Bellevue, Seattle Natural Breast Augmentation (Fat Grafting)
Fat Grafting for Cosmetic Augmentation
At the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery, in addition to implants for breast augmentation, Dr. Zemplenyi also offers fat grafting for cosmetic breast augmentation as well as for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. The concept behind fat grafting to the breast is simple: move fat cells from one part of the body (abdomen, hips and thighs), to the breasts to enhance their shape and size. Gentle, low pressure liposuction, to minimize trauma, gathers the fat cells fat to be injected into the breast. The collected fat is prepared and purified, and then transferred into the breasts by injection through multiple small tunnels designed to increase survival of the transplanted fat cells, thus adding volume to the breasts. Patients have a choice of local or twilight sedation since general anesthesia is usually not necessary for this procedure.
This technique has exciting advantages:
- your own fat is used rather than an artificial breast implant
- your body contour may also be improved in the donor site (the area of liposuction)
- skin incisions needed for this procedure are very small, often disappearing with time
- it can improve multiple irregularities such as rippling and wrinkling
- it can blunt the border between implants and breast tissue
- it can correct breast size & volume differences
While the volume of fat that remains in the recipient site, the breast, following each transfer, is not fully predictable, the procedure is performed in our certified surgical center and may be repeated more than once in order to transfer enough volume of fat.
Prior to fat transfer a baseline mammogram, sometimes along with an ultrasound exam, will be necessary to document the presence of any pre-existing breast micro-calcification. While fat grafting to the breast will not achieve the same volume as a larger breast implant, and thus may not be procedure of choice for women interested in large volume augmentation, it is another option offered at Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery.
Fat Grafting for Reconstruction Following Mastectomy or Lumpectomy
Breast reconstruction using fat transfer has become a more widely-accepted option for women seeking reconstruction following mastectomy or lumpectomy. Dr. Zemplenyi has expertise and interest in treatment of women seeking reconstruction following breast cancer. In his practice at the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery Dr. Zemplenyi offers many different reconstructive options.
Dr. Zemplenyi is one very few physicians in Washington State selected to participate in a clinical research study of fat grafting to the breast following use of the external expansion of the breast using the Brava system. The Brava system expands the chest area to facilitate transfer of harvested fat cells to the breast. It is an external vacuum pump applied to the breasts for six to eight weeks prior to the fat transfer. This is believed to enable new blood vessels to form in the breast tissue bed, thus priming the newly expanded recipient site in order to improve survival of the transplanted fat tissue. The Brava breast enhancement and shaping system is used both before and after fat grafting for breast augmentation. The transplanted fat tissue may also be used to offset the late effects of radiation as seen in the skin and muscle. Once the breast bed has been prepared with several fat transfers it may become possible to implant a tissue expander followed by an implant even in the radiated patient. The total time for completion of all stages of breast reconstruction is significantly longer with this fat transfer method than with the more traditional expander-implant reconstruction or with flap reconstruction, but it involves much less aggressive and invasive surgery with less recovery time. Please contact us at the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery for further details. More information is also available at www.mybrava.com.
Our patients considering natural breast enhancement and reconstruction using fat grafting technique are encouraged to participate in IRB clinical study PROTOCOL NO 2004-03 (Breast Reconstruction and Augmentation with the Brava Enhanced Autologous Fat Micro Grafting). Please contact us at the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery for more details. More information is also available at www.liporecon.com. The doctors at the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery are continuously exploring new, innovative ways to increase survival of the transplanted fat tissue.
- What is natural breast augmentation?
- Natural breast augmentation uses the fat transfer/fat grafting procedure to move fat from one part of the body, such as the thighs, hips or abdomen, to the breast to enhance size and shape. Liposuction is used to gently remove fat from sites containing undesirable fat deposits and transplant the fat to the breast. This technique can also be used to correct irregularities, dimpling in the natural breast or smooth out edges around breast implants.
- How can I prepare for natural breast augmentation?
- Before the procedure, you will need to undergo a baseline mammogram. Do not take any anti-inflammatory medicationss, aspirin or herbal medications which may promote bleeding two weeks before the surgery. Ask your physician about any medicines you have been prescribed or take on a regular basis. If you are a smoker, you should stop since smoking constricts blood vessels and impedes healing.
- What can I expect during the natural breast augmentation procedure?
- During the augmentation procedure, fat will be harvested from one area, usually the hips, abdomen, or thighs, using gentle liposuction. This collected fat is then purified, after which it is injected into the breast area to add volume. The entire procedure will usually last between one to two hours. Pre-procedure breast expansion can sometimes be used. A gentle negative pressure device, such as the Brava® system, can expand the breast area to provide more room for the transferred fat cells.
- What can I expect post procedure? What is the recovery time?
- The initial recovery times will be about one to three days, with any swelling and soreness resolving over the next few weeks. You should be able to return to your normal schedule within two to three weeks; however, strenuous activities or exercise should not be undertaken for at least four to six weeks.
- What is the post procedure care for natural breast implants?
- You should keep the dressing on the small incisions until your next office visit. Take any prescribed medications. Your doctor may give you other specifics for your post-operative care.
- How much does natural breast augmentation cost?
- The cost of this procedure will vary from patient to patient. Your doctor will go over the cost during your initial consultation.
- What are the risks associated with natural breast augmentation?
- Natural breast augmentation does have some risks including over-absorption of transplanted fat, as well as lumpiness or shape irregularities. Other risks include development of fatty cysts, fat necrosis, calcium formation, and false-positive mammograms. Your doctor will go over all of these risks with you.