Autoglous Fat Grafting, also called autologous fat transfer, is a surgical techniquefor both reconstruction and cosmetic breast enhancement. With Fat Grafting, or AFT as it is commonly referred to, adipose (fat) tissue is harvested from the thighs, belly, or buttocks via liposuction, prepared for injection and re-ntroducted to the breast area.
While this technique is more frequently used for reconstruction following mastectomy or lumpectomy procedures, more patients are choosing this over traditional breast augmentation to correct asymetry, volume loss from pregnancy and / or to create a most supple breast.
Some of the benefits of AFT include:
- Using your own natural tissue rather than a synthetic implant.
- Since fat is removed from an area where you don’t want it, you get the added cosmetic benefit of liposuction in that area, giving more contour.
- Some reports from patients claim fat-graft-reconstructed breasts have some sensation and feels soft, much like the other unreconstructed breast.
As a physician, I can attest that your patients safety and comfort are of the utmost importance. As ATF becomes more widely used, a new study in The Journal of American Medical Association reports that women who underwent this procedure for reconstruction following breast cancer surgery did not appear to be at increased risk for locoregional or distant recurrence. This is but one of multiple studies which have confirmed the safety and efficacy of autologous fat grafting (AFT) for breast reconstruction.
Experts in the field recommend that you seek a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has experience with large volume AFT. As a board certified plastics and reconstructive surgeon, I have performed nearly 70 large volume, breast autologous fat transfers for both cosmetic and breast reconstruction.
Here are case studies of two patients that underwent ATF for two different purposes in my San Franscico office.
AFT for Breast Reconstruction
The patient is a 44-year-old woman who was diagnosed with left breast cancer who underwent therapeutic left mastectomy and prophylactic right mastectomy. Prior to surgery the patient was a 38 B cup. We discussed her options for bilateral reconstruction and she chose to undergo autologous fat grafting (AFT).
AFTER Bilateral Reconstruction with AFT
The patient is now a 38 D cup and has a natural, supple feel to her breasts. All the fat used was taken from her trunk and thighs and she could not be happier.
Before Bilateral Mastectomy. Left lateral view. After AFT. Left Breast, lateral view.
This patient required multiple outpatient surgeries but avoided any large surgical scars across her abdomen or implants. The reconstruction was performed over 12 months and the results are shown a year after her last reconstruction.
Currently, for most patients, breast reconstruction after mastectomy involves either an implant based or flap-based reconstruction. AFT gives us another option which reduces the morbidity of implants and the large scars, longer recovery and risk associated with flap-based reconstruction.
Not every patient will be a candidate for AFT reconstruction. It’s important that patients go to a skilled surgeon that can utilize a variety of options to give the patient a favorable outcome. Reconstructions with any type of autologous fat transfer provides a natural and autologous option for those patients seeking a different approach that the more common implant or flap-based options.
AFT for Aesthetic Breast Surgery
This patient is a 27-year-old professional model. She wanted to increase the size of her breasts to look more proportional. She wanted to avoid implants because she claimed that it would disqualify her from some modeling jobs, as implants may create unnatural appearance in certain photographs.
Before surgery she was a 34A cup. She was looking for a 2-cup size increase.
For this type of fat grafting procedure, I utilized an external tissue expander called a Brava device. This device is worn for several weeks before and following the fat grafting. The Brava device is bra-like with plastic cones for cups. The cones put suction onto the breast area, expanding the tissue and creating a matrix for the fat to live in. I performed a one stage, Brava with AFT outpatient procedure.
After results are taken 1 year after surgery. She ended up with a full 34 C cup.
Before and after AFT procedure
For more information about AFT for reconstruction or breast enhancement, please contact Bermudez Aesthetic Medicine.