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Christopher K. Patronella, MD, FACS, FICS homepage


Fat Grafting to the Breasts vs. Breast Implants: Which is Better?

Posted July 06, 2023 in Breast Augmentation, Fat Grafting

The question comes up regarding the utility of using autologous fat, which is your own fat, to augment the breasts, as opposed to a foreign device like a silicone gel or saline breast implant. Certainly there is a role for fat grafting of the breasts for augmentation. We’ve found through scientific studies that it’s very safe and can be performed. Generally speaking, a much more modest enlargement is accomplished by fat grafting—usually a cup size and no more—because we can’t overwhelm the breast with so much fat that the fat which is placed in the breast doesn’t take. So a realistic expectation of the volume that can be achieved is what we advise our patients who desire fat grafting to the breasts. Below is a list of the potential advantages and disadvantages of breast augmentation with an implant vs. fat grafting to the breasts.

Advantages of Fat Grafting to the Breasts

  • Breast enlargement is achieved by using your own tissue.
  • Fat is harvested from areas where one has excess fat to spare. When removing the fat via liposuction, Dr. Patronella is attentive to creating more ideal contours. Common areas targeted are the waistline, hips, and thighs.

Potential Disadvantages of Fat Grafting to the Breasts

  • Fat grafting to the breasts is more expensive than a breast implant procedure because liposuction is performed to harvest the fat.
  • One cup size is the maximum enlargement that can be achieved. However, for women who desire more subtle fullness without an implant or padded bra, this could be a good option.
  • You have less control over the final outcome. On average, 50% to 60% of the fat that’s grafted to the breasts stays.

Advantages of Breast Implants

  • In terms of shape and size, the results are more predictable. Dr. Patronella can vary the implant profile and size to achieve the desired symmetry and projection.
  • You can enlarge breasts beyond one cup size, if desired.

Potential Disadvantages of Breast Implants

  • With breast implants, rupture can occur, which requires replacement or removal.
  • Excessive scar tissue can develop around breast implants—a condition known as capsular contracture. To minimize the likelihood of this occurring, Dr. Patronella instructs his patients to perform the Implant Displacement Exercise after breast augmentation surgery. You can his video demonstrating this exercise here.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Patronella, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you!

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