Fat transfer is a cosmetic surgery procedure that involves the removal of fat from parts of the body onto another part of the body. As opposed to the popular liposuction procedure, fat transfer doesn’t remove the fat – it just moves it. In most instances, individuals in need to do breast augmentation to carry out a fat transfer. This procedure is also called lip modelling or fat graft. One of the main reasons for why individuals opt to carry out breast fat transfer is to help them have a more natural look and fill in the augmented breast, and to have a small increase in breast size.
The autologous fat transfer (also fat graft) is a new emerging trend in aesthetic cosmetics (it’s been almost 100 years since its introduction!). Despite all these years, this breast augmentation trend has not been fully studied and developed to determine the level of safety.
Breast Fat Transfer Process
The process of fat grafting involves removal of fat tissues from other body parts such as the buttocks, belly, and thighs by a process called liposuction. Small incisions are made during the procedure in the skin and a tube inserted in the selected area to suck small portions of fat. This is now the process of liposuction. Once fats have been sucked the small cuts in the skin are stitched and dressed. The next step is to use specialized equipment which selects and separates the fat from other body fluids and blood. The fat selected is then processed into liquid form and then a syringe and needle are used to inject small amounts of it into the desired area. Injected fluid fat tissue seeps through small holes that are unseen hence there will be a minimal requirement of stitches.
Breast Grafting Safety
In most cases, breast fat transfer last for few hours and little pain is felt during the procedure. However, in the course of healing patients tend to feel pain for several days or weeks. This, therefore, demands a frequent visit to the doctor for checkups.
Since breast fat transfer uses one’s own tissues to augment the breast and little surgery is carried out, most individuals think the procedure is safe for everyone. This is, however, far from the truth. The use of fat transfer previously has been used in a process called lipofilling. Lipofilling involves the transfer of fat tissues from other body parts to correct small differences in position, balance and shape of a reconstructed breast. Over the years this procedure has been successful to a number of patients; hence cosmetic surgeons thought fat grafting can be used to help in breast augmentation.
Breast fat transfer has not achieved the wide success that doctors previously imagined it would. This is because, in some instances, fat transferred into the breast were reabsorbed into the body – causing a decrease in the size of the breast. In worst-case scenarios, the transferred fats may die in a process called necrosis, thus mimicking cancerous cells when viewed in a mammogram.
Despite all these risks with breast fat transfers, many autologous breast augmentation processes have been successful. This procedure involves the use of Brava, a tissue expander, placed externally in which the patient wears it for several weeks after the surgery. Brava is essential in helping the breast to expand its tissue so that a matrix can be created for the transferred fats, the end results of using Brava is that the breast maintains its size and volume without losing much fat.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Breast Fat Transfer
There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with fat grafting.
- The body makes use of its own fat tissues instead of incorporating artificial implants.
- Fats are obtained from body areas where one does not need it, such as abdominal fats.
- There are no proven results on its efficiency and safety, limited scientific research on the topic.
- The injected fats may die in a process called ‘necrosis’ which may make it hard to spot cancerous cells in the breast.
Breast fat transfer is a new trend that may soon take over breast implants in breast cosmetic surgery. Despite the disadvantages, once clinical trials are run effectively more revelations will be exposed thus leading to more clinically proven procedures that are safe.