Breast augmentation increases the fullness of the breasts. It has long been one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the United States, as it can help to increase a woman’s confidence. Although many people assume that breast implants are always used in breast augmentation, other options are available. For the right candidate, fat transfer can be an effective way to enhance the size of the breasts.
So how does fat transfer compare to breast implants, and when might it be the right choice? While many women are very happy with the results they get from silicone or saline breast implants, a fat transfer might be a good choice for others. Here’s what you need to know.
How Does Fat Transfer Work?
During fat transfer, fat is removed from one area of the body before being injected into the area requiring additional volume. Depending on the patient, a plastic surgeon might harvest fat from the hips, thighs, or another area with stubborn, unwanted fat. The fat is removed using liposuction. After removal, the fat is cleaned and processed before it’s injected back into the body.
Fat transfer has long been a popular option for enhancing and augmenting various areas of the body. It’s often used to restore lost volume to the cheeks, helping to reduce signs of aging. Fat transfer is also usually the preferred method of augmenting the buttocks. The Brazilian butt lift takes fat from one area and injects it into the backside to create a fuller, rounder butt.
How Do Breast Implants Work?
Breast implants are prosthetics that are used to increase the size of the breasts. They consist of silicone pockets that are filled with either a saline (saltwater) solution or silicone gel. Breast implants come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
During breast augmentation with implants, the plastic surgeon makes an incision just under the breasts, in the crease. Other incision locations are possible, but the inframammary option usually has the fewest complications. After making the incision, the surgeon will create a pocket to hold the implant. Usually, the pocket is located beneath the muscle of the chest.
After creating the pocket, the surgeon will place the implant in the breast. Silicone implants come pre-filled, while saline ones are usually filled after they are positioned.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Implants?
Breast augmentation with implants has several benefits. Implants can usually create a more dramatic change in the size of the breasts as compared to fat transfer. Since implants come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, it can be easier for a patient to find the implant that’s right for her individual goals.
How much a fat transfer can change the size of the breasts depends in large part on the amount of fat a person has available. Some people simply don’t have enough fat to make fat transfer worthwhile.
Another benefit of breast implants is that they can be removed or exchanged later on. Although implants can last for many years, they aren’t meant to be permanent. If a woman changes her mind or if there’s an issue with the implant, they can be surgically removed. You can trade your old implants for smaller or larger ones if you’d like. You can also decide to replace saline implants with silicone.
What Are the Benefits of Fat Transfer?
Breast augmentation with fat transfer also has some benefits. Since the fat comes directly from the patient’s body, some people find that it creates a more natural look and feel compared to breast implants. Injected fat can definitely feel softer and more natural compared to the way saline implants feel. Silicone implants, on the other hand, often have a soft, natural feel to them.
Fat transfer also produces less scarring than implants. The fat is placed into the breasts through injections. During the process, the surgeon doesn’t have to make an incision, so there’s no scarring afterward. A patient also doesn’t have to wait for the incision to heal after fat transfer.
The results of fat transfer are usually permanent. Once the fat is in place, it can’t be removed from the breasts. Although the results can be permanent, it’s worth noting that there is a chance that the body will absorb some of the injected fat.
Finally, fat transfer can be a two-in-one procedure. Along with increasing the size of the breasts, it can also help to contour another area of the body. Depending on the amount of fat harvested from a donor area, the contouring can be dramatic.
How to Choose Between Implants and Fat Transfer
There are several things to consider when deciding between fat transfer and implants for breast augmentation. Although fat transfer can be an option for some women, implants usually have more to offer. During breast augmentation with implants, a surgeon can also perform a breast lift to elevate droopy or sagging breasts.
Implants also give you more choices when it comes to size and shape. With fat transfer, you’re usually limited to going up one cup size.
Finally, with implants, you always have the option of changing your mind later on. If you’re interested in increasing your breast size today, but aren’t sure how you’ll feel about the idea in 10 or 15 years, you can always remove or replace your implants in the future.
At his practice in Houston, Texas, Dr. Paul Vitenas offers patients breast augmentation with silicone or saline implants. He also performs implant revision, implant exchange, and breast lifts. Regularly recognized as a top doctor, Dr. Vitenas has nearly three decades of experience with breast surgery. To learn more about implants and breast augmentation, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today..