Breast Augmentation – Implant-free
Fat Grafting to the Breast
Today there is an array of breast augmentation choices. The two most commonly known choices are saline or silicone implants. However, Dr. Rogers provides a new form of breast augmentation, which allows patients to move undesired fat from certain areas of their body and transfer it to their breasts. This procedure is called “implant-free breast augmentation”. Implant-free breast augmentation can be performed for cosmetic purposes, but can also be used to reconstruct deformities or repair previous breast implants. Because the breasts are augmented using the patient’s own fat the results can offer a more organic look and feel than other techniques.
What does an “implant-free breast augmentation” entail?
Have you ever stared into the mirror and wondered, “Why can’t the fat in my tummy just move to my breasts?” Now it can! This is basically how an implant-free breast augmentation works. The implant-free breast augmentation is performed in a two-part procedure. Prior to surgery patients may be instructed to wear a tissue expander. Much like a breast pump, the tissue expander contains a vacuum that gently applies a three-dimensional pull on the breasts. This pressure causes cells to replicate and gradually create new tissue over the entire breast area, which later aids the transplant procedure.
Part One, Harvesting: A liposuction procedure is done to remove fat from unwanted areas of the body (i.e. the butt, thighs, or stomach areas). Next, the fat stem cells are extracted from the fat and centrifuged for refinement. This can range anywhere between fifteen minutes to a few hours, depending on the amount of fat needed for transfer. Purifying the fat then removes impurities increasing the likelihood of a successful cell transfer. After this transformation, the fat cells are ready to be re-injected into the breasts.
Part Two, Injecting: In a four to six hour procedure, the refined fat is carefully injected into the breast. This is done in a series of small injections to allow the surgeon to sculpt each breast. The fat is injected into the layers of the breast by way of six to eight incisions in each breast that are roughly two-millimeters in size (slightly larger than a pen mark). The fat is injected into the space between the skin and the breast capsule and/or into the space between the breast and chest wall. The injections are layered from the pectoralis major muscle up through the top of the breast. Blunt syringes and cannulas (small tubes that can be inserted into the body) are used to administer the fat into the breasts. These are used to avoid damage to blood vessels and nerves. In order to survive in their new location, the transplanted fat cells need to be able to establish a blood supply.
Implant-free breast augmentation is a less invasive augmentation technique that has a recovery time of approximately 48 hours. Implant-free breast augmentation is less likely to interfere with future mammograms than implant-based breast augmentation. Since the fat cells come from the patients own body there are fewer risks of rejection or allergic reaction. However, if a substantially larger breast size is desired a saline or silicone implant should be considered. The implant-free breast augmentation is not recommended for increasing the breasts by more than two cup sizes.
During the procedure fat cells will be over-injected to compensate for the possibility that necrosis (cell death) may occur, resulting in a decrease of fatty tissue. In an implant-free breast augmentation, the fat cells that are injected into the breasts are living, so unlike saline or silicone implants, the size of the breasts will fluctuate in accordance to weight loss and gain.
If you are interested in enhancing your breast without implants and without the possibility of rejection or allergic reaction, implant-free breast augmentation may be the answer for you.
Contact Leif Rogers, M.D., FACS for your consultation today.