgery.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation involves three steps:
1. Harvesting of the Fat
Fat is first extracted by Tumescent Liposuction under low pressure to avoid damaging the donor fat cells. Please note that we do not recommend Vaser Liposuction for harvesting of the fat as the ultrasonic energy can injure the fat cells and decrease their chances of survival.
Donor sites can essentially be any areas of excess fat but commonly the abdomen, outer thighs, hips and flanks are used. Most importantly, the fat removal needs to be done very gently and under low suction pressure in order to avoid injuring the fat cells and decreasing their chances of survival after the transfer.
2. Processing The Harvested Fat
The extracted fat is treated to remove unwanted oils and fluids, and then put into multiple small syringes ready for injection. The fat so prepared is rich in Stem Cells which have a higher rate of survival than Mature Fat Cells and even have the ability to eventually differentiate into mature fat cells.
3. Fat Transfer
After loading the processed fat into small syringes, the fat is injected in a pre-planned pattern of ‘lines’ in order to avoid depositing the cells in large clumps.
This technique allows each ‘line’ of fat cells the best chance of survival by establishing a close connection to an adjacent blood supply to keep the fat cells alive.
In contrast, if the fat cells are deposited in large clumps, it is more difficult for an adjacent blood supply to perfuse the deeper fat cells in the clump and keep them alive.
Realistically, however, not all the transferred fat cells will survive. How many will survive depends on a number of factors all of which can affect the viability of the fat cells. These include:
- How gently the fat is harvested to avoid damaging the fat cells.
- How the harvested fat is processed.
- How the fat is injected.
By carefully optimising each of these three steps, one can expect around 70- 80% of the injected fat to survive.
Although Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation is always performed in a Licensed Hospital under General Anaesthesia administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist, stay in hospital stay is not necessary.
You can go home shortly after your procedure but you cannot go home alone. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult who can also be with you for the first 24 hours.
Your breasts will be swollen and they may even show some minor superficial bruising from the injections. This is normal and expected, and will settle over the ensuing 2-3 weeks.
Breast discomfort should be minimal. Also expect some short-lived and mild discomfort in the liposuctioned areas but this too can be easily relieved with the pain-relievers your doctor has prescribed.
Once your initial breast swelling has settled over the next 2-3 weeks, your breast size should remain fairly stable. A high carbohydrate diet during the first 3 weeks is said to increase fat cell survival by raising blood insulin levels.
You should be able to drive after 2-3 days but avoid strenuous exercise during the first 4 weeks.
Potential Risks & Complications of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Fat Transfers are generally considered safe procedures but as with any surgery, potential risks and complications do exist.
Specific to Fat Transfers:
- Lignocaine toxicity if large volumes of Tumescent Solution containing the local anaesthetic, Lignocaine, are injected.
- Contour irregularities in either the donor or recipient areas.
- Asymmetry of the breasts.
- Wide or thickened scars (hypertrophic or keloid) could occur if you are prone to them and pigmented scars are more likely in those with brown or Asian skin.
- Numbness or changes in skin sensation.
- Slow or poor healing. More likely in smokers and diabetics.
- Wound infection requiring topical wound care and antibiotics.
- Seroma (excess fluid accumulation under the skin) requiring one or more aspirations.
- Infection of the fatty tissues.
- Inadvertent injury to deeper structures such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, lungs and abdominal organs during harvesting by liposuction.
- Fat Embolism as a result of inadvertent injection of fat directly into a blood vessel.
- Allergic reaction to medications, sutures, dressings, or antiseptic solutions.
- Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) and its potential sequel of life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism: To reduce the risk of DVT, Calf Massagers can be applied for the entire duration of your surgery to prevent the blood in your leg veins from pooling and clotting.
- Adverse Reactions to Anaesthesia or Medication: The safety of anaesthesia nowadays in Australia is well established. Nevertheless, potential risks exist with all anaesthesia and unexpected reactions can occur. These may include nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions ranging from minor to severe. Respiratory failure, heart failure, heart attack and stroke are very rare but documented risks of any anaesthesia.
Watch Our 'Fat Transfer' Animation Video
What Is The Cost of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
- Surgical Fee: Can only be determined at an Initial Consultation once the amount of Liposuction involved, the amount of Fat Transfer required, and the duration of your procedure have all been determined. Average Surgical Fee is around $5,000.
- Additional costs include Hospital Fee, Anaesthetist Fee & Post-Operative Compression Garment.
- Follow-up appointments for up to 6 months are included.
Can I Claim a Medicare or Private Health Insurance Rebate?
Unfortunately, you cannot claim a Medicare Rebate for Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation, nor can you claim on your Private Health Insurance.