Why Fat Transfer Breast Augmentations Will Never Take the Place of Implants

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Why Fat Transfer Breast Augmentations Will Never Take the Place of Implants

To compensate as much as possible for this estimated but unpredictable amount of volume loss, Dr. Nazarian will over-inject by around 20 percent. But the good news? The fat that takes is permanent, as long as a relatively consistent weight is maintained.

Fat transfer usually performed in tandem with another breast procedure.

Fat transfer to the breast is a procedure that Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon Kelly Killeen, M.D., performs “in a pretty big majority” of her breast-surgery patients, albeit for many different reasons. That said, it’s “a very rare patient who is a good candidate for a breast augmentation by fat grafting alone.”

Instead, Dr. Killeen injects fat to add small, subtle amounts of volume in the breast to “camouflage some minor contour issues and even hide edges of implants that may have become visible after breast cancer, surgery, or in women who are just very thin and their implant is quite visible.”

Injections to the breast are often placed in “the upper part and middle part,” according to Dr. Nazarian, or just underneath the areola. “Those are the typical areas because usually the fat of the breast tissue kind of settles to the bottom,” she says.

In Dr. Subbio’s practice, fat injections to the breast are often performed in conjunction with a breast lift, reduction, or a breast augmentation with implants.

A fat-transfer breast isn’t going to look like a breast with implants.

A big limitation with fat transfer to the breast, Dr. Subbio says, is that most women have a certain look in their mind. “They’ve become accustomed to what a traditional implant-based augmentation looks like — a round, physical, 3D structure,” he explains, adding that a physical implant shapes the breast to its form in a way that fat simply can’t. Dr. Stubbio continues: “It is not going to anywhere near as powerfully reshape the breast in the way that an implant can, and if a patient desires that look, she’s going to be sorely, sorely disappointed.”

Ideal candidates for fat-transfer augmentation have conservative goals.

Dr. Nazarian’s fat-transfer patients typically love and want to keep their smaller breasts, but “they’ve lost some volume at the top or definition of their cleavage,” she says, adding that they don’t want an implant look. “They’re looking for just a little boost — a little more lifted look, a little bit more volume in the cleavage area.”

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