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Is fat grafting to breasts an acceptable procedure?

Q:

I'm interested in a breast lift with fat grafting.  My surgeon is not convinced that fat grafting is suitable or safe.  What is the current consensus on this procedure?

A:

Fat grafting is a well established and accepted procedure.

HOWEVER, fat grafting to the breast for specifically breast augmentation is still under a close investigational state.  There are many questions that need to be answered before it becomes a standard procedure for breast augmentation.

Many well respected people in our society are doing the proper research, preliminary results are very good.  We do not have the answers for long term results.  If you want the procedure, then it needs to be done in a well established clinical trial setting.

In breast reconstruction deformities it is an acceptable adjunct to correct deformities and enhance the results.

A:

Fat grafting to the breast is not a procedure to lift a patient's breast but can within limits enlarge the breast.  Frequently the increase in volume of a breast that has been deflated by pregnancy will refill the breast and expand the envelope of the breast and make it seem like the breast has been elevated.  But in a truly droopy breast you will need a breast lift.  The volume of your breast is one issue and it can be addressed with either breast implants or fat grafting.  The lifting of the position of your nipple alveolar complex requires a mastopexy or a surgical breast lift.  A combination of a breast lift and a breast enlargement is a frequently preformed procedure. 

The technique of enlarging the breast with fat grafting is a viable option but requires a major commitment from the patient.  You can elect to have multiple procedures of fat grafting to the breast to obtain a significant enlargement or you can elect to go through a procedure in which you wear a Bravo Bra which is a suction device you place over your breast for 4-6 hours a day for a month and then go through fat grafting to your breast (if you have enough other fat) and then wear the Bravo Bra for another month.  You will definitely get an enlargement of you breast without an implant but it will be limited.  However the results have been very rewarding to the patients who have decided to go with this technique.

It seems that while the American doctors have been slow to embrace this technique, the Italian doctors have been doing this successfully for over 17 years.

A:

Fat Grafting & Breast Surgery – Fat grafting is an acceptable modality if done properly for both reconstruction and for correction of some breast asymmetries. It can be used selectively in primary breast augmentation in carefully selected patients who do not want implants. One cannot increase the size more than one cup size with “fat only” breast augmentation.

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