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Is Fat Grafting Better Than Implant-Based Breast Augmentation?

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Fat grafting, also known as autologous breast augmentation, uses one’s body fat to increase the breast size and improve the shape. The fat is liposuctioned from areas where it is in excess, such as the abdomen or thighs, and injected into the breasts. 

It is a natural and relatively safe method for augmenting your breasts. Since you are using your own tissues, there are not many of the potential issues associated with breast implants.  

You may be able to obtain truly natural results.

Fat grafting, however, does not work well for patients who do not have adequate excess fat. A sufficient amount of fat is needed, which means that lean people might not qualify for fat grafting.

Woman wearing open button-up shirt, exposing some of the breasts

The following are some of the concerns and issues related to fat grafting:

The Desired Breast Size May Not Be Achieved

A major reason for not achieving the desired enlarged breast size is not having a sufficient amount of body fat to work with, especially without creating donor site deformities. Resorption of some of the fat that is injected will further reduce the ultimate augmentation effects. 

Additionally, if the fat survival is asymmetrical, further grafting procedures may be required in order to achieve symmetry. 

With present technology and techniques, there is a limitation in the extent of augmentation potential with fat grafting. Typically, there is just an increase of one cup size. Patients who want a significant enlargement of size may have to either combine fat grafting with implants to achieve their desired results or just go with breast implants.

Some of the fat that does not survive can create hard lumps in the breast, which can detract from the overall results and may even interfere with personal breast cancer screening. In addition, calcifications that may form as a result of fat necrosis can make interpreting a mammogram more challenging.

A substantial weight increase after the procedure can result in an unwanted and far greater increase in breast size than would otherwise occur if one had just used breast implants. This could lead either to the need or desire for additional surgery, so as to reduce the breast size.

Benefits of Implant-Based Breast Augmentation

Implant-based breast augmentation uses either silicone or saline implants to provide an almost limitless spectrum of breast sizes and configuration options that allow for precise tailoring of the results to meet each person’s desires and needs. There can be a multiple cup size increase of the breasts.

The fat grafting approach, on the other hand, has quite substantial limitations. For example, it is quite problematic when the woman desires an increase of more than one cup size — which is what most women request. Going from an “A” cup to just a “B” cup, which is generally what could be achieved with fat grafting, would disappoint an overwhelming majority of women. 

Interested in Learning More?

When performed by an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in aesthetic breast surgery, you can achieve the desired breast size and shape and live with the results for many years. 

For more information on breast augmentation, schedule a consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub at 480-451-3000 or fill out our online contact form.