Fat grafting is one of plastic surgery’s newer procedures, but Dr. MacLennan has been using this technique as part of her practice for many years. She began by offering fat grafting to her breast reconstruction patients, who often needed a little more padding over an implant or improvement of a contour problem. Over the years, the indications for fat grafting have grown, and it’s now a useful technique for many problems, including the issue of small breasts.
Fat grafting is particularly helpful for filling the upper slope of the breast in women who are empty or hollow in this area. This is particularly helpful for women who have had treatment for breast cancer. Fat grafting can be done in conjunction with breast lifts and implants, and in some cases, can even be done without an implant in women who simply want a very small increase in breast size. Of course, in order to be a good candidate for fat grafting, you must have enough fat to borrow, and unfortunately, some women are very thin and don’t have enough to borrow. For those who do, the contour improvement from liposuction is a nice benefit. We’re careful to remove only as much fat as the donor area can spare.
If you’re considering increasing your breast size with fat alone, it’s important to have realistic expectations about how much volume you can gain. The best candidates are those with good breast shape and skin tone, who are looking to increase breast size by one half to one cup size. If you’re interested in a more significant increase in size or have sagging tissue, we may need to discuss implants or other solutions. Remember that most women need more than one stage of fat grafting to reach their desired results.
The procedure begins with liposuction of the areas where there is extra fat. The fat is then prepared for re-injection and placed carefully back into your tissue using tiny cannulas. This is the most important part of the procedure and requires careful placement of small ribbons or dots of fat exactly where needed. This allows “plumping” of the tissue without creating lumps.
Recovery from fat grafting alone is simpler than many other breast procedures. The incisions are very small, and the main recovery is the soreness from the liposuction where the fat is borrowed. Most women can return to a desk job after about a week, and exercise after 2-3 weeks. If you’re having fat grafting along with another procedure, remember that there may be recovery guidelines for the other procedure.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
The main risk of fat grafting is that some of the fat may not “take” and you may not reach the result you were hoping for. Some women choose to have a second stage of grafting to improve results.
WHERE DO YOU GET THE FAT?
Many women have a little extra on the abdomen that they would like to get rid of, so that is the most common donor area. Other popular spots are the “muffin top” area of the waist, and the thighs.
IS FAT GRAFTING SAFE?
Fat grafting in most areas of the body is very safe, However, there have been many complications and even deaths associated with large volume fat grafting to the buttocks (“Brazilian Butt Lift” or BBL). Link to ASAPS statement. Dr. MacLennan places the safety of her patients first at all times, and for this reason chooses not to offer BBL, despite its popularity in the media.
Fat grafting is a versatile tool in plastic surgery, and Dr. MacLennan has many years of experience and training in advanced techniques. Let us answer your questions by calling Mountain Lake Plastic Surgery at (802) 231-4284.