Q: Dr. Eppley, Do you ever harvest fat from the pubic area for breast inhancement? I had smart lipo done on my abdomen and bra roll area. I have excess fat in the area of my pubic bone and inner thighs. I also have a small hump on my back below my neck. I am a young 64. I have execised and taken care of my body. My breasts are ok, they just need some filling out on the top to give me more cleavage.I have good elasticity. I also had smart lipo on my breasts about 10 months ago. They have lifted 2cm. I would be interested in an arm lift in the future.
A:When it comes to getting fat injections placed elsewhere in the body, particularly for the breasts which will require some volume, you get it wherever you can. The pubic area can be a rich site for fat often offering as much as 100cc of good fat. That area combined with your inner thigh and knees may be just enough to get at least 200cc of concentrated fat for each breast. The arms would be another potential site of harvest since you may be gettings armlifts in the future anyway (as you have mentioned) and creating some skin laxity is not a concern.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dear Dr. Eppley, my breasts are slightly droopy and I want them to be more perky. I thought I needed a lift but one doctor that I consulted with said that I needed more volume in my breast instead of a lift. He said this could be done with an implant or fat injections. The length between my nipple to sternal notch is 22.5 cm. Should I have breast lift or breast augmentation? If augmentation is best, which treatment is better an implant or fat injections?
A: The key to knowing whether a lift or the addition of volume can make the breast look better depends on the position of the nipples. If it sits above the lower breast fold, then volume is the answer. While I do not know exactly what your breasts look like, knowing that the distance from your nipples to the sternal notch is only 22 cms tells me that your nipples are definitely above the inframamammary folds. That is essentially a completely normal or ideal nipple position. (the normal range is 18 to 22 cms depending in the length of one’s torso)
Since more breast volume is the answer, the question of whether it can be done with an implant or fat injections becomes very relevant. The use of fat injections for augmentation of a variety of body areas has become very popular in plastic surgery recently. While it is widely accepted for volume augmentation of the face and buttocks, its use in the breast is currently controversial. This is because there already exists an augmentation method that works well and is very reliable, an implant. For overall breast augmentation, an implant works better, is a one-step procedure, and will cost less. If there is just one area of the breast that needs filled in, then fat injections becomes the preferred treatment.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: I have read about fat injections to the breast but am concerned that it won’t give me enough of a cup increase. In my reading it says that the average increase in volume is around 100cc. Is that only a 1/2 cup increase. I have also read that an external suction device can be used with fat injections to get a better result, is this a hoax?
A: A 100 to 200 ml improvement in breast size for most women (depends on what they have to start with and how wide their breast base diameter is) will only be a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup at best. You have to remember that much of fat breast augmentation work currently comes from Japan where small breasts (B cup) is the desired size by their cultural standards. That is why fat injections may be more ‘successful’ in this population. In the American population, such small breast size increases would not be considered enough. I have never placed a breast implant that was 200ml or smaller. Occasionally a 250ml to 275ml breast implant may be used but this is very uncommon. Most American breast augmentations are in the 300 to 375cc range.
The concept of external suction on the breasts to increase breast size is not a hoax. It is an actual device known as the Brava system. It has been shown to increase breast in the range of a 1/2 cup or more. The theoretical science is that pulling on the breast tissue stimulates fat or stem cell replication or growth. It is currently being studied in combination with fat injections to the breast. Combining the two makes biologic sense and I would suspect that their combined use is better than either one alone.
Dr. Barry Eppley