Fat transfer to the breasts: Risks and side effects
Each and every woman wants to maintain a youthful and sexy appearance for as long as possible. An important part of the feminine anatomy is the breasts. But the breasts, just like any other part of the body, can be affected by the natural passing of time and other factors that could make their appearance less desirable. Moreover, genetics is also important when it comes to the breasts. Some women have been blessed with voluptuous breasts while others, not so much.
Nowadays the solution to improve the appearance of the breasts comes from plastic surgery. No other method can increase the size of the breasts and contour them with long-term results. So if you were looking for the natural and minimally invasive method to enhance the breasts, you should know that it is also performed by a plastic surgeon and it is called fat transfer or lipofilling of the breasts. The procedure entails the use of the patient’s own fat cells to correct the appearance of the breasts, moderately increase the size, and create a better shape.
Fat transfer to the breasts is a popular procedure nowadays that can be performed as a stand-alone procedure or on patients who opt for breast implant surgery.
In this article we will discuss fat transfer to the breasts and what risks and side effects the procedure entails.
Fat transfer to the breasts: How is it performed?
The fat transfer procedure consists of using the patient’s own fat cells to increase the size of the breasts. Doesn’t this sound like a dream? Now it is actually possible to take the fat localized in areas such as the abdomen, flanks, thighs, and back and put it to good use to make the breasts larger and perkier. This is how fat transfer to the breasts works.
The patient is usually under general anesthesia and the plastic surgeon starts with liposuction of the donor areas. These are the areas of the body where there is an excess of fat tissue that can be collected with a liposuction cannula. The surgeon will generally target larger areas such as the abdomen, flanks, or thighs and avoid small areas such as the chin, calves, and knees. Even if these areas are confronted with an excess of adipose tissue, the fat that can be collected is not enough to perform fat transfer to the breasts.
The plastic surgeon will address areas from which he hopes to get as much fat as possible as the fat needs to be processed before being injected into the breasts. This means that not all the fat that is extracted from the donor areas can actually be used for the transfer. The purification process will eliminate blood, damaged fat cells, and other impurities so the plastic surgeon will inject only pure and healthy fat cells that have a higher chance of survival in the new environment.
The procedure only requires small incisions (usually no longer than 3 to 4 mm) that are placed both on the donor areas and the breasts. When the procedure is performed, the plastic surgeon will inject fat in different areas of the breasts to create a nice shape and increase the chances of fat survival.
Best candidates for fat transfer to the breasts
Just like any other surgery, breast lipofilling is also associated with certain risks and side effects. Some of these risks can be minimized by simply following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon and being a good candidate for the procedure. So, who are the best candidates for fat transfer to the breasts?
Generally speaking, to be suitable for a fat transfer procedure, the patient needs to have areas of the body with an excess of fat. Having a thin body frame or having a small adipose tissue localized all over the body makes you ineligible for fat transfer to the breasts.
The best candidates are in good health, emotionally and physically, and understand and accept the risks and limitations of the procedure and are also aware of the side effects that they will experience. Moreover, a good patient for the procedure also understands that the appearance of the breasts won’t stay the same forever. The results achieved after the procedure will be affected by factors such as weight fluctuations, gravity, and the natural aging process, among others. Having realistic expectations makes you a good candidate for the procedure.
It is also important to mention that the results of fat transfer to the breasts are not comparable with the results achieved by patients choosing implants to augment the size of the breasts. The results of breast lipofilling are more discreet and the augmentation is minor or moderate at best. The real improvement is in terms of the shape and contour of the breasts. Moreover, the breasts will look fuller and perkier after the procedure.
If you want to get breasts that are two bra cup sizes larger than the initial size, the recommendation is breast implants as the chances are you won’t achieve these results with a single session of fat transfer to the breasts.
Risks and side effects of fat transfer to the breasts
Lipofilling of the breasts can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation, but most patients and plastic surgeons prefer to do it under general anesthetic for the comfort of the patient. The procedure can take between one and two hours, depending on the areas to be treated with liposuction. This means that after fat transfer to the breasts, the patient will be confronted with some side effects that normally occur after undergoing general anesthesia. In most cases, the side effects are tiredness and nausea, dizziness and even vomiting in some cases. Make sure to drink plenty of water after the procedure to eliminate the rest of the anesthetic substances from the body as soon as possible. Moreover, proper hydration will help combat constipation that is another common occurrence after surgery.
Swelling and bruising are other side effects that normally occur after surgery. The areas affected will be both the breasts and the donor areas where liposuction was performed. To reduce the swelling, the plastic surgeon might recommend Arnica Montana supplements and also to wear the compression garments around the clock for at least two or three weeks after surgery.
When it comes to the risks associated with lipofilling of the breasts, you should know that the procedure is one of the safest. However, like any other surgery, there are always risks involved. The risks of getting an infection are small after fat transfer to the breasts and much reduced if the patient will take antibiotics for five days post-op. Seromas and hematomas can form, especially in the areas treated with liposuction.
Changes in sensitivity of the areas targeted can occur after fat transfer to the breasts. It is important to know that in a vast majority of cases these changes are temporary, and normal sensation is often restored within the first two to three months after the procedure. However, there is a risk for the changes in sensitivity to become permanent in extraordinary circumstances.
Aside from these normal risks associated with most types of surgeries, there is also the risk to achieve unsatisfactory results, to be left with bumps on the skin in the areas treated with liposuction, or asymmetries of the breasts. To minimize these risks, make sure to select a board-certified plastic surgeon and follow his instructions.
Fat transfer procedures are commonly performed nowadays as they allow for the removal of fat from areas where it is unwanted and in excess and the reinjection of this fat in areas that need a boost or more volume. The breasts are one of the features of the body that can be enhanced with the help of fat transfer. Fat transfer to the breasts is preferred by patients who want to get natural results with minimal scarring and a moderate increase in the size of the breasts. Fat transfer to the breasts is well-tolerated by the body, so the results look and feel 100% natural. Keep in mind that about 30% of the fat grafted into the breasts will be reabsorbed by the body during the first few months after the procedure. The procedure can be associated with certain risks and side effects that have been discussed above.
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