Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Risks
Although fat transfer breast augmentation risks do exist, they are fortunately infrequent. Generally speaking, fat transfer procedures — whether in the form of a breast surgery, Brazilian butt lift, or facial graft — are safe and only rarely lead to severe side effects or complications.
Still, it’s important to be knowledgeable about whatever plastic surgery procedure you are considering. So, if you’ve been thinking of getting a cosmetic breast augmentation with fat grafting, you should know about the potential risks.
Up ahead, we’ll discuss these in more detail. But first, let’s talk about the fat grafting process itself because the procedure can often appear complex at first glance.
What Is a Breast Augmentation Fat Transfer?
A breast augmentation with fat transfer (also known simply as a breast fat transfer) is a cosmetic surgery that is performed in order to augment (increase the size of) a woman’s breasts.
The procedure involves first removing excess fat from the patient’s body — typically from her abdomen, flanks, or another place where she would like to reduce fat. This is done through a regular liposuction procedure.
The fat is then processed while outside the patient’s body. Finally, the surgeon will reinject the processed fat back into the patient’s breast tissue. Some or all of the fat will be injected, depending on safety guidelines, how much fat was able to be removed in the first place, and of course, the patient’s goals for their desired breast shape and size.
Surgeons will transfer the fat cells to the areas where the patient wants to add volume. This is often on the top of the breasts, above the nipples because this area frequently becomes “deflated” in appearance due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, or simply aging.
Why Choose a Breast Fat Transfer Over Breast Implants?
Many breast augmentation patients opt for fat transfers instead of implants because the fat transfer process can produce a more natural look. Moreover, patients often feel more comfortable not having two foreign objects in their bodies.
Despite the fact that breast augmentation surgery with implants is a very safe procedure overall, patients are often fearful of associations with breast cancer or breast implant illness. The fat transfer process allows patients to use their bodies’ own natural fat — just in a new location.
Women who’ve had breast cancer may also benefit from a fat transfer during their breast reconstruction. It is commonly performed after a woman has had a mastectomy or lumpectomy or for patients undergoing revision surgery.
What Makes a Good Candidate for Breast Fat Transfer Procedures?
Of course, it’s important to note that not everyone is a good candidate for autologous fat grafting to the breast. If you are hoping to augment the size of your breasts by a large amount, you will likely need implants.
The fat transfer procedure can be very successful for small augmentations, but it can usually only increase a patient’s breast size by around one-half to one full cup size at most. Furthermore, sometimes, multiple sessions are required.
In addition to meeting this requirement, patients must also be non-smokers, be in good health, and have healthy breast tissue. All patients must have enough extra fat on their bodies to accommodate liposuction as well.
What Can Go Wrong With Fat Transfer Breast Augmentations?
Any patient undergoing an invasive surgical procedure, including a fat transfer procedure or traditional breast augmentation, should know about the risks and potential complications of their surgery. That’s because all surgeries — both cosmetic and medically necessary — come with risks.
Let’s take a look at the top breast augmentation with fat transfer risks.
Risks of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Not all of the injected fat may survive in its new location, and this is perfectly normal. Experts estimate that around 50-70% of transferred body fat will successfully adhere after it is injected.
Of course, there is always the risk that more than 30-50% of the transferred fat will not survive. Usually, the body simply absorbs the non-adherent fat, but rarely, it may also travel to other parts of the body.
Breast Calcifications or Cysts
In rare cases, the fat that is transferred may calcify. If this occurs, it may create uncomfortable cysts.
Moreover, it can cause problems when patients go in for mammograms. This is because on some breast imaging scans, the calcified fat may be mistaken for a malignancy. Fortunately, if you tell your medical staff that you have had a breast fat transfer, they should be able to differentiate between the two.
Infection and Other General Surgical Risks
Lastly, infection is always a serious risk with any invasive surgery. Likewise, bruising, bleeding, hematomas, seromas, and other risks that are present with all surgeries may also cause complications after a breast fat transfer — though, they are rare.
Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you at your consultation appointment and before your autologous fat transfer procedure.
FAQ: Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Does fat transfer breast augmentation last forever?
Fat transfer procedures tend to be long-lasting. The fat adheres in its new location and becomes a natural part of your breast and body.
Still, changes in body fat composition can happen at any time and may occur due to natural aging and time. The best way to maintain your results is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a steady weight.
How many sizes can you get with fat transfer breast augmentation?
A fat transfer breast augmentation can typically increase the size of your breasts by one-half to one full cup size.
Should I get breast implants or a fat transfer?
It depends on what you want your outcome to be. Fat transfer breast augmentations can usually augment the size of your breasts by one-half to one cup size. If you want a larger volume increase, you’ll probably need implants.
Contact Us Today to Schedule a Consultation Appointment
Could a breast augmentation fat transfer be for you?
You can learn more about breast augmentation through fat transfer risks, the recovery experience after a fat transfer, breast augmentation fat transfer cost ranges, and more by scheduling a consultation appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Smita Ramanadham.
Call today to set up your appointment.