Natural Breast Augmentation: The Pros and Cons of Using Fat

female torso with bra on black backgroundBreast augmentation has been one of the leading plastic surgery procedures since it was first introduced over 50 years ago. Historically, a woman wanting to enhance the size and shape of her breasts had to choose between saline or silicone, over-the-muscle or submuscular, and few other details. Today, women have the choice of enhancing breast shape using their own fat. Natural breast augmentation is the common term that is used to describe fat transfer to the breasts. Here, we discuss what you want to know if you’re considering this approach to better body contours. 

Potential Drawbacks to Natural Breast Augmentation

A drawback that really isn’t one anymore needs to be discussed first. At one point, back in the late 1980s, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons had taken a stance against fat grafting for breast augmentation. The concern was that fat transfer may cause unnecessary and potentially harmful side effects, including dense lumps, calcifications, and oil cysts. They believed that these may inhibit accurate breast screenings. Since that time, mammography technology has improved a great deal. Also, a Fat Graft Task Force formed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found no strong evidence to suggest that the use of autologous fat could be dangerous. Myth, debunked. 

Patients interested in fat grafting for breast enhancement are made aware of the limitations of this procedure in many cases. Most women who undergo this procedure gain an increase of about one bra cup size. The reason for this limitation is that the fat that is deposited into the breast mound does not immediately have its own blood supply, it must integrate into surrounding tissue and gain circulation from that. The more fat that is injected, the less chance it has of survival. That said, women interested in more dramatic increases can schedule a repeat fat transfer at a later date.

Benefits of Natural Breast Augmentation

With awareness regarding breast implant illness increasing, more women are exploring alternatives like fat transfer procedures. The lack of a breast implant eliminates the risk of breast implant illness, as well as complications like capsular contracture. The results of fat grafting to the breasts are natural looking and natural feeling because we are expanding like with like. The procedure may take a few hours, but is performed on an outpatient basis and there is very little downtime to allow the tiny incisions to heal. 

Women with healthy breast tissue and lack of volume due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, and aging generally see excellent results from fat grafting treatment. The doctor has the ability to insert new fat cells where they are needed most to improve size, shape, and symmetry. Patients with mild breast sagging may be able to receive slightly more fat cells due to the looser pocket surrounding the breast mound. That said, natural breast augmentation is not a substitute for a breast lift. Patients should take care in choosing a surgeon who can identify their degree of breast sagging and address it appropriately. 

Learn more about your options for breast augmentation. Contact our NYC office at (212) 508-0000 to schedule a consultation. 

Posted in: Breast Augmentation

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