The Natural Boob Job: Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
Going under the knife has long been the most reliable way to really increase the size of your breasts but what about alternative implant-free options?
Fat transfer breast augmentation is growing in popularity as it eliminates the need for implants by recyling fat from one part of your body to increase the size of your breasts.
Fat transfer breast augmentation might sound like the ideal boob job - redistributing fat from your belly, legs or bum to the one place that you really want it - your breasts, but is it all that simple? And what kind of result can you expect from a fat transfer breast augmentation?
We spoke to cosmetic consultant and all round plastic surgery guru Wendy Lewis, aka The Knife Coach, to find out more about this treatment and if it really works.
What is a fat transfer breast augmentation?
A fat transfer breast augmentation essentially uses liposuction to take fat from other parts of your body and inject it into your breasts.
While fat transfer boob jobs are not as mainstream as implant methods they do offer women who want a natural-looking enlargement an option that's without the risks posed by implants (rupture, leaks, shifting).
Wendy Lewis says: "A fat transfer breast augmentation has different risks to implants, with implants you have different materials that can be used. Saline is less risky than silicone gel, but It's important to remember that silicone gel is one of the most studied medical devices in history and is FDA approved.
The alternative is to use your own fat but typically those wanting a breast augmentation are slim women and a lot of women aren't a candidate for it. You need a lot of fat to make your breasts larger and this is typically taken from the thighs, the hips and the tummy."
What are the benefits?
While not everyone is an ideal candidate for fat transfer breast augmentation, it does have several benefits.
Wendy says: "More and more doctors are considering fat transfer breast augmentation as a safe alternative and it can help in cases where an implant is not necessary.
For example it can be great for breast reconstruction if someone has had a lumpectomy, or for correcting defects like uneven breasts."
It's also a good alternative for women who want a subtle augmentation rather than going up several sizes, plus it has the benefit of not introducing any foreign material into the body.
What about the downsides?
If you're thinking 'Great - bigger boobs, smaller bum' then hold your horses. While this does sound like a nice exchange it does mean that you have the risks of liposuction to consider when thinking about this treatment.
These can include scarring, bruising and saggy skin.
Other downsides include the amount of fat that is required to do the transfer - some people just don't have enough! Plus the results are only temporary and not as dramatic as breast implants.
What about results?
A fat transfer breast augmentation will give you visible results, but this is not the right procedure for a large increase in cup size.
Fat transfer breast augmentation should give you a softer more natural shape, but unlike an implant the fat will end up being reabsorbed by the body and your boobs will decrease in size over time.
This reabsorption of the fat could lead to returning to your 'before-boobs' or at worst giving an uneven appearance. Top ups may be necessary but some clinics are able to freeze any fat from the initial liposuction for use in the future.
The treatment has come under fire for misleading patients in terms of the kinds of results they can expect, and there is some evidence that injecting fat into the breast can sometimes cause calicified lumps which can harden and some sources suggest this reinjected fat can also lead to cysts.
How much does it cost?
In the UK the cost of a fat transfer breast augmentation can vary between £3000 to £8000, but as always before commiting to a treatment make sure you're going with a surgeon you can trust.