Fat Injections for Breast Augmentation

Q: Hello, I have a few questions.I’m interested in getting my leftover fat from my entire body put into my boobs. I’d like to get my bmi to be just at 18, although it is at a 20 right now. I was just wondering if anyone would be willing to even work with me since I weigh around 115 and am 5’3″.

A: Breast augmentation using injectable fat rather than a synthetic implant remains in an ‘experimental’ or an investigative phase currently. Since it does not involve an implant and uses your own natural tissue, it is understandable to think that it is  a safer and perhaps better procedure.

While fat may be natural, it is not a predictable implant material particularly in the volumes needed for breast augmentation. No standard techniques exist for fat preparation or injection methods and very different results can occur in various hands. At the least, much if not all of the fat can be absorbed rendering it a waste of time. At the worst, the fat may make the breast lumpy with cyst formations or develop sterile pools of liquid fat. What impact fat injections have on mammogram imaging and breast cancer detection remains unknown and not studied.

While much of this discussion sounds negative, the concept of using fat for breast augmentation has appeal and work is ongoing in this area. The only FDA-approved clinical trial that I know of is with the BRAVA system in which injectable fat is stimulated after surgery with an external low-level suction device.  Otherwise, any clinical work that is being done is occurring in an independent fashion as an individual-precribed surgery amongst a handful of practitioners.

With the low BMI and body fat that this patient has, she would not be a good candidate for the procedure even if it was proven and widely used. A simple breast implant is so much easier and more predictable that fat injections, which for now, remain as a more complicated and morbid approach for breast augmentation.

Dr. Barry Eppley