When discussing breast augmentation it is important to understand your goals, your options and what is achievable.
The most common menthod of breast augmentation is with the use of breast implants. However, this is not the only option. The other option is fat transfer. This is a procedure whereby fat is liposucked from an unwanted location and then reinjected within the breast to improve its appearance.
Sounds simple, so why isnt everyone doing it?
Well there are a anumber of reasons. I think the fat transfer procedure is a good options for people who have nice breast to start with and only really want to increase the size up to a moderate amount. This is because fat transfer cannot improve the shape of the breast, nor change the breast footprint on the chest wall, both of which are extremely important in creating a pleasing outcome.
Furthermore, the way the fat integrates into the new environment that it is been placed, varies significantly on the technique used and is not always predictable, particualrly in high volume fat transfers. Depending on technique roughly betweeen 40-60% of transfered fat will actually survive, with the rest being reabsorbed or forming clumps of hard lumps called fat necrosis (again..this is where technique is very importnant).
For these reasons and others, fat transfer by itself is not the mainstay of breast augmentation for most people (but can be utilised selectively). We use it in conjunction with implants a lot, as well as in oncoplastic breast surgery to improve defects from previous surgeries or improve reconstructions, but on its own, I believe it has limited utlity for now.
However, as technique and technologies improve and our undernstanding of what hapens to this fat in long term gets better as well, we may see this become the main approach for breast augmentation at some point.
A final point on the cost. Often these procedures require multiple operations (anywhere between 2-4) to achieve the right results and the costs of these amount to similar costs for breast augmentation with implants in the end.
Hope this helps.
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