Fat Graft Breast Implants

Fat Grafting Breasts

Using fat from areas where fat is not desired, such as the abdomen, hips, outer thighs; less commonly, inner thighs, inner knee and arms and transferring these fat grafts and cells to the breast for a natural, autogenous breast augmentation effect.

Before & After Gallery:

Alternative Names:

Natural Breast Augmentation

Procedure Details

Fat grafting to the breast is using fat from areas where fat is not desired, such as the abdomen, hips, outer thighs; less commonly, inner thighs, inner knee and arms and transferring these fat grafts and cells to the breast for a natural, autogenous breast augmentation effect, also known as Natural Breast Augmentation.  Fat grafting to the breast can be performed alone, to increase the upper pole and lower pole of the breast by half a cup size to three-quarters of a cup size; or, is commonly performed at the time of breast augment surgery to enhance upper-pole fullness with natural fat grafts while the breast augmentation itself helps fill out and project the lower pole of the breast.

Figure 1

Figure 1.  Common donor sites for fat grafting to the breast include the tummy, hips and outer thighs. Because natural breast augmentation with fat grafting requires large volumes of fat cells and stem cells, donor body contour improvements are one of the significant advantages of fat grafting to the breast. In other words, by selecting fat grafting and fat transplantation to the breast as your augmentation technique, you get the opportunity to contour any frustrating regions of unwanted body fat and donate this fat to the volume, projection and size of your breasts.

 

 

How is fat grafting and fat transplantation to the breast performed?

Fat grafting alone is commonly performed to the breast for individuals who want a modest increase in volume, projection and size without a breast implant and is also performed for those individuals that already have breast augments that want to camouflage certain areas of their otherwise nice breast augment procedures, such as the take off of the breast implant from the chest wall or any visible ripples that may be present on the inside or outside aspects of the breast.

During the consultation with Dr. Mulholland, the advantages and disadvantages of fat grafting to the breast will be discussed.  Once the risk, benefits and recovery of fat grafting to the breast have been discussed and fully understood and you have been considered a good Natural Breast Augmentation candidate,  the procedure can be performed.  The donor site for the fat is prepped and draped in a sterile fashion and local anesthesia is instilled into the region.  Once the local anesthetic is instilled, the Vaser Lipo device is deployed and a tiny probe that emits ultrasound wave is inserted into the selected donor fat areas. The Vaser probes emits gentle ultrasound waves that loosen the fat cells, that are normally bound tightly in fibrous tissue, thus preparing them for a gentle, a-traumatic aspiration and extraction process.

Figure 2

Figure 2. Vaser Lipo. Toronto Breast Fat Grafting patients first undergo the fat cell and stem cell harvest procedure. This fat cell and stem cell harvest is performed under local anesthesia. The technique must be performed very gently to avoid trauma to the fat and stem cells. The Vaser Lipo device emits  gentle ultrasound waves that loosen the fat cells for easy, aspiration and harvest.

A.  Tightly compacted normal fat cellB. Vaser Lipo loosens the fat cells for easy removal of this fat “smoothie”Figure 3.  Fat Graft Aspiration  A. Normal fat cells and fat derived stem cells live in tightly bound compartments, making their extraction difficult and traumatic which will damage the fat cells that are needed to survive the transplantation process to the breasts. B. The Vaser Lipo probe emits gentle ultrasound waves that dislodges the fat cells and fat derived stem cells that mix with the tumescent local anesthesia makes a fat cell and stem cell “smoothie”. It is easy to aspirate without trauma to the fat cells and stem cells that are needed to survive the transplant process to the breasts.

Figure 4

Figure 4. Fat graft aspiration.  Toronto Breast Fat Graft and Fat transplantation patients undergo Vaser lipo to dislodge and loosen the fat cells, without damage and are then gently aspirated using the atruamatic ventex Vaser power-assisted cannulas. These cannulas are specifically designed with small multiple aspiration ports, blunt nosed configuration, low aspiration pressures. They are specifically designed to remove fat after the Vaser and minimize trauma for survival during the breast fat grafting and breast transplantation process.One of the significant advantages of the fat grafting to the beasts is that large volumes of fat must be harvested and this allows for contour refinement and post-harvest liposuction completion to multiple donor sites. Toronto fat grafting to the breasts not only get an increase in breast volume, projection and size, but they get a Vaser lipo contouring of the donor sites for a “Total Body Makeover”.

Figure 5

Figure 5.  Donor site body contouring.  Following Vaser Lipo harvest of the fat graft material, there is a liposuction contour refinement of the donor site, with a reduction of the volume of “unwanted” fat that will improve contour and shape of the donor site. As large fat cell volumes are required for fat grafting to the breasts, multiple donor sites are required and often, Toronto Fat Grafting to the Breast patients get a “Total Body Makeover” with large, fuller “natural breasts” and multiple donor site body contouring.Following harvest of the fat cells and stem cells, the graft tissue must be prepared. Preparation generally includes centrifugation and separation of the fat cells and stem cells from unwanted blood products, serum and local anesthesia. Other options in preparing fat cells for fat grafting to the breasts include washing the fat cells with spinning the tissue or segmentation of the different cell fractions with enzyme techniques.

Figure 6

Figure 6. Fat Graft Preparation. Following the Vaser Lipo and aspiration of the fat tissue, the fat and fat derived stem cells must be prepared prior to their transplantation to the breasts. Preparation techniques include centrifugation or spinning the fat graft material that will separate off the blood, serum and saline; simple washing of the fat cells or even enzyme digestion achieve purified cell fractions. Although the preparation options vary, they generally result in highly purified fat cells and fat derived stem cells for transplantation and fat grafting to the breasts.Once the prepared fat cells and fat derived stem cells are ready, they are transferred a-traumatically to small injection syringes.

Figure 7

Figure 7.  Fat cells and Fat derived stem cells, once prepared are transferred in a sterile and a-traumatic fashion to small syringes for injection into the breasts.The breasts are then prepped and draped in a sterile fashion and a small, blunt-nose injection needle is used to expertly place the fat grafts in the aesthetic areas required for optimal contour shape and projection and form.  The injection technique with fat graft into the breast is extremely important and involves multiple small toothpick-shaped fat grafts layered throughout the deep tissues, such as the pectoralis major and subcutaneous tissue in the breast gland.  It is important that each fat graft be no more than 1-2mm away from a blood supply; hence, very small toothpick-like structural fat graft is performed throughout the breast tissue and underlying muscle.

Figure 8

Figure 8. Structural Fat Grafting is performed by Dr. Mulholland during your fat grafting to the breasts procedure. Structural Grafting is a specialized technique where a blunt tip micro fat grafting cannula is inserted into the breast tissue, which creates an a-traumatic tunnel. Upon pulling back, the fat graft cells and fat derived stem cells are deposited in thin 2mm thick “toothpicks” and then the host breast soft tissue encloses around the structural breast fat grafts, stabilizing them, preventing migration of movement and ensuring close proximity to local blood supply.

A. Structural Fat Grafting leave grafted fat cells in stable tunnels

 

Figure 9A and 9B.  Toronto breast fat grafting patients will undergo “Structural Fat Grafting”. This is specialized technique perfected by Dr. Mulholland where the 2mm fat grafts are expressed while withdrawing the micro-cannula. The host breast tissue tunnel closes in and envelopes the fat grafts stabilizing them and bringing them close to a book supply. This “Structural Fat Grafting” to the breast ensures the fat graft do not migrate or move and the new blood supply necessary for long-term survival is optimized.

Figure 10

Figure 10.  Fat grafting and fat transplantation to the breasts, performed expertly by Dr. Mulholland, with the “Structural Fat Grafting” methodology will result in a soft, smooth, even breast augmentation result, where the incorporated fat grafts will respond to touch, pressure and deformation with the normal elastic properties of the normal ungrafted breast tissue.

 

 

Figure 11

Figure 11.  Fat cells and fat derived stem cells should not be injected in clumps, or spherical blobs during fat grafting to the breast, or the centre of the clump will be too  far away from a new blood supply and will die, leaving round, hard lumps. This can and should be avoided with expert deployment of “Structural Fat Grafting” methodology (see above).

 

How long will the fat grafting to my breasts last?

Once blood supply has been returned to the fat grafts in the breast, the fat cells and fat derived stem cells become part of the normal breast tissue and will live for many years. Of course, even normal breast fat is subject to the aging process and body fat, including that in the breast tissue will undergo age related fat loss, as will the fat grafts.

Figure 12

Figure 12.  Long term survival of fat grafting to the breasts is ensured by the grafted fat cells and fat derived stem cells picking up a blood supply. Dr. Mulholland will deploy and meticulous Structural Fat Grafting procedure ensuring fat cells are all close to a blood supply and are stabilized by soft tissue ensuring structural stability, volume, support, projection and viability by optimizing neovascularization (new blood supply) to the grafted fat cells and stem cells.

 

 

Figure 13.  Top Photo: Fat Grafting and Fat Transplantation to the breast can be performed for generalized cosmetic primary breast augmentation, instead of using an artificial gel or saline breast augment. The photo above is taken in the OR and fat grafting to the right breast has been completed and the left breast has not undergone fat grafting to the breast. Once can see a tremendous augmentation in volume and projection. Bottom Photo: The patient in the bottom photo had a segmental lower quadrant loss of volume following a lumpectomy and underwent a breast augmentation with a moderately sized cohesive gel augmentation and the fat grafting breast augmentation over top of the breast implant.

Figure 14.  Long term pleasing results following Fat Grafting to the Breasts.

After Care Instructions and expectations

How long is the recovery following fat grafting to the breast?

 

Most patients following fat grafting to the breast can return to normal activities of daily living the following day.  The breasts will be somewhat swollen and bruised, but this is well-concealed in a soft sports bra. The swelling and bruising usually returns to normal within two to three weeks. The donor site where the Vaser Lipo fat graft harvesting was performed is also sore, swollen and moderately bruised. If post harvest completion liposuction is performed, then there will be more discomfort and pain.  All patients undergoing fat grafting and fat transplantation to the breasts must wear a liposuction garment on the donor site.

 

Do I need to wear a compression garment on the donor site with the fat grafts for the breasts was harvested?

 

Yes, for at least 3 weeks, a specially fitted and ordered liposuction garment must be worn 22 hours a day on the Vaser Lipo fat graft harvest sites. The garment will ensure the optimal re-shaping of the donor site after large volume fat graft harvest.

Maintenance required

There is no specific maintenance required for fat grafting to the breast.  On average, 30% to 60% of all fat grafts will survive and Dr. Mulholland generally over-grafts the breasts, accounting for the fat grafts that will not take.  Most patients are happy with their volume, shape, projection and form enhancement following a single procedure.However, most patients are warned, prior to selecting fat grafting to the breast as a procedural option that a second session performed 12 months later may be required to optimize the aesthetic improvement and result.

Risks/Is It Safe/Side Effects

The most common side effects of fat grafting and fat transplantation to the breasts is swelling and bruising. In general, the swelling and bruising can be significant  and 3-4 weeks should be allotted for recovery. Taking anti-swelling and bruising medication may be recommended.Performed expertly, there are very few serious complications of fat grafting to the breasts, but reported complications include lumps, irregularities, asymmetry, complete loss of the fat grafts and localized infection. Dr Mulholland’s experience and expertise in the Structural Fat Grafting technique will minimize the risks of all these complications.

Outcomes

Patients who undergo fat grafting to the breast are generally well-selected and are very happy with the results of their procedure.  Very unique and individualized contour shape, projection and form can be achieved with the use of fat grafting, with or without underlying breast implants. Patients who have undergone this procedure with Dr. Mulholland are generally very happy with their results, as they get predictable and moderate breast volume and projection and simultaneous body contouring.

 

What kind of results can I expect from my fat grafting and fat transplantation to the breasts?

 

Patients who undergo fat grafting to the breast can expect a very nice improvement in volume and projection, although modest in comparison to breast implant augmentation surgery using saline or silicone implants.  Well-selected patients have chosen fat grafting to the breast for volume and projection, specifically because they want to avoid saline or cohesive gel breast implants, or want to improve the results overlying their saline or cohesive gel breast augmentation.  In general, most patients can expect a half to three-quarter cup size improvement or a noticeable improvement in the upper pole, or lower pole, or even in the appearance of implant edges or ripples, if localized fat grafting is performed.

Additional Procedures to enhance results

Many Toronto fat grafting to the breast patients undergo additional or synergistic procedures at the time of their fat grafting to the breast. The most common procedure would be completion liposuction of the donor site, where, in large donor sites, once enough fat graft material has been harvested using Vaser Lipo,  Bodytite, Smartlipo, and/or Power assisted liposuction to remove the rest of the fat and provide optimal contour and contraction.Other common procedures that are performed at the time of fat grafting to the breasts include:Liposuction Tummy tuck Inner Thigh lift Fat Grafting to the Buttock or “Brazilian Butt lift”Cosmetic Facial Plastic surgery including:Fat Grafting to the Face     Blepharoplasty Mini Facelift and mid facelift Facelift and Browlift

Cost and Payment Options

Fat grafting to the breast costs range, depending upon the number of body areas that must be used to harvest the necessary fat graft volume and the amount of fat that is required for the fat-grafting breast augmentation result.  In general, fat grafting to the breast costs approximately the same as cohesive gel augmentation to the breast with a fat graft harvest charge. As an advantage, you can have some body contouring done from the donor site at the same time and the liposuction enhancement is passed on at a significant cost savings.

 

SpaMedica can help you with financing via iFinance.

About Us

By choosing Dr. Mulholland and SpaMedica, you will be choosing one of Canada’s most renowned plastic surgeons with over 20 years of fat grafting experience to the breast, face, buttock and body areas.  You will get not only the technical expertise required to get the highest possible graft take, contour and shape but also the aesthetic judgment necessary to get natural and attractive improvement in the body, shape and form.

How do I schedule a fat grafting to the breast consultation?

 

To schedule a fat grafting to the breast,  simply call 877-695-2835 or fill out the e-mail consult request form and a SpaMedica representative will contact you promptly.Call or email now, schedule a consultation and begin your Natural Breast Augmentation today.

FAQ

  • If I don’t like the results of my fat grafting to the breasts, can it be removed or reduced?

    The good news is YES. If the fat grafting has resulted in a breast that is generally too large, then localized or generalized breast liposuction can reduce the breast size. For smaller reductions,  Dr. Mulholland has perfected specialized injectable techniques to reduce any areas of the breasts where there may have been too much fat cell graft survival. Through the injectable use of customized formulations and concentrations of Phosphatidyl Choline, Deoxycholate and corticosteroid, Dr. Mulholland can adjust results of fat grafting to the breasts as needed and the fat graft cells can be reduced or even completely removed.

  • How long does the fat grafting to the breast procedure take?

    The fat grafting procedure to the breast takes approximately 2.5 hours.  Usually one, two or three body zones are selected, depending upon the amount of fat in those zones and the harvest takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour.  This operative time will be extended if patients also want post-harvest liposuction contouring to be performed in the donor site.  The preparation of the fat cells and fat derived stem cells will take 30-45 mins and then fat grafting to the breast takes approximately 30 mins. The average total time for a fat grafting breast augmentation is 1.5 hours.

  • Is fat grafting and fat transplantation to the breast painful?

    Once the local anesthetic is injected, fat grafting to the breast is not a painful procedure.  The postoperative course is characterized by swelling and bruising and moderate discomfort. Most patients find their recovery discomfort can be controlled by a strong anti-inflammatory like Tordol (Ketolorac). If multiple site liposuction is performed after the Vaser Lipo Fat Graft harvest, then there will be more discomfort and several days of a stronger analgesic may be required.

  • What kind of anesthetic is used for fat grafting to the breast?

    Local anesthetic can be used in the donor site where the fat grafts are harvested and also into the breast(s) where fat grafting is performed.  Local anesthesia is safe and can be combined with oral sedation.Dr. Mulholland built SpaMedica in 1997 and the SpaMedica Plastic Surgery Centre has a 20 year track record for safety  and excellence. The Surgical Centre is government certified for General anesthesia and for 24-hour overnight stay. General and Intravenous sedation anesthesia (IV sedation) can also be used for those Toronto fat grafting to the breast patients that are nervous or anxious and would prefer not to have their procedure under local anesthesia. If a General or IV Sedation is being used at the same time, then local anesthetic is supplemented by the general anesthesia, but the whole procedure can be performed under local anesthetic alone.

  • Who is a candidate for fat grafting to the breast or natural breast augmentation?

    Good candidates for fat grafting to the breast include those individuals that want an increase in volume and proportion of segmental areas of the breast like the upper pole or inner aspect of the breast or camouflage of underlying breast implant irregularities.  Primary Breast Augmentation using fat grafting and fat transplantation to the entire breast for a “Natural Breast Augmentation” can be an excellent procedure in properly selected breast augmentation patients. Well-selected fat grafting to the breast candidates understand they will not get the same projection, shape and form that could be achieved through breast augmentation surgery using a cohesive gel implant or saline implant, but are happy with a modest-to-noticeable increase in breast shape, projection and form using their own fat tissue.Other good candidates for fat grafting to the breast are also those individuals who already have breast implants and have underlying visible irregularities or palpable irregularities such as rippling or sharp take off of the breast implant from the chest wall.Candidates who have undergone a previous lumpectomy with a depression or one-sided irregularity or have one breast that is smaller than the other as a result of hereditary factors may also be good candidates for fat grafting to the breast.

  • Are stem cells dangerous to the breast tissue? Can they cause cancer?

    There have been rat studies that implicate fat derived stem cells for activating certain kinds of rodent cancers. However, in human studies there has been no increased incidence of breast cancers following fat grafting and fat transplantation to the breast.  National organizations, such as the Canadian and American Societies have position papers reviewing the risks and they do not believe that fat grafting to the breast results in an increased incidence of breast cancer. Breast Cancers can of course, still occur, so it is critical the all breast augmentation patients, fat grafting of gel or saline implantation continue normal radiological breast imaging for screening as well as home self breast examinations feeling for new lumps.

  • Does fat grafting to the breasts limit radiologists’ ability to detect a breast cancer on mammograms, CT or MRI?

    The American and Canadian Radiology Associations have gone on record as saying that fat grafting to the breast, breast reduction, breast lift or augmentation does not limit their ability to detect breast cancer cells from reactions around the fat grafts within the breast or other types of surgery.

  • What is the difference between a fat cell and a stem cell?

    Fat tissue harvested from donor body sites contain both mature fat cells and fat derived stem cells. Fat cells are a mature form of a cell, well differentiated and store energy as fatty tissue (triglycerides). Mature fat cells are important in the success of fat grafting to the breast, as they can supply predictable soft tissue volume and support for the “natural augmentation effect”. Their anatomy and structural integrity of a mature lend themselves well to transplanting to the breast and a well vascularized, structural support and shaping breast volume and projection. Donor site harvested fat also contains a cellular fraction called stem cells. Stem cells are naturally occurring cells in human tissue, particularly in human fat. Stem cells are not differentiated, but rather, are immature cells that, depending up the local environment where they are transplanted can differentiate to become many different kinds of cells, fat cells, liver cells, heart cells, collagen forming cells, called fibroblasts, etc. Fat derived stem cells are also included in a fat transplantation and fat grafting to the breasts, as they can cause localized stem cells in the breast to become fat cells adding to the long-term result, or themselves can differentiate into mature structural fat cells of the host breast.

  • Will my fat grafting to my breasts be smooth, symmetrical or lumpy?

    The Structural Fat Grafting technique ensures long term smooth volume enhancement of the breast with a very low risk of breast lumps, or breast asymmetry.  Toronto Fat grafting to the breast patients will undergo the “Structural Fat Grafting “ technique. During the fat graft injection technique, 2mm sized toothpick fat grafts are deposited in discrete breast tunnels created by the blunt tipped microcannula. This technique ensure optimal smoothness of the natural fat grafted breast augmentation outcome. The fat grafts become incorporated into the breast tissue and become part of that breast, moving and responding to deformation or pressure like normal breast tissue. If the fat is injected incorrectly in clumps or spherical blobs, then the middle of the fat graft will undergo necrosis and result in lumps and bumps.

  • Can my breast fat grafts move?

    Toronto patients undergoing fat grafting to the breast do not need to worry about the fat grafts moving. The structural fat grafting technique deployed expertly by Dr. Mulholland ensures that the fat cell and fat derived stem cells are stabilized in their own tiny soft tissue tunnels, where they get a new blood supply and stable collagen attachments. They become normal breast host tissue and do not move or act independently but become part of the natural breast, hence Natural Breast Augmentation.