Breast Fat Transfer (Graft) in Greater San Antonio DR. WILLIAM ALBRIGHT

Breast Fat Transfer (Graft) in Greater San Antonio


Is fat grafting safe in the breast?

Studies have shown cancer safety of fat grafting even in the setting of patients with previous breast cancers or family history of breast cancer. Dr. Albright is a fat transfer surgeons in San Antonio, TX, He recommends obtaining breast imaging (mammogram/ultrasound/MRI) before surgery to ensure there is not currently a problem with the breast, and to act as a baseline for radiologists to compare future images against. The FDA and the American Society of Plastic Surgery continue to study the safety of fat-transferring procedures.

When will I see my final results after fat grafting to the breasts?

Although variable between patients, most patients will notice what fat graft has taken and what has not by about 3-4 months after the procedure. Further clouding the picture is the fact that patients also have normal postoperative swelling in the tissues, which can change the perceived volume of the breasts. This is also why Dr. Albright recommends waiting between fat grafting surgeries to make sure the patient has achieved a stable result before committing to additional surgery.

Can I pick where I take the fat from?

It depends. Dr. Albright, one of the best breast fat transfer surgeons in San Antonio, TX, prefers areas on the body that are easily accessible in one position. For example, taking fat from the upper back would require your body to be repositioned during the procedure, and this will add to the time of the procedure. Increased time can increase your risk and potentially decrease the viability of the fat, if it spends too much time out of the body before re-injecting. For these reasons, Dr. Albright does not recommend taking it from the back, unless that is the only place on your body with adequate supply. Most commonly patients will have adequate and bothersome fat deposits that are more safely accessed, like the belly or the thighs. Still have questions, come see us today to discuss.

So my fat is used instead of a regular breast implant?

Yes and no... The transferred fat is adding to the overall volume of the breast, but does not quite maintain its shape like a traditional breast implant. This is best seen at the top of the fat grafted breast. This will still have a more natural smooth transition whereas, depending on the implant, a traditional breast augmentation can have more projection and rounding of the top of the breast. Also different is the degree of volume change that can occur in one surgery. With the breast implant, you are assured of how much volume is being put into the breast versus fat grafting which has some fat volume loss after the surgery (fat that did not survive the relocation).

What are the downsides of fat grafting to the breasts?

A significant downside of fat grafting is the occasionally unpredictable survival of the grafted fat. Studies have shown and Dr. Albright’s has experience of fat transfer surgery also he supports the assertion that about one-half to two-thirds of the transferred fat will survive at one year after surgery. There are many factors that are involved with fat graft survival including thickness and quality of blood supply in the recipient breast tissue. The technique is dependent on well vascularized tissues, therefore patients with significant previous breast scars or those who actively use nicotine are not ideal candidates. Grafted fat that does not survive will be broken down overtime, and can create areas of ‘fat necrosis’ or oil cysts. As a board certified fat transfer plastic surgeons, Dr. Albright will discuss these issues with you and attempt to answer all of your questions so that you feel comfortable with this powerful technique.

What are the scars like from breast augmentation fat transfer?

The incisions on the breast are very small incisions. They are only as big as needed to get the small blunt-tip cannula (used to inject the fat) into the breast through breast fat transfer. Dr. Albright will attempt to hide the access incisions typically around the areola edge (pigmented skin around the areola), as well as the lower fold of the breast. The incisions will typically have 1-2 stitches placed at the skin level and tape or glue covering that. Although still small scars, the donor site (where the fat is taken from) will typically have slightly longer incisions than the breast because the harvesting cannula is bigger.

I've heard that there are strange suction-cups that you wear on your breasts before fat grafting, is this true?

Some plastic surgeons will apply a suction-cup-like device to the breasts before surgery in an effort to increase the blood flow into the tissues. It is thought that this may increase fat graft survival, and increase how much fat can be grafted into the breasts at one surgery. This is still somewhat controversial. Dr. Albright finds that patient's are not interested in wearing these preoperative devices due to inconvenience and cost. Additionally, Dr. Albright finds that his patients have less fat graft survival with high volume fat transfers to the breasts. Finally, if you were to transfer truly large volumes of fat to the breast, the breast will behave more like a large fatty breast... Which is to say, that the breast will likely hang over time. This is because fat does not maintain its shape like an implant.

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