Recently, there has been a great deal of media attention given to "natural" breast augmentation, that is, breast augmentation performed using your own fat, often described as fat grafting. The fat is extracted from areas where you have unwanted fat deposits, then is purified and injected into your breasts to increase their size and improve their shape. This breast augmentation technique has been in use by some plastic surgeons since the 1980s, but until recently the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) was explicitly against the procedure. However, in 2009, a task force commissioned by the ASPS came back with some more moderate recommendations about breast augmentation using fat grafting. The task force said there was no reason it should not be allowed, with one caution. There was at the time no research to determine whether the grafted fat would leave behind calcified deposits that may be hard to distinguish from precancerous growths on a mammogram. Since then, two studies have reported conflicting information on the subject, so the data is still up in the air. However, there are some things to be aware of before you have "natural" breast augmentation:
- The success of the procedure varies widely from surgeon to surgeon, for reasons that are poorly understood.
- Even with a highly successful surgeon, it may take up to three procedures to give you the results you desire.
- Each unsuccessful treatment is likely to leave your breasts lumpy or poorly-shaped.
- At this time, fat grafting cannot give you the amount of augmentation that you can achieve with even a relatively small breast implant.
Although natural breast augmentation sounds like a dream come true, the reality is that this is a technique still in its infancy. It may be a decade or more before plastic surgeons know how to use it to full effect. If you would like to learn more about your breast augmentation options in Philadelphia, please contact board-certified plastic Dr. David A. Bottger to schedule your consultation today.