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Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation
Liposuction is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures in Washington. For most patients, getting rid of the fat through liposuction satisfies the aesthetic goals for improved body contour.
Can fat obtained from liposuction be used for other purposes?
Fat is an extraordinarily useful material for facial and body contouring and rejuvenation. While looking into the mirror, women often wish that the fat from tummy or thighs could be placed into their breasts to improve breast volume and contour. With improved surgical techniques and a better understanding of the biology of fat, this wish is now a reality.
Lipo-Augmentation of the Breast
The Lipo-Augmentation procedure offers a natural appearing breast augmentation and a comprehensive body liposuction treatment, all in one procedure.
The Lipo-Augmentation technique avoids the use of an artificial saline or silicone breast implant. Fat that is removed with liposuction is injected into each breast to achieve a natural breast augmentation. The transferred fat becomes living tissue and augments the breast with a very natural appearance. The idea of using fat for breast augmentation is not a new one. With recent advances in medical imaging, liposuction methods, and fat grafting techniques, Lipo-Augmentation is now an acceptable method of breast augmentation.
Fat transfer breast augmentation, fat graft breast augmentation, lipo transfer breast augmentation, and lipo-graft breast augmentation are all terms used to describe the Lipo-Augmentation procedure.
How is Lipo-Augmentation of the Breast done?
Suitable areas targeted for liposuction are used as donor sites for Lipo-Augmentation fat grafts. These regions typically include the abdomen, love handles (flanks), and thighs. Candidates for the procedure must have a sufficient amount of fat to make Lipo-Augmentation possible. Careful and gentle liposuction is performed on these donor sites and the fat is carefully prepared for fat grafting to the breast. After the liposuction procedure is completed, the fat is injected into the breast using special fat grafting techniques involving needles and without the need for any incisions. The fat can be selectively grafted to add volume to portions of the breast in order to customize the augmentation for each patient. For example, fat can be injected to emphasize and enhance breast cleavage. Recovery after the procedure is similar the recovery time experienced with liposuction patients. A compression garments is worn for two weeks over the regions treated with liposuction. Activity can be resumed as soon as it is comfortable to do so. Most patients are able to return to normal activities within a few days after the procedure.
Fat grafting to the breast allows for natural breast augmentation without the use of breast implants
Does Lipo-Augmentation result in a balanced breast appearance?
Any asymmetry in breast volume is accounted for during the Lipo-Augmentation procedure. As the breast heals after surgery, a small amount of the grafted fat will not become living tissue. For this reason, touch-up fat injections under local anesthesia can be done to balance the breast appearance.
Will Lipo-Augmentation effect mammography?
Some of the grafted fat will create benign calcifications on mammography. Since annual screening mammography is important for all women aged 40 and older (or earlier with family history of breast cancer), it is important to continue with screening mammography exams after Lipo-Augmentation. As part of the pre-operative work up, all patients receive a screening mammogram, no matter what their age or risk factors are. A mammogram is recommended at one year after Lipo-Augmentation and annually thereafter.
I am interested! What do I do next?
If you are considering this procedure we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Burnett. During this visit she will listen to your concerns and discuss your options. She will tell you whether you are a suitable candidate for a breast augmentation procedure and inform you of the potential risks of the procedure. There is a great variety in breast shapes and features and each breast implant procedure must be custom tailored for the patient to get the best possible result. You will also have a chance to view before and after photo albums of her patients who have undergone procedures similar to what you are considering.