Breast augmentation through fat transfer offers unique benefits: Lack of any risks associated with artificial implants, more natural shape and feel, and more control over the final cleavage appearance (i.e., upper breast pole and mid cleavage).
And because the procedure entails liposuction, which is the process of harvesting fats from “troublesome” areas of the body, patients can also expect a more holistic improvement compared to the standard breast augmentation.
Renowned Inland Empire plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently posted a series of videos on Snapchat to demonstrate a female patient who has had breast implant removal immediately followed by fat transfer.
During surgery, Dr. Smiley removed the implant through an incision made precisely at the upper border of the areola (this was the same incision created during her previous breast augmentation).
Removing the implant could lead to deflated-looking breasts, particularly in the upper pole; hence, Dr. Smiley performed a simultaneous fat transfer.
To harvest sufficient fat volume, Dr. Smiley performed liposuction on different body areas including the abdomen, flanks, and lower back. The collected amount is then washed and sorted to remove dead cells and other “non-fat” biomaterials such as blood to ensure high survival rate.
The purified fat volume was then injected into the breast, specifically above the implant pocket. Dr. Smiley said microdroplet (less than 0.1 cc) of fat has been inoculated into the tissue and muscle to promote vascularization or blood supply ingrowth, which allows the fat cells to persist long term.
About 70-80 percent of the injected fat volume is expected to survive long term, while the remaining is resorbed within a few weeks of injection. Hence, it is a common practice to slightly overfill the breast to anticipate this “consequence.”
Another issue with breast augmentation through fat transfer is the varying permissible amount of fat injection. It is important to note that overzealous augmentation may lead to low survival rate because of the excessive pressure experienced by the fatty cells; this is particularly true for patients with markedly tight skin.
In general, 200-300 cc of purified fat can be injected into each breast without worrying about low survival rate and other complications caused by excessive pressure.
In the video, Dr. Smiley said the main advantage of breast augmentation through fat is that it “provides more control over the final width of the breast,” making it easier to improve the mid cleavage and upper breast pole compared to implants.