350 Fording Island Road - Suite 200, Bluffton, South Carolina 29910

Fat Grafting of the Breast Bluffton

What Is Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or fat injection, is the process of transferring fat from one location of the body to fill or reshape the breasts. This procedure is often used as an alternative to more traditional breast augmentations. The procedure involves removing one’s fat cells from locations where there is excess, such as the outer thighs or abdomen, to restore volume to the breasts using the harvested tissue. Fat grafting of the breasts provides an intriguing alternative due to the natural-looking and long-lasting results it offers.

Why Have Fat Grafting?

Breast rejuvenation through fat grafting can address situations where age or pregnancy has meant the loss of soft tissue volume of the breast. These techniques can also be used for cases of breast reconstruction.

Many patients desire fat grafting for aesthetic and/or reconstructive considerations. The benefit of biocompatibility, using the patient’s own harvested fat, means no risk of rejection or allergic reaction, which can occur when introducing foreign entities. At the same time, other advantages include correcting imperfections and providing improved contours across multiple areas of body, either where the fat is extracted via liposuction or injected.

Breast reshaping and augmentation offer a more natural shape and feel than implants can offer. This is most successful in instances where a woman is seeking a small increase in breast size. For patients seeking larger implants, fat grafting is likely not an ideal option.

Fat Grafting Procedure

Local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia can be used depending on the extent of the procedure. The procedure’s duration depends upon the doctor’s technique and the area under treatment.

After anesthesia, the fat cells are extracted from the donor site via liposuction, of which there are several types.

Once harvested, the fat cells need to go through a process of purification and concentration before they can be injected into the treatment site. This involves spinning or straining the fat cells. When 3 layers result, the bottom layer is drained, containing blood and a tumescent fluid. The middle layer is the highest quality tissue and is used for the grafting, while the top layer contains oil from ruptured fat cells.

Following processing of the harvested fat cells, the purified fat cells are then meticulously injected into the breast tissue, between the chest wall and skin of the breasts. Small tracks are created for the grafts to help maintain adherence to the treatment site. This process helps Dr. Weniger to carefully sculpt the breast as desired while maximizing the cell-survival rate.

It can take 3 or 4 days for the capillaries to provide blood to the transplanted fat cells. In that time frame, as many as half the fat cells can die. However, the surgeon will overfill the area with excess fat cells, anticipating the loss. For this reason, it may be necessary to have 2 or 3 treatments over several months for very large additions of volume.

Swelling at the treatment site should be expected and it will last at least several days to a few weeks.

2 to 3 weeks of taking it easy should be expected following breast fat grafts. After 2 to 3 days the doctor will remove the bandages, at which point, rest, and calm are advised, but walking is promoted. The best outcomes occur when the doctor’s advice has been followed before and after procedures.

Are You A Candidate?

Exercise and diet cannot always facilitate an improved appearance, particularly when genetics and age are working against you.

Individuals looking for a moderate increase in breast size or an enhancement in their breast and body contours can benefit from fat grafting.

The best fat grafting candidates have a stable weight and good fat donor sites.

Fat Grafting FAQs

How Long Will The Procedure Last?

Although a portion of the injected fat is absorbed by the body, as part of the process, and as expected, much of the grafted fat remains, even after a full year has transpired. On average, although as much as 65 percent of the fat grafted is absorbed into the body, the remaining 35 percent will remain for years. These absorption rates are expected. Modifications and refinements are often employed 4 to 6 months later to compensate for the absorption. Fat grafting results are significantly longer lasting than Juvederm, collagen injection, and Restylane.

The best outcomes are often achieved by doctors using techniques that yield the least absorption of fat cells. In addition, patients that maintain strict compliance add to successes.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Post-operative soreness, tenderness, and swelling are expected and can last for several weeks, but not everyone experiences this. Lower eyelid swelling is most common. Many people reported about 2-6 weeks of bruising. If you don’t carry a lot of body fat it may be more difficult for the surgeon to harvest sufficient body fat.

Are there risks?

Fat grafting is safe because it does not require typical incisions, though every medical procedure has risks. Anytime there is the use of anesthesia, it brings its own set of risks. One benefit of using your own fat cells is the lack of allergic reaction. However, there can be an allergic response to the anesthesia.

Fat grafting results can be varied because the percentage of fat taken is unpredictable. There is the risk that the results do not match expectations. Discussing risks and expectations with the doctor, prior to the procedure, can serve to minimize erroneous preconceptions.

How soon can I return to work?

Generally, doctors have indicated that returning to work can vary from person to person but most return almost immediately. Individuals receiving fat transfer for breast augmentation returned to work after 1 week or less.

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