How Long Does Fat Transfer Last? Fat Transfer To Breast or BBL
Written by Fiza Bashir
31 August 2022
Fat transfer is a surgical procedure in which fat is liposuctioned from undesired areas, and is then injected into a desired area to reshape, increase size, and add contour. While this procedure is most commonly associated with the Brazilian Butt Lift, a breast augmentation using fat transfer is also safe and effective way to achieve a more natural-looking breast.
Fat grafting is a procedure that uses healthy tissue taken from another area of the body (usually the abdomen, thigh or buttocks) by using a small device called a cannula. The extracted fat is then prepared using special equipment that separates the fat from any fluids and sterilises the fat. The fat is then strategically injected into the breasts through small, thin incisions made in the skin. The fat cells are then redistributed in the breasts, resulting in increased size, shape, and volume. This surgery takes approx. 2-3 hours.
Breast augmentation with fat transfer is an excellent option for patients who want a natural-looking result. Unlike the conventional breast augmentation surgery, which removes all the fatty tissue below the skin’s surface, fat transfer preserves the existing fat layer and simply transfers it to the desired location. This method is also much less risky than a breast augmentation surgery with a quicker recovery time, because it doesn’t require trauma to the surrounding skin. And while SixSurgery has developed the Tiny Scar Breast Augmentation to virtually eliminate the appearance of scars, fat transfer scars are even smaller which is ideal for scar averse patients.
Breast augmentation fat transfer offers patients a method to increase breast size and shape without resorting to artificial/foreign material such as breast implants that can potentially cause risk of rejection. The use of the patient's own fat provides a natural looking breast and the patient may lose a few inches from the other areas where fat was removed. This procedure is two procedures in one therefore while your breasts are enhanced, other liposuctioned areas of your body are slimmed.
This procedure requires minimal downtime. The treated areas will probably be swollen and bruised for a few weeks. Patients are advised not to put any pressure on the breasts for a minimum of 2 weeks, however can return to normal routine and activities after a few days. It can take a few months to see the final results, as overtime the breast will become naturally soft.
The potential side effects after a breast augmentation fat transfer:
Fat transfer results are permanent however, there is the exception that not all fat cells survive. With all fat transfer procedures, some of the fat that is extracted and transferred will die within the first couple of days. Between 30%-70% of the fat injected can dissolve within the first couple of weeks of the procedure that is why patients are advised to deter from putting pressure on breast, sleep on your back and wear loose clothing to prevent compressing the healthy fat and ensure fat cell survival. Fat dissolving after a fat transfer varies from patient to patient. Some may have no visible decrease in breast size and others may need additional procedures to enhance fat.
Why can't you just inject more fat to compensate for potential loss/death of fat cells?
This is not encouraged as it can prevent adequate blood supply from reaching to the new fat tissue which will lead to fat cell death.
It is crucial to inquire about fat cell survival to your surgeon and follow proper postoperative guidelines. The skill of the surgeon is incredibly important when it comes to longevity of the fat cells. The more skilled they are and the better they understand the technique can determine the results; how fat is harvested, purified and inserted are factors that can influence the survival of the fat cells.
After a 1 month period, any fat that does not dissolve after will remain viable indefinitely once they have established themselves with new blood vessels. However, the size of fat cells is subject to change over time due to weight fluctuation. Analogous to normal fat cells, if patients lose or gain weight they may notice a decrease or increase in their breast size.
Before seeking a fat transfer to the breast, It is recommended that patients wait to undergo a fat transfer to the breast until they have reached a healthy and consistent weight. Additionally, it is not advised that women looking to have children undergo a breast augmentation fat transfer as the weight fluctuation associated with pregnancy can compromise their results.