Rather than using traditional breast implants, many plastic surgeons are turning to fat grafting to increase breast size, according to a recent study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The procedure, which builds upon previous successes and innovations in fat transfer for breast augmentation, involves several weeks of pre-expansion treatment with a bra-like device that uses gentle vacuum pressure to stretch the breast tissue. This allows for more room when the surgeon grafts the fat, which is extracted from another part of the body, such as the thigh.
Fat grafting has a number of advantages, since it doesn’t use a foreign implant but the patient’s own tissue. But one of the greatest disadvantages of the procedure has been that it cannot typically enhance a patient’s breast more than one cup size. This has limited its use among women who desire larger results.
“Pre-expansion to the breast allows for mega-volume (over 300 cc) grafting with reproducible, long lasting results that can be achieved in less than two hours,” according to study authors Drs. Daniel Alexander Del Vecchio and Louis Paul Bucky.
The study examined the results of pre-expansion and autologous fat transfers in 46 breasts of 25 women. While some were having first-time procedures to augment their breast size, others were having implants replaced or having breast deformities corrected. The average amount of fat transplanted was 300cc.
The patients had their procedures evaluated after six months, and the doctors found:
- significant improvements in size
- soft and natural appearance
- no cysts or other abnormalities under MRI
The surgeons found that with some practice they could perform the breast fat transfer procedure within less than two hours. None of the patients experienced any significant complications.
While the long-term implications and possible safety issues associated with the pre-expansion and fat transfer technique have yet to be researched, Del Vecchio and Bucky’s contribution to the field of fat transplantation offers new hope to women who want full, natural breast enhancement.
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