Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer
Conveniently located to serve the areas of Beachwood and Cleveland, Ohio
Enhancing the breasts with a fat transfer is a way to enhance the size and shape of the breasts for natural-looking results. A patient’s unwanted fat can be removed from common problem areas like the thighs, love handles or abdomen, and then purified and injected into the breasts. This allows women to increase the volume of their breasts while avoiding many of the risks that accompany synthetic implants. And, because it is the patient’s own fat being used, there is no risk of an allergic reaction, rejection, or other complications that can arise from traditional breast augmentation surgery with implants.
Dr. Gregory Fedele performs a wide range of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. As a board-certified plastic surgeon with decades of experience and an unparalleled artistic eye, he offers patients from his home state of Ohio and beyond beautiful results that boost confidence and transform lives. To learn more about your options for breast enhancement and other body contouring procedures, schedule a personal consultation at The Art of Plastic Surgery. His Cleveland offices are located in Beechwood, and can be reached by calling (216) 464-1616, or by filling out this convenient online form. To stay abreast of the latest trends and treatments in cosmetic enhancements, make sure to follow the blog!
What is a Fat Transfer?
Fat transfers are also known as autologous fat grafts. “Autologous” means taken from the patient’s own body. After being carefully removed via liposuction or syringe aspiration, the fat is purified and injected into areas of the patient’s body requiring additional volume. The living fat cells are then able to graft to the existing fatty tissues, and develop the blood supply that allows them to survive and make a long-term home in their new location. Fat is considered an ideal filler for soft tissues, and has long been used for reconstructive purposes. In fact, the first fat transfer to the breast was performed in 1895, and since then, it’s been used for both breast reconstruction and cosmetic enhancements.(1) Today’s medical technology allows patients to enjoy beautiful results, and fat grafting has become a popular way to enhance the contours of the body. It offers the additional benefit of slenderizing and contouring other parts of the body! Fat transfers are commonly performed to volumize and rejuvenate. Popular uses for fat grafts include:
- Facial contours like the cheeks
- To mask visible veins and tendons in the hands
- To enhance the curvature of the buttocks, as in the ever-trending Brazilian Butt Lift
An Alternative to Implants
Fat can be used to add volume and sculpt rounder, more voluptuous breasts. Fat is harvested from elsewhere on the patient’s body using liposuction. It is then cleansed and prepared for injection into the breasts. Dr. Fedele can place strategic injections of fat to create the patient’s desired results.
Plastic surgeons pay attention to the overall appearance of the breast when performing any breast procedure. However, there are two areas that they pay particular attention to when assessing a patient’s current breast profile and planning their approach.
- The upper pole of the breast is the area above the nipple-areolar complex. Fat can be added here to create a rounder appearance to the breast and to enhance cleavage.
- The lower pole of the breast is the area below the areola, and above the inframammary crease – where the underside of the breast meets the chest wall. Fat can be added here to create a natural-looking teardrop effect and fullness.
While there are considerable advantages to using fat to increase the size of the breasts, the results are typically much more subtle than those that can be achieved with implants.The success of this procedure depends on the transferred fat’s ability to graft to the new location, and there are limits to the amount of fat that can be injected and survive the transfer. However, for patients that are interested in going up a cup size or two without incisions or scarring on the breasts, this is an excellent option.
Fat transfer is a less invasive procedure than a traditional breast augmentation with implants, although it is still considered surgery, since liposuction is performed in order to harvest the fat grafts. Dr. Fedele makes sure that each of his patients understand what the procedure entails and that they can undergo this surgery safely.
Ideal candidates for a fat transfer to the breasts are:
- In good health and without underlying medical conditions that could complicate their surgery or recovery
- At a stable weight, since sudden weight fluctuations could diminish the results
- Non-smokers or willing to quit several weeks before their procedure and for the duration of their recovery
- Patients that have adequate stores of unwanted fat: extremely slender patients may need to explore other options for breast enhancement
- Candidates that want subtle, natural-looking results rather than a dramatic increase in size
- Not pregnant or breastfeeding
The consultation process is an essential way to make sure that patients are well informed, ready to commit, and that Dr. Fedele understands their goals so that he can recommend the very best course of action. During your initial consultation, our team will gather information about your medical history, and you’ll learn more about what a breast augmentation with fat transfer entails. Then, you’ll meet with Dr. Fedele during a surgical consultation. You’ll be able to discuss your goals, your concerns, and ask any questions that you may have. Dr. Fedele will perform an examination of potential donor sites as well as your breasts to ensure that this procedure can fulfill your desires. Dr. Fedele’s office is equipped with digital imaging technology, so you’ll be able to see a preview of what your results will look like. If a breast augmentation with fat transfer is right for you, you’ll meet with Dr. Fedele and his staff again prior to your procedure to review additional information and make sure that you know how to prepare, and exactly what to expect during your procedure and along the course of your recovery. Ready to get started? You can schedule an appointment for a consultation at our office in the Signature Square Complex in Beechwood by calling (216) 464-1616.
Breast Augmentation with fat grafting can be performed using local anesthesia and sedation, or general anesthesia. You’ll have discussed the best option for your needs during your consultations with Dr. Fedele. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the fat harvesting stage of your procedure will begin. Small, discreet incisions will be made adjacent to the donor areas, which will then be infiltrated with tumescent fluid. This solution contains:
- Epinephrine to constrict blood vessels and reduce bleeding
- Lidocaine to numb the area
- Saline solution to engorge the fatty tissue, making it easier to remove
After it has taken effect, Dr. Fedele will then begin the aspiration stage of the liposuction procedure. A narrow cannula will be inserted into the incisions and drawn back and forth, evenly removing fat and creating the desired contours. The fat travels from the body into a sterile cannister, where it will be held until all the necessary fat is removed. After any residual fluid and debris has been removed from the donor fat, it is prepared for injection. Dr. Fedele will use special injection techniques to place small deposits of fat called aliquots in the various layers of tissue in the breasts, using a fanning technique to ensure that the fat is distributed evenly throughout the tissue. He’ll repeat the injections on each breast in order to symmetrically sculpt the desired results.
By the time your procedure is completed, the treated areas will be wrapped in compression dressings, and your breasts will be supported with additional dressings. You’ll be monitored until the anesthesia has worn off sufficiently, and then discharged to your appointed caregiver and driver to return home.
Recovery and Results
Recovery from a breast augmentation with fat transfer involves healing from your liposuction procedure and caring for your breasts as the fat adapts to its new location. The duration of your recovery will depend on the areas, the size of the areas, and the amount of fat that is removed during your liposuction procedure.
Nevertheless, swelling, bruising, and discomfort in your breasts and the donor areas is normal, but you’ll be given a prescription for pain medication, instructions on how to care for your healing body, and the full support of Dr. Fedele and his staff as you recover.
You’ll need to take at least a week off of work, and follow all the instructions given to you for post-operative care. You’ll also return to our offices for follow-up appointments so that we can monitor your progress and answer any questions that arise along the way. Most patients are feeling much better and back in their routines by week two or three. However, please wait six weeks before performing strenuous activity.
Knowing what to expect is tremendously helpful as you recover. It’s also important to understand that not all of the transferred fat will graft successfully. During fat transfer procedures, surgeons intentionally place more fat than is required in anticipation of this. Although you’ll be able to see increased volume and enhanced shape, you won’t be able to see your final results until about six months after the procedure, when any residual swelling has resolved, and the remaining fat has made a healthy new home in your breasts. Since your new, more voluptuous breasts are thanks to thriving living tissue, you’ll be able to enjoy your results long term. But like any part of your body, taking proper care of yourself is essential for maintaining healthy tissue, and in this case, your beautifully enhanced breasts.
How Much Does a Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Cost in Ohio?
Breast augmentation with fat transfer is customized to a patient’s desires and unique anatomy. As a result, the price will depend on the areas treated with liposuction, the amount of liposuction performed, and the other details of the procedure. Following your consultation, you’ll meet with Dr. Fedele’s friendly practice manager, Sandy, who will review your anticipated costs, and discuss possible financing options.
- Billings EJ, May JWJ. Historical Review and Present Status of Free Fat Graft Autotransplantation in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 1989;83(2):368-381. Accessed April 13, 2021. https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Citation/1989/02000/Historical_Review_and_Present_Status_of_Free_Fat.33.aspx
- Simonacci F, Bertozzi N, Grieco MP, Grignaffini E, Raposio E. Procedure, applications, and outcomes of autologous fat grafting. Annals of Medicine and Surgery. 2017;20:49-60. doi:10.1016/j.amsu.2017.06.059