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Fat Transfer Advances Increase Breast Augmentation Options

Many plastic surgeons in Albany and throughout the nation are discussing the increased use of fat grafting for cosmetic breast surgery. Plastic surgeon Jeffrey Rockmore, M.D., says the procedure can complement breast augmentation with implants.

Albany, New York (February 2014) – Plastic surgeon Jeffrey Rockmore, M.D., says he's noticed that breast augmentation using fat grafting has recently gotten a lot of attention from plastic surgeons, but the Albany specialist cautions that most women will still get better results with breast implants.

"There will continue to be research in fat grafting for breast augmentation throughout 2014," Dr. Rockmore says. "While advances are being made, the technique is still limited. Only a fraction of the women who want breast augmentation will benefit."

That research involves exploring better techniques for harvesting and processing fat, which a surgeon takes from a patient's body using liposuction before being injecting it into the breasts. The abdomen, thighs, and buttocks are the primary donor sites for fat tissue used in cosmetic fat grafting.

In fact, one of the limitations of fat grafting breast augmentation, the plastic surgeon in Albany says, is that many women don't have enough fat to significantly increase their bust size.

"Because a large percentage of the harvested fat isn't viable," Dr. Rockmore says, "breast augmentation using fat grafting is typically limited to patients who only want to increase the size of their breasts by 1 bra cup size. In my experience, that's a relatively small number of women."

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery echoes Dr. Rockmore's conservative approach to fat grafting for breast enhancement surgery in a position statement.

"Fat grafting to the breast is showing promising results and may become a popular breast augmentation procedure," the ASAPS statement says. "We recommend that patients meet with their board-certified plastic surgeon and discuss the most recent research and options."

Fat grafting for cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery is already a valuable tool, Dr. Rockmore says. It's increasingly used during reconstruction surgery for breast cancer patients who have undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy, as they often don't need as much volume added as augmentation patients. Fat grafting is also a good option for reconstruction patients because it can be done at the same time as cancer treatments such as radiation therapy, which isn't always the case with reconstruction involving breast implants.

"Combining fat transfer with breast implants is also already very effective," Dr. Rockmore says. "Fat can be used to fill in the areas around the implants to create natural-looking contours."

Dr. Rockmore added that he expects fat transfer techniques to continue to improve in coming years and that patients should be sure to seek board-certified plastic surgeons if they are interested in a fat grafting procedure.

Dr. Jeffrey Rockmore approaches plastic surgery with precision and artistic vision to reveal each patient's unique beauty. To get started, request a free consultation using his online form or call his office at (518) 438-0505.

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