Recent studies show that techniques for breast augmentation surgeries are evolving. A survey found in the latest issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) medical journal, reveals that 70% of plastic surgeons in the United State have used fat grafting techniques for breast enhancement but most believe the treatment is better suited for breast reconstruction.

Fat Grafting and Breast Surgery

Fat grafting for breast enhancement involves taking unwanted fat from another area of the body, such as the thighs or abdomen, purifying it and then transferring it into the breasts to increase their size or improve their shape. The technique has become increasingly popular over the years as more patients are opting for natural, minimally invasive treatments and what could be more natural than using the patient’s own fat?

With this treatment, patients do not have to worry about their bodies rejecting the implants or fear their implants rupturing. The tough choice of silicone or saline is also tossed out because many patients would prefer to stick to their own natural fat for augmentation purposes.

But when it comes down to actual plastic surgeon preference, different doctors have different ideas on what’s best for patients. Each type of breast implant (silicone or saline) brings its own pros and cons. Silicone implants are known for their aesthetically superior quality while saline implants offer more flexibility in size and shape. Choosing a breast implant is a very personal decision that should not be made quickly. Several factors must be taken into account, including the patient’s age, desired cup size and aesthetic goals.

Of the 456 ASPS Member Surgeons questioned in the survey, 70% explained they have used fat grafting techniques for breast augmentation. The survey also found that 88% of plastic surgeons who are currently offering fat grafting treatments for the breasts utilize this method for breast reconstruction as opposed to general augmentation alone.

The surgeons surveyed explained fat grafting is a great technique for improving the overall shape of the breast and usually employ this treatment during reconstruction surgeries, such as after lumpectomy surgeries for early-stage breast cancer patients or following mastectomy surgeries.

Furthermore, the study found that 75% of the surgeons performing fat grafting breast surgeries prefer to obtain the fat for the procedure from the abdomen.

Despite original concerns over fat grafting as a viable breast augmentation or reconstruction alternative, over the years, this method has become increasingly popular. In fact, nearly 90 percent of surgeons in the United States use fat grafting for breast reconstruction and a smaller percentage also use the method for breast enhancement.

Still, prospective breast augmentation and breast reconstruction patients should always research all the various treatments on their own before deciding on one specific method. Some patients may come into a plastic surgery consultation with a preconceived notion of which type of implant would be better, when in reality, another method might be better suited to their body and breast type as well as for their overall health and cosmetic goals.

Dr. David Shafer has performed countless breast augmentation and reconstruction treatments using various methods and always thoroughly examines patients in order to offer the best advice as far as implant filling and position. If you have considered undergoing a cosmetic or reconstructive breast procedure in New York, consult with Dr. Shafer to determine the method that is ideal for you in order to achieve optimal and beautiful results.