28.2.13

Natural Breast Enhancement



A new alternative to breast implants
--> reverse liposuction!

Natural fat assisted breast enhancement is the cosmetic procedure that sounds like ultimate-female-dream 
--> Increase the size of your breasts by up to a cup size, while taking inches off your tummy and thighs. The operation, carried out under local anesthetic, involves the patient having fat removed during liposuction, mixed with other body cells, and then reinjected into the breasts.

Implants have been the gold standard of breast augmentation of decades. But, in the wake of the recent health scare surrounding the PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse) silicone breast implants, consumers are more wary of putting foreign objects in their bodies, which makes fat grafting an appealing concept. Logic dictates people prefer to have their own tissue to something synthetic if it gives comparable results.

Surgical fat transfer is nothing new. Like many cosmetic operations, it was developed in the late 19th Century as a reconstructive procedure - and is considered the gold standard in post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.

In theory, fat should be the perfect filler because as it is taken from the patient's own body, there is no chance of an allergic reaction. And, as the fat is injected, no incision is needed. Yet it is only relatively recently that surgeons have deemed it safe to offer it for breast enhancement, due to worries that the volume of fat needed may result in hard lumps forming, deformities. But, so far the early results from procedures performed around the world have been very encouraging with minimal to no side effects and fat augmentation has become a hot subject in aesthetic enhancement circles.

How it works?

The first stage of fat grafting usually requires the patient to wear a special bra for about a month, for several hours each day. The bra has a suction device, which helps to expand the breasts in preparation for extra fat. Then the surgery is done, usually under local anesthesia, where fat is removed from one section of the body and reinserted into the breast.

During the 2-3 hour procedure, liposuction is used to remove fat from the patient's stomach or thigh area. Traditional liposuction involves the surgeon manually breaking up the fat with a cannula, though some doctors are using Vaser or Laser Lipo, machines that use ultrasound waves or laser to liquidize the fat, to remove fat cells with minimal damage. Around two-and-a-half pints of fat are needed to boost the breasts by one-cup size.

Post fat harvest, patient's own blood is used to separate cells known as platelets, which contain stem cells, which are mixed with harvested fat and injected into the breasts. The platelets slow the re-absorption process. Traditional fat transfers last approximately six months in total and require top-ups once a month. The PIFT enhancement should last for up to two years.

Average recovery time is 2-4 days, a lot quicker than implant surgery.

After the surgery, the suction bra is worn again for a week or so.

Extra fat is usually refrigerated safely in sterile conditions for up to two years before it starts to decompose. Patients are expected to have a first top-up at eight weeks and then one every six months, or until the supply runs out. There is evidence that fat transfers could provide augmentation in the breast but normally only 65 per cent of the grafted tissue survives that’s why top ups are planned and scheduled.

As I mentioned earlier, fat grafting itself is not new. In the late 1980s and 90s, it was widely used in facial augmentations and began to be used for breast enlargements. However, it fell into disrepute because of the risk of the fat tissue calcifying and forming hard lumps when transferred in large amounts. This not only affected how the breasts looked and felt, but was also a problem for mammograms, as the lumps were often mistaken for breast cancer and led to unnecessary biopsies.

Since then, fat-grafting techniques have been refined, as have mammogram interpretation techniques. In 2010 the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons published a review of evidence that stated fat grafting was as safe as other forms of breast augmentation, though more high-quality studies were needed. Last year a US study found that after six months, the majority of fat-grafting patients had no masses or abnormalities in their breasts.

Benefits and risks

There are always risks with surgery, even though the procedure is usually not done under general anesthesia - but the risks of an allergic reaction are minimal. The procedure mostly does not cause any complications. It is also safe for women who are worried about breast-feeding because it is entirely natural.

Apart from the appeal of using one's own tissue, the main benefits of fat grafting are that if successful, the transplant will feel more natural and last longer than an implant. A silicone implant will wear out. But it's possible to have this kind of enlargement for life.

Time and money needed for a successful graft are steep which is hindering the procedure popularity with doctors as well as patients. While an implant is one surgery that lasts one to one and a half hours, a fat-grafting surgery takes twice that time. Multiple surgeries are sometimes required, especially if enlarging the breasts by more than one cup size, because about 30 per cent of the fat transferred will be reabsorbed, and there is a limit to how much fat can be safely grafted in a single surgery.

The procedure is also not suitable for very thin, flat-chested women, as they won't have enough body fat, and it does not have the 50 years of refinement silicone transplants have.

Theoretically in someone who is genetically susceptible to breast cancer, the introduction of stem cells may accelerate the biological process and could even cause the disease though there are no reported cases. It is also possible to get calcification in the breast tissue. 

Bottom Line:

Fat grafting for breasts is still in its infancy, the procedure is more expensive and time-consuming than implants, and can only provide a modest enlargement. You're going to get a more predictable result with a silicone implant, but there's now an alternative for people who don't want implants.