The interest in using a women’s fat to augment her breast is not a new one. Breast augmentation using fat origated more than 100 years ago. Only in the past decade has fat injection achieved a level of success that it could be a reliable option for breast enlargement. Several issues for fat injection breast augmentation will still persist for a while. Fat taken from the body needs to be put back into the body in a relative short time frame and needs to be handled well. This fragile tissue then needs be placed next to a blood supply to get oxygen. This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of fat injection anywhere in the body. Fat injection into the face is typically well tolerated because the face so vascular. The buttock has large muscle groups so the fat needs to be placed next to the muscle to get oxygen. Since there is so much muscle there can be large amounts of fat placed and it tends to do well. But there is still fat loss secondary to not being close enough to the muscle/oxygen.
The breast is different because the breast gland itself is not well vascularized and therefore large amounts of fat can not be placed and expected to survive. So only relatively small amounts of fat can be placed. Most women would not find the amount of enlargement would be worth the surgical time and expense to have this done. Another large concern is that of breast cancer surveillance. Some worry that the fat that does not survive may obscure a mammogram. Currently the best use of fat in breast enhancement is to refine a previous breast augmentation (using breast implants), refine a breast reconstruction or congenital deformity. We are currently doing research into determining if the breast cancer surveillance concerns will be significant. At present, the early research suggests that when fat injection into the breast is done conservatively and correctly, there in no significant change in mammograms. The thinner, athletic woman only seeking a modest ‘B cup’ is an ideal candidate for the breast enlargement using fat. A safe volume increase will only be in the mid 200 cc range.