Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer

What Is Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer?

Breast augmentation with fat transfer offers a natural, implant-free method of improving breast volume and shape. This procedure uses liposuction to obtain fat from your own body, usually from your thighs, buttocks, stomach, or other donor sites. These fat cells or adipose tissue is then re-injected into the desired areas of the breast to improve shape and contour. The technique uses very small incisions that are typically not visible after healing is complete. Fat transfer offers a natural alternative to traditional implants and can be a great way to enhance breast tissue for those who prefer to use their own tissue. Fat grafting is not a replacement for a breast implant, but can give a more subtle increase in volume and improvement in the shape of the upper breast and cleavage that is very rewarding for some patients.

Ashley N. Amalfi, M.D. Ashley N. Amalfi, M.D.

Ashley N. Amalfi, M.D.

Specializes in Breast & Body Procedures

Recognizing the unique goals and desires of each of her patients, Dr. Amalfi uses her skills and attention to detail as an artist to create exceptional surgical outcomes. A board-certified plastic surgeon, she specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive breast and body procedures.

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Your Consultation

Dr. Amalfi meets with you in a private consultation and reviews your medical history, including past medical conditions, current allergies and medications as well as your personal and family history of breast cancer and any other breast issues. Dr Amalfi performs a brief examination and discusses your current breast size and listens to your desired changes and cosmetic goals.

She additionally discusses any limitations for the breast augmentation with fat transfer procedure including risks and potential complications. If breast augmentation with fat transfer is right for you, Dr. Amalfi creates a customized surgical plan. Before the consultation is finished, a Patient Consultant meets with you to discuss cost, payment options, and scheduling the procedure.

Ideal Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer Candidates

Any woman who is looking for a natural, minimally invasive breast augmentation may be a good candidate for this procedure. Breast augmentation with fat transfer can also help restore breast volume that is lost during pregnancy and breastfeeding or due to aging. An ideal breast augmentation with fat transfer patient is:

  • In good overall health
  • Wants fuller breasts
  • Has realistic goals and expectations about the results

Dr. Amalfi can help determine if breast augmentation with fat transfer is the right procedure to meet your desired cosmetic goals.

Before Your Procedure

Once your breast augmentation has been scheduled, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for the surgery and recovery period. By preparing several days in advance of your surgery, you can be assured of the best results and a smooth recovery.

  • Your breast augmentation with fat transfer will be performed as an outpatient procedure. You must arrange a ride home from the surgery center following your procedure, or if you plan to stay at our Carriage House, you must have a ride home the next morning.
  • Fill all prescriptions prior to surgery.
  • Plan to take one week off from work or school following the procedure to heal and rest at home.
  • Arrange for assistance during the first few days after your breast augmentation with fat transfer.
  • Carefully review the post-operative instructions. If you have any questions, contact our office immediately.
  • Keep important phone numbers and all emergency contact information in an easily-accessible location.
  • Put all follow-up appointments on your calendar — these are very important to attend, even if you don't have any questions or concerns.
  • Stop aspirin and any specified herbal supplements two weeks before your breast augmentation with fat transfer procedure.

If you are a smoker, it's also important that you commit to stop smoking at least eight weeks prior to your breast augmentation with fat transfer procedure.

The Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer Procedure

Breast augmentation with fat transfer involves gentle liposuction of areas with available fat stores — such as the buttocks, thighs, flanks or stomach. Small, less than ¼ inch incisions are made to introduce the fat into the breast area. Fat is carefully injected into the breast in small tunnels to ensure the grafts survive and you have continued fullness from your fat transfer. Great care is taken in the operating room and during the postoperative period so that the best aesthetic result is achieved and to ensure that most of the fat cells survive.

Recovery after Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer

Patients should expect recovery from breast augmentation with fat transfer to take about two to three weeks. By that point, most patients are feeling well with minimal pain and are back at work. Breast swelling after fat grafting to the breast may persist for many months; your final result and the amount of fat that has survived the fat transfer will be obvious at six months.

Liposuction sites:

Bruising and swelling at the liposuction sites may occur at first and typically resolves in the next two to three weeks. Dr. Amalfi recommends wearing compression garments over the liposuction sites for the first six weeks to minimize swelling. Discomfort in the treatment site can persist for many months, especially with exercise and physical activity.

Light exercise and walking can be resumed after a day. More strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for three weeks following the procedure. By six weeks the patient has no restrictions.

Breast sites:

Little to no discomfort is expected at the injection sites on the breast tissue. A sports bra can be worn in the weeks following the procedure. Any tight garments or activities causing pressure to be applied to the chest area should be avoided for several weeks following the procedure.

Choosing the Right Breast Augmentation Surgeon

The key to a successful breast augmentation with fat transfer procedure is choosing the right surgeon. Dr. Amalfi specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery and brings a woman's unique perspective to the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I return to work following my breast augmentation with fat transfer?

You should be able to return to work two to five days after your breast augmentation with fat transfer procedure. If your job requires heavy lifting you should plan to take additional time to rest before returning to work.

What are the risks involved with breast augmentation with fat transfer?

There are few risks for breast augmentation with fat transfer. Some infrequent complications include loss of some of the transferred fat causing small, firm lumps in the breasts, termed fat necrosis. These areas usually resolve with gentle massage over a period of 6 months to a year. Other complications include infection and cyst formation.

What should I expect in terms of recovery after breast augmentation with fat transfer?

The recovery time for breast augmentation with fat transfer is usually shorter than for breast augmentation with implants and is largely dependent on the liposuction aspect of the procedure. Patients can expect to be back at work about one to three weeks after the procedure.

When can I exercise after breast augmentation with fat transfer and are there any limits to what I can do?

Light exercise such as walking is encouraged after the procedure as it helps with circulation. You should abstain from more strenuous exercise for three weeks.

What are the benefits of breast augmentation with fat transfer vs. breast augmentation with implants?

The benefits of breast augmentation with fat transfer include:

  • Minimally invasive
  • No need for implant exchange or removal
  • Benefit of liposuction
  • Faster recovery time

How will breast augmentation with fat transfer affect breastfeeding?

Breast augmentation with natural fat should not affect the ability to breastfeed.

Should thin patients gain weight prior to having breast augmentation with fat transfer?

Some patients just don't have enough fat to transfer into their breasts for an augmentation. Gaining weight is not helpful because patients generally go back to their preoperative weight after the procedure, and the transferred fat cells shrink in size with the weight loss. This decreases the size of the augmented breasts. Before any aesthetic procedure, patients should be at an ideal, maintainable weight.

Does breast augmentation with fat transfer include both the liposuction and the augmentation on the same day?

Yes, the breast augmentation with fat transfer will occur after the liposuction procedure to harvest the fat on the same day.

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