Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Today’s innovative 2-in-1 procedure will have you saying goodbye waistline, hello cleavage!
The only question is, are you ready?
Submitted by: Todd K. Malan, MD - Innovative Cosmetic Surgery Center
- Natural breast augmentation provides a natural alternative to saline or silicone breast implants.
- This 2-in-1 procedure requires liposuction first, which shapes the body, and then transfers fat to create desired breast enhancement.
- A 1- to 2-cup breast size increase can be expected.
Until recently, saline or silicone implants were the only option for women who desired fuller breasts. Today, advances in liposuction and stem cell therapies have made fat transfer to the breasts an increasingly popular, natural alternative. In fact, this growing trend is reflected in a recent study from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, which found that the number of fat transfer procedures increased by 26.6% from 2009 to 2010.
Because fat transfer breast augmentation uses a patient’s own fat and naturally occurring adult stem cells, it is a very attractive option to women who prefer a natural look and feel to their breasts, or to those who want greater fullness but would rather avoid the risks associated with implants altogether.
While fat transfer to the breast first came to the U.S. in the mid-1980s, it has only recently become recognized as a long-term successful, minimally invasive cosmetic procedure. In the early days, doctors lacked the proper equipment and techniques to effectively harvest fat tissue and ensure its survival after re-injection into the breast. Some doctors had concerns that the resulting scar tissue and calcification would make it difficult for mammograms to accurately detect breast cancer.
Fortunately, efforts to improve upon the technology continued. Today, with better equipment and techniques (including the use of stem cells combined with the transferred fat) we see a consistent 80 to 90 percent fat survival rate and zero interference with mammograms.
In addition to a more natural look and feel and a lower risk of complications, fat transfer offers an added bonus: sculpting the body with liposuction. Patients lose fat and inches from unwanted areas of their bodies while their breasts gain one or two cup sizes—very desirable results for most women.
Unlike traditional implants, fat transfer does not cause a loss of sensation in the breasts or nipples and does not interfere with breastfeeding or mammograms. With natural breast augmentation the risk of rejection associated with implants is eliminated, because the fat tissue transferred to the breasts comes from the patient’s own body. Also, stem cell-enriched fat survives for life, whereas implants must be replaced over time (typically within 10 years).
As is the case with any cosmetic procedure, it is imperative that patients research both the physician and procedure before undergoing surgery. Not all surgeons or techniques are the same, and patients must assess any and all risks before making a decision. Asking for referrals or testimonials from other patients is always recommended.
How Does Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Work?
Dr. Malan: The procedure begins with liposuction to harvest fat tissue from areas of the body that tend to store unwanted fat—such as the stomach, hips and back. Many cosmetic surgeons now use water-assisted liposuction to gently remove the fat tissue without damaging the cells. After the fat is harvested, a laser may be used as a finishing tool to sculpt the areas where fat was removed and to stimulate collagen production, which tightens the skin and produces a smooth and contoured result.
Next, adult stem cells are extracted from a portion of the fat tissue and activated, then re-concentrated into the remaining fat tissue. This newly enriched fat is injected as micro-droplets into the breast—no scalpel incision is necessary. Once transferred, the stem cells within the fat go to work to create new blood vessels, which supply oxygen to the tissue. The result: a on- to two-cup size increase with a completely natural look and feel.
Todd K. Malan, MD, is the founder of the Innovative Cosmetic Surgery Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. and creator of the BeautiFill X™ fat transfer breast augmentation procedure. He was the first physician in the United States to offer stem cell natural breast augmentation, and has performed over 200 stem cell fat transfers to date. He trains physicians globally in advanced cosmetic procedures including the most progressive methods in water-assisted liposuction, body sculpting, fat transfer and stem cell technology.