What is a Breast Fat Transfer or Autologous Fat Grafting?
The concept of breast fat transfer surgery is that your body fat will be taken from one area of your body and injected into the breasts. This can achieve a milder augmentation for patients who are seeking softer or more subtle outcomes. A silicone implant has usually been the first choice for breast augmentation, however, those implants may sometimes have problems associated with them in both the short and longer term.
Breast fat transfer is a surgical or invasive procedure during which Dr Hunt will take excess fat from one area of your body and use it to increase your breast size. The procedure involves using both breast augmentation mammoplasty and liposuction techniques, along with breast fat grafting technology.
The increased breast size is typically less than the amount increased using implants.
Who is a Suitable Candidate For Breast Fat Transfer?
Fat grafting can be an option for many women but has some limitations. Suitable candidates might include people who:
- Are unhappy with the size, shape, or symmetry of their breasts due to weight loss, pregnancy, or general aging.
- Are looking to enlarge their breasts by one cup or less. Autologous fat grafting is designed to produce a small change in breast size and does not intend to achieve the same magnitude of increase in size as implants.
- Are physically and mentally healthy and not breastfeeding. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not suitable candidates.
- Have a normal weight and some excess fat. The fat grafting procedure involves taking fat from the body. If you are severely underweight or do not have enough fat on your body then you are not a suitable candidate.
Why Patients Might Consider Fat Transfer to the Breasts
Breast fat transfer is often seen as an alternative to traditional breast augmentation mammoplasty using implants. Possible reasons why someone may seek this procedure include:
- Achieving a mild breast augment
- Avoiding potential complications related to implants
- Often a shorter recovery when compared to traditional breast surgery methods
- Removal of unwanted fat deposits from other areas of the body
Patients should understand, however, that results will not be the same for everyone who undergoes fat grafting. Each procedure is different, and there are always risks to be aware of before you decide to pursue this surgery.
How is Breast Fat Transfer Performed?
Breast fat transfer follows three steps:
1. Fat Harvesting with Liposuction
Dr Hunt will use liposuction to harvest unwanted fat from adequate fat stores around the body such as the abdomen, back, thighs, and buttocks. The fat is suctioned through a cannula at a fixed pressure rate to which helps to minimise damage to the fat cells. The harvested fat is then stored in special containers.
2. Fat Transfer Preparation and Purification
Once enough excess fat has been suctioned, it is purified. The fat removed often contains blood vessels, tissue fluids, and oils which must be removed before it can be injected. This reduces the risk of oil cysts forming and ensures an appropriate volume of fat is obtained. The most common forms of fat preparation are centrifugation and washing the fat.
3. Fat Injection
Once purified, the fat can be re-injected into the breast. Specially shaped fat injection cannulas are inserted through separate incisions using a multi-planar approach. This helps the fat to spread evenly and can prevent the formation of lumps which can lead to fat necrosis and an undesired result. The fat is injected in small amounts and then evenly distributed.
Breast Fat Transfer Recovery Time
Recovery following a breast fat transfer is dependent on a variety of factors such as the location from which the unwanted fat was harvested, how many donor sites were used, and your ability to heal. Recovery time varies amongst individuals, but most are able to return to work within a week and expect full recovery 6 months – 1 year later. Below is an approximate recovery timeline.
On the Day of the Surgery
Fat transfer breast surgery is most often performed as outpatient surgery, meaning you can go home following your procedure. Make sure to arrange transport as you will be unable to drive due to the sedative effects of anaesthesia.
Days After the Surgery
You can expect bruising, swelling, pain, and general discomfort for the first couple of days following surgery. You will also be given a compression garment to wear until Dr Hunt advises you to remove it. This will aid your recovery. If your pain is intolerable, Dr Hunt will prescribe some medications for your comfort.
First Week and Onwards
It is normal to be in pain for the first few days following your procedure. This can be managed using prescription or over the counter medications. Most patients say that the discomfort is only felt for the first 5 days, after which you will start to feel much better. Swelling, however, may persist for up to 4 weeks depending on the individual.
You may feel some discomfort around the injection sites and feel a tightening sensation around your breasts which should diminish over time. Avoid strenuous exercises or heavy lifting until cleared by Dr Hunt. If you have a sedentary job you should be able to return to work after one week. Otherwise, you may not be able to return to a more physically demanding job until 2 to 3 weeks following your surgery.
Your final result should be seen around the 6-month mark. Dr Hunt will follow up with you regularly to ensure that you are satisfied and not suffering from complications. If you wish to have further enhancement, you can discuss further fat grafting sessions with Dr Hunt.
Download Dr Hunt's Guide
Cosmetic Breast Surgery Guide
A Cosmetic Breast Surgery Guide has been created by Dr Hunt and his team as a useful tool to help you plan and consider this procedure.
Throughout the guide, we will discuss the ins and outs of different types of Breast Surgery, from what makes a good candidate, to pre-surgery planning answers to the most frequently asked questions received from real-life patients.
How Much is Breast Fat Transfer in Sydney? - Prices & Fees of Fat to Breast
A fat transfer can vary in cost depending on the patient’s individual circumstances.
Dr Hunt must evaluate your breasts during your initial consultation before giving you an accurate quote for your procedure.
Generally speaking, breast enlargement using a fat transfer can cost more than implant-based enlargements as the surgery involves multiple procedures (liposuction and fat grafting).
5 Breast Fat Transfer Mistakes
When opting for the procedure, the following are 5 mistakes to avoid:
1. Don’t do it for someone else – If you want to enlarge your breasts, do it for you, not for the pleasure of someone else.
2. Not doing research – The degree of success of your procedure depends solely on the precision and efficiency of the surgeon you choose. Before booking your consultation, research the background of the physicians in your area offering this cosmetic surgery.
3. Not making good use of time – Your initial consultation with Dr Hunt is there not only for physical examinations but also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have had regarding the procedure. Highlight your queries and concerns, and understand the benefits of the procedure, as well as its limitations.
4. Understanding your life after your procedure – With breast enlargement, many women have to start wearing bras for the majority of the time, which may be an inconvenience. Your breasts have the tendency to change shape, so wearing a bra can help keep them shaped to your desire.
5. Planning a family – If you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning to breastfeed in the future, it is essential to understand the possible implication of fat grafting breast procedures. Although the procedure should not affect your ability to breastfeed, all procedures come with a certain degree of risk which you must understand prior to signing your consent.
Risks and Complications
You should research the risks before proceeding with your breast fat grafting procedure, as this will aid you in the decision-making process. It is not only important to be mindful of your goals and potential outcomes, but also of the risk you are taking by undergoing surgery.
Risks of the breast fat grafting procedure can include:
- Poor outcomes
- Changes in sensation
- Inability to breastfeed
- Need for revision surgery
- Poor scarring
- Slow healing
Breast Fat Transfer Sydney FAQs
What are the advantages of breast fat transfer in Sydney?
Breast fat grafting brings numerous advantages such as:
- Fixing breast asymmetry
- Minor increases in cup size
- Fine-tune previous breast augmentations
- Minimal scarring
How many fat transfers will I need?
Most women require only 2 sessions to achieve their desired result, however, some can have up to 5 depending on their desired outcomes.
How do I prepare for breast fat transfer surgery?
To prepare for your surgery you should:
- Not attempt to lose weight (fat transfers require you to have enough fat to transfer between the donor area and your breasts)
- Stop smoking (nicotine can increase your risk of bleeding)
- Make sure you do your research and have a realistic idea of what your results may look like
How long does fat transfer last in breasts?
Fat transfers for breast enlargement can last a lifetime. However, patients may lose up to 30% of their fat as they age or lose weight, which means the breasts may reduce in size over time.
How long does the breast fat transfer procedure take?
Depending on the fat you need to harvest and the size of your new breasts, the time of the procedure can vary in length, usually between 1 and 3 hours.
When will I feel completely normal and be able to play sports?
You can get back to light exercise around 3 weeks following your procedure. For more strenuous activities and sports, you need to get cleared by Dr Hunt, and the time for this to occur varies between individuals.
Can I breastfeed after fat transfer to the breast?
As the procedure is relatively new, no studies have been performed on the correlation between breastfeeding and fat transfer. You are advised to bring up any queries during your initial consultation with Dr Hunt.
Will I have visible scars after my breast fat transfer?
Any incision will cause inevitable scarring. With that being said, the incisions for this procedure are placed carefully to minimise visibility. The scars themselves will also diminish over time but might still be visible.
Is fat transfer to the breast painful?
You will be put under general anaesthesia prior to your surgery to help you remain comfortable during your procedure. You will, however, feel pain for the first few days following your surgery.
What other Breast Surgery Procedures Dr Jeremy Hunt offer?
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PLASTIC SURGEON SYDNEY
About Dr Jeremy Hunt
Dr Hunt has worked with thousands of patients across his 20-year career. This is reflected in his role as Spokesperson for the ASPS – Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr Hunt is also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and Supervisor of Plastic Surgery Training at Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Dr Hunt has a strong interest in helping his patients achieve their desired results by employing the most appropriate practices for each individual patient.
PLASTIC SURGEON SYDNEY
Dr Maryam Seyedabadi
Dr Maryam Seyedabadi has recently joined Dr Hunt’s practice in Edgecliff and is now available for consultations on a range of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery for breast, body and face.
She is just one of the very few dually qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons, completing both medical and dental degrees. This gives her a unique skillset and ability for face surgery, orthognathic & jaw surgery.
As a Sydney Female Plastic Surgeon, Dr Maryam offers surgery by women for women. She is supported in clinic & theatre by a completely female surgical team for those who prefer being operated on in a women-only or more female-friendly private hospital environment.