Many of the women considering breast augmentation at my Toronto plastic surgery practice are seeking a more modest increase in the size of their breasts than what breast enhancement patients wanted 10 to 20 years ago. It’s common to hear a patient say her goal is “natural-looking results,” which really means having breasts that are proportional to her body type.
One technique that’s emerged in recent years is fat transfer breast augmentation, which involves harvesting fat from an area of the patient’s body where it’s unwanted—the abdomen or buttocks, for example—and then injecting it into the breasts. It’s the best of both worlds for the right patient.
But not everyone will get the results they want with the fat transfer technique alone. Hybrid or composite breast augmentation—combining fat grafting with breast implants to create a more natural look and feel—offers the benefits of both techniques, becoming a more popular option.
What Is Fat Transfer?
The fat transfer technique involves a 3-step process. Liposuction removes the fat, which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate it from impurities. Then the surgeon carefully re-injects the fat using specialized cannulas. Fat transfer has long been used for facial rejuvenation, and it’s the technique employed for Brazilian butt lift procedures.
For breast augmentation, however, fat transfer does have some limitations. Fat transfer breast enhancement without breast implants is an option for patients who only want to increase their breasts by one bra cup size or slightly more. Because all fat cells do not survive the transfer process, surgeons estimate the amount needed, and follow-up procedures might be necessary to get the desired outcome.
Combining Breast Implants With Fat Transfer
The hybrid breast augmentation approach creates truly customized results, more generously increasing breast size and offering a natural look and feel created by a patient’s own fat. It is important to point out that this isn’t a good option for patients with little body fat.
One of the benefits of hybrid breast augmentation is that many patients can choose smaller breast implants, which also help create a more natural appearance.
What Are Other Reasons for Hybrid Breast Augmentation?
There are other benefits of combining breast implants with fat transfer besides producing a more natural look and feel.
For example, for patients who want implants placed behind the existing breast tissue but above the chest muscle—called subglandular placement—fat grafting minimizes the risk of visible rippling by camouflaging the implants. Fat also softens the breasts, so you’re less likely to feel the implant.
Additionally, fat is a solution for women with uneven breast sizes or breast asymmetry. Even though most women have some slight differences in breast size, more significant differences may be a concern for some patients. Fat can be used to help reduce that difference.
Choosing an Experienced Plastic Surgeon
Even though the fat grafting technique has been used for decades for the face and other areas of the body, its use for breast augmentation is relatively recent, and not all surgeons have the training or experience needed to produce consistent results. If you’re considering hybrid breast augmentation, it’s important to ask surgeons during your consultations about their experience.
If you want to learn more about the technique, contact our plastic surgery practice in Toronto using the online form to request a consultation or call us directly at (416) 925-7337 to schedule an appointment. You can also look at the results of actual breast augmentation patients in our gallery of before-and-after photos.