Breast Implants vs. Fat Transfer - Which is Right for You?
Breast augmentation is one of the most requested cosmetic procedures across America. Patients undergo breast surgery for several reasons and are often weighing up between breast implants and fat transfers.
It's essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both before making an informed choice with the help of a qualified surgeon.
Understanding the difference between breast implants vs. fat transfer
Breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with either silicone or saline and carefully inserted into the breast. With implants, patients can be specific about their desired shape and size, with a range of options currently on the market.
Alternatively, fat transfer combines liposuction and breast augmentation in one. Liposuction is performed on any problem areas, such as the inner thighs, abdomen, buttocks, and hips, to remove unwanted fat before it is processed into a liquid and injected into the breasts.
Which is better, breast implants or fat transfer?
Many factors should weigh into your decision between breast implants vs. fat transfer, such as aesthetic goals, anatomy, and price point.
Fat Transfer to Breast Pros and Cons
Realistically, a fat transfer is an ideal choice for anyone wanting to address uneven or lumpy breasts, post-lumpectomy distortion, or seek a small increase in size (1 cup or less).
● Using your body fat can simultaneously increase breast size and improve the body's curves
● Limited scarring
● Fat is considered the safest and most natural filling option
● Little risk of allergic reaction
● Breast and nipple sensation should not be hindered
● Limited maintenance compared to breast implants
● No risk of rippling or long-term breast thinning
● Breasts look and feel incredibly natural
● Minimally invasive, meaning you can get back on your feet faster.
● Not ideal for anyone seeking a considerable enhancement
● Fat cells can be absorbed into the body, decreasing breast size over time
● Risk of lumps and nodules in the breasts
● Chance that the fat cells will die (known as necrosis) and calcify into cysts that may hinder mammogram clarity
● Difficult to remove and reshape the fat after surgery
● Less reliable in patients that have previously undergone radiation treatment
● Generally costs more than implants
● Relatively new procedure with limited research on its effectiveness and long term viability
● Breasts may become more susceptible to the effects of aging.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Risks
The following risks should be discussed with your surgeon before making a decision:
● Potential for cysts and microcalcification
● The possibility that fat cells will migrate out of the breasts
● Necrosis of fat cells
In addition to these risks, the limited research on the effects of weight loss and weight gain leads many to wonder: Does fat transfer to breasts last? As a general rule of thumb, your breasts will be the largest in the initial days after surgery and will slowly shrink over the next three months before reaching their permanent size and shape.
Breast Implant Pros and Cons
Implants are an excellent option for those over 18 looking to increase the size and shape of their breasts. Implants can also be combined with other surgeries to combat sagging or deflated breasts.
● Implants are highly reliable, and are backed by decades of research and use by medical experts across the globe
● Implants allow patients to dictate their preferred breast shape and size, with accurate post-surgery results
● Current breast implants on the market are incredibly safe
● No need for surgery on other parts of the body
● Easy to remove implants if necessary
● Cheaper than fat transfer
● Results lasting anywhere from 10 - 15 years
Disadvantages and risks
● Implants come with the risk of rupture, leaks, and rippling
● Generally need to be replaced in the patient's lifetime
● Risk of capsular contracture
● While silicone and saline are safe, they are not as safe as the body’s natural fat
● Incisions under the crest, armpit, or around the areola can leave visible scars
Find a Breast Augmentation Specialist
Each breast augmentation is unique, and your decision will ultimately come down to your goals and anatomy. Take some time to research, and ask your surgeon for examples of implants vs. fat transfer breast augmentation results.
At Burbank Plastic Surgery, our team of experts will help guide you through every step in your breast augmentation journey. Book a consultation to start the process today.