For people who are interested in increasing the size of their breasts, the question of breast augmentation or fat transfer – sometimes referred to as “natural breast augmentation” - is one our surgeons hear often. Both procedures are offered at Athenix, and some patients prefer one over the other for a variety of reasons. Breast enlargement is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the country, and our surgeons are experts at offering these implant and fat transfer options. If you’re researching the variety of procedures for creating larger breasts, we’ll help you understand the similarities and differences between breast augmentation vs fat transfer.
How is a breast augmentation typically performed?
In most cases, a breast augmentation is performed using either a silicone or a saline implant to increase the size of the breast. These implants are offered in a variety of sizes which allow for anything from a small, natural increase, to a substantial increase in breast size. The implants are FDA approved and breast augmentation is generally a safe, successful cosmetic procedure chosen by hundreds of thousands of women each year. An incision is made in a spot that will help keep the scar minimal – either under the breast, in the armpit, or around the edge of the areola - and we insert the soft implant. We then close the incision with stiches, and wrap you in supportive bandages or a special bra that you’ll wear during healing. This is an operation that usually allows patients to go home the same day.
How is fat transfer different from breast augmentation?
When people talk about a breast augmentation, they’re generally referring to a procedure that uses an implant. Fat transfer, on the other hand, is a special type of procedure that allows us to enlarge your breasts without any saline or silicone implant. Instead, our surgeons take fat from another part of your body and transfer that fat into your breasts. When someone enlarges their breasts using fat transfer, we first use liposuction to remove fat from one part of the body. Generally we use fat from the abdomen, butt, or thighs. Next we process that fat so it’s a liquid. That fat is then injected into the breast, which allows for an increase in size, and also lets us fill in areas that may be lumpy or crooked.
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What are the pros and cons of traditional breast augmentation?
One benefit of breast augmentation using an implant is a wider variety of size options. If you want, and if it makes sense for your body, you could get an implant that would give you a substantially larger breast size. Another benefit to traditional breast augmentation is that the procedure has a lower cost in most cases, as compared to fat transfer. Although it’s rare, there is the potential for either saline or silicone breast implants to rupture. While saline is safely absorbed by the body if a rupture happens, silicone should be removed in some cases, which would involve a surgical procedure. Breast implants are not linked to an increased risk in breast cancer, but it is important to know that having breast implants can make a mammogram more difficult. This is because the implants can be in the way of getting a truly clear picture. Overall, breast implants are considered by medical professionals to be a highly safe and effective cosmetic procedure.
What are the pros and cons of fat transfer?
With fat transfer, you get the results of a breast augmentation without having a foreign object implanted in your body. This can mean less chance of infection, and having no foreign material is the preference of some women. In addition, this is essentially a scarless procedure since the fat transfer is done with no cuts – only injections. Since this procedure is so minimally invasive, it can be done without general anesthesia, which means you can usually go home more quickly and will feel more like “yourself” soon after the treatment. Although there are no implants to interfere with a mammogram image, the fat we transfer can calcify in some cases, and this can interfere with a clear mammogram reading. Another downside of fat transfer, for some people, is that you cannot expect a dramatic increase in breast size. If you are hoping for a modest increase of up to one cup size, or some work to correct crooked breasts, this could be a good option. Another potential downside is the cost. Fat transfer is more expensive than breast implants. This is because when we do fat transfer, we first remove the fat from another area of your body using liposuction.
Who is a good candidate for fat transfer breast augmentation?
Generally a woman who is looking for a fairly small increase in breast size is the best candidate for the fat transfer type of augmentation. For a larger increase in size, you’d benefit most from an implant. However, women who want a small increase in breast size are also eligible for implants. The implants we use come in a wide range of size options, to allow us to customize the procedure to each woman’s desired outcome.
Should I get breast implants or fat transfer?
If you’re considering breast implant augmentation vs fat transfer, the best way to decide is to come in for a consultation. Depending on your body structure, desired results, and personal preferences, we can explain why one may be better than the other for you personally. In general, if you want to increase your breasts more than one cup size, implants are likely a stronger option. However, since every case is different, that is a decision best made with a personal consultation with one of our cosmetic surgeons.
At Athenix we are happy to offer our patients the option of either breast augmentation with implants, or natural fat transfer breast enlargement. If you are interested in learning about a procedure that can give you an improved body shape and increased confidence, get in touch with us. We’d be pleased to meet with you and educate you on the differences between our breast enlargement procedures.