This year, it has been estimated that nearly half a million American women will undergo breastaugmentation either to improve their appearance or reconstruct their breasts following cancer surgery or mastectomy.
Breast augmentation is traditionally conducted by placing saline or silicone breast implants inside the “pocket.” Meanwhile, these devices have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration due to their “reasonable safety,” although patients should bear in mind that there is always a risk of rejection and other complications.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to breast implants. Called fat grafting, the technique involves collecting fats from one donor site (e.g., abdomen and thighs) and then introducing them to another area of the body; and because no synthetic implant is used, patients should no longer be concerned with rejection and allergic reaction.
However, patients should always remember that fat grafting has its own limits. For instance, the method is not applicable to those with limited amount of body fats; and it can only increase the breast one cup larger from its original size.
Another consideration to make is the result is somewhat unpredictable given the fact that some of the transferred fats will be reabsorbed by the body; and anything that remains a year after the procedure would likely be permanent.
One way to increase the survival rate of the fats is to purify them; this means the blood, connective tissue, and other impurities are removed. With this method, about 60 to 80 percent of the transferred fats can survive in their new location.
But to further increase the survival rate of the fats, some doctors recommend using bra-like suction cones for three weeks prior to the procedure. With this technique, they believe that the tension will create enough room for the grafted fats to flourish, although no extensive study can back up this claim.
After purifying the fats, they are carefully injected to the breasts; this process may take more than once to promote high survival rate of the fatty tissues.
Fat grafting that is used as a replacement for breast augmentation is like hitting two birds with one stone. Not only the patients enjoy bigger and fuller bust, also the areas which have been liposuctioned such as abdomen and thighs will appear slimmer, resulting to a curvier body.
For three weeks, patients are usually required to wear a compression garment around the liposuctioned area; in this way, the skin will heal faster and closer to the body, thereby preventing sagging and improving the body’s contour.