Non-surgical breast enlargement – the facts

Posted on March 4, 2009

There is increasing interest in non-invasive techniques in order to try and avoid ‘the knife’ and whilst breast implants today are safer, more reliable and longer lasting than ever before there are those who might want to explore alternatives.

As with all areas of cosmetic surgery, there is increasing interest in non-invasive techniques in order to try and avoid ‘the knife’. The idea of being able to change shape or form and look better/younger without going in for surgery is a very attractive one and virtually every area of cosmetic surgery has explored its non-surgical options. Breast surgery is no exception, and whilst breast implants today are safer, more reliable and longer lasting than ever before there are those who might want to explore alternatives.

FAT TRANSFER

Fat transfer is used in all parts of the body to enhance and reshape areas. It is sometimes referred to as Coleman fat transfer after Sydney Coleman – An American plastic surgeon responsible for the popularisation of the technique. The principle is that fat is harvested from one part of the body – typically the abdomen/hips or thighs, processed and then transferred into small syringes and injected in a meticulous fashion into the area to be enhanced.

In order for the procedure to be effective, the fat has to survive – if it doesn’t, it simply disappears. It is thought that probably 70% of the injected fat survives whilst the remaining 30% is lost. There is also variation from individual to individual.

Fat transfer has been used in the breast for some time especially where there has been unevenness between two breasts. However, more recently it has been used for breast enlargement in some specific cases. As always, if you think this is a technique which appeals to you, discuss it with your surgeon at MyBreast who will advise you on your suitability.

Advantages

This is breast enlargement using your own body tissue. There is virtually no scarring – small 1- 2mm incisions at the points where the fat is harvested and at the point where it is injected. Once the fat survives it is there for life. It is ‘natural’ breast enlargement.

Disadvantages

It is only suitable for a select few – those who only want a modest increase in size and whose breast shape is suitable to begin with. Even a modest increase in size requires a lot of fat harvest and so it is not suited for those who are very slim. In terms of surgery, it is a long and laborious process and would probably require a general anaesthetic. Because fat survival is unpredictable it might take more than one sitting to get enough volume.

14 Comments

Giang Dang

1st April 2015, 12:00am

I am interested in the 'fat transfer to breasts' enlargement procedure. I need a lot of questions answered (pros and cons) before deciding if it's worth to go ahead with this procedure. Before I book for a consultation I would like to know what system you use for the fat grafting and how much does this cost.\n\nI look forward to hearing from you.

Patrick Mallucci

1st April 2015, 12:00am

Dear Giang, there is a lot of interest in fat transfer to carry out non-surgical breast enlargement. Many woman are particularly interested as it avoids the option of having an implant. However, not everyone is suitable for the procedure and it is still in the stage of being evaluated. There are no long term studies to show how this works over a period of years. However, in certain cases it may be suitable and we offer a full range of fat transfer procedures and we would be very pleased to discuss this with you and arrange a consultation if you would like to talk about this further. The office will give you all information regarding cost of this procedure.

Sarah King

1st April 2015, 12:00am

I am very interested in a BA using fat transfer and would love a consultation to discuss this.

Thank you
Sarah King

Patrick Mallucci

1st April 2015, 12:00am

Dear Sarah, there is a lot of interest in fat transfer to carry out non-surgical breast enlargement. Many woman are particularly interested as it avoids the option of having an implant. However, not everyone is suitable for the procedure and it is still in the stage of being evaluated. There are no long term studies to show how this works over a period of years. However, in certain cases it may be suitable and we offer a full range of fat transfer procedures and we would be very pleased to discuss this with you and arrange a consultation if you would like to talk about this further. The office will give you all information regarding cost of this procedure.

tammy

1st April 2015, 12:00am

dear patrick mallucci,i am interested in your 'fat transfer to breast'enlargenent procedure' in order to avoid surgery or knife. i am 43ys of age,never really bn happy with my breast since i was a teenager. for various reasons theyre small, flattish n now worse maybe since breast feeding nipples droop. i also find theyre slightly uneven ie one bigger than the other. i am not too keen on implants so thought this might be an option for me. i understand the procedure depends on individuals-i weigh aprox 8 and a half stone. also ps can u give me info on how long it process takes in details, the costs,and whether it is safe in the long run.i would be quite happy with a slightly bigger breast. look forward to hear from u. thanku

Patrick Mallucci

1st April 2015, 12:00am

Dear Tammy,
Fat transfer is increasingly used in breast surgery. It is often more predicable in small volumes to correct small contour abnormalities or defects following a lumpectomy. It can be used in aesthetic surgery to smooth out rippling when the surface of the breast implant is visible. It is also possible to carry out fat transfer as a breast enlargement procedure but again this more predicable when only asking for a modest increase. There can be some loss of the fat and although this appears to be a very safe procedure there is no long term evidence of safety as the procedure has only been available for a few years. The other thing that concerns me is that you only weigh eight and a half stone, and it may be that you do not have a lot of fat to harvest? I hope this is Helpful.

Helena

1st April 2015, 12:00am

Dear Patrick, I have small, flattened breasts and am so unhappy with them. Iam 5ft & weigh 9st..(have plenty of fat around abdomen, thighs & buttocks!!) I am interested in the fat transfer procedure, but, the problem is I am allergic to general anaesthetic. Could this surgery be performed under local anaesthetic? Thank you

Patrick Mallucci

1st April 2015, 12:00am

Dear Helena.
Thank you for your question. It is certainly possible to perform fat augmentation under local anaesthetic, but this tends to be most suitable for patients requiring low volume augmentation or symmetrisation. If you require higher volumes of fat it is likely that fat will need to be harvested from numerous sites and it is likely that a general anaesthetic would be recommended. I would suggest that you find out more about your "allergy" to general anaesthetics, there are many different drugs used in general anaesthesia and if a patient is sensitive, or truly allergic, to a certain agent then your anaesthetist would almost certainly be able to find another anaesthetic agent that could safely be given in its place.

Helen

1st April 2015, 12:00am

Dr Patrick, reading through the comments, it can be seen that the last one was made a year ago. Have there been further researches carried out since that time, to determine the long term adverse effect(s) of this procedure- breast fat transfer. That is, is the long term adverse effect (if any) now known?

LiverpoolLass

1st April 2015, 12:00am

Dear patrick
I am contacting you with regards to fat transfer to both breasts and buttocks. I am 4"9 and have a good amount of fat around the stomach area. are you able to take fat from mons pubis also? Can both procedures be done at the same time? I would also like to know the cost of having this done of possible?

Thanking you in advance

Nicole

1st April 2015, 12:00am

Hi Patrick,

I am 20 years of age and ever since I was 15 have been very unhappy with my breasts. I feel very unconfident with my shape and size of my breass with one being what I see as significantly bigger than the other. I am a 34C in one breast and 34B in the other. I lost a small amount of weight when I was 16 and since most volume from my breast has disappeared. I am not looking for a significant difference just a cup size bigger in one and a little more volume in the other. I weigh 9stone 6lbs and am 5"3. I have heard mixed reviews on this surgery and would love to hear your thoughts and whether you feel I would be a suitable candidate from the information I've provided.

Kind regards,

Nicole

Tanya

17th December 2015, 12:00am

Hello
I'm interested in your "fat transfer" to breast enlargement and buttocks. I am 41yrs of age, never happy with my breast after breast feeding three children. I'm not too keen on implants, so thought this might be an option for me, I weigh about 75kgs . I would like to know how much it will cost me for breast and buttocks enlargement. I really like a curvy body

Debbie

6th May 2016, 12:00am

Hi I am looking to remove my breast implants of 11 years, I don't want more surgery to have a uplift and I don't want replacement implant. What options would I have, would fat transfer be suitable?