What Are The Risks Of Fat Injection Breast Augmentation?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I saw you back in July and was inquiring about Saddlebag removal. We also discussed Fat Grafting my breasts. Definitely, want to remove the saddle bags. I have a couple questions about the Grafting.

 I understand it’s not a guarantee that it will stick, but based on your experience:

1. Have you performed this several times?

2. Is there a risk of them being uneven?

3. Is there any discoloration?

4. What would be the major risks of performing this procedure?

5. What’s the recovery time?

Fat Injection Breast Augmentation Dr Barry Eplpey IndianapolisA: Good to hear from you again. In answer to your questions about fat injection breast augmentation (FIBA):

1) Fat grafting to the breasts has become more common in the past five years and is a safe method of breast augmentation that is now formally acknowledged by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in their position paper on the procedure published last year.

2) I do perform FIBA in properly selected patients. A properly selected patient fulfills the following criteria:

a) Absolutely opposed to the use of breast implants

b) Is accepting of a modest 1/2 cup to maybe full cup size breast increase with maximal fat take

c) Has reasonable donor fat areas from which to harvest (enough to make the procedure worthwhile)

d) Is accepting that fat grafting by injection has unpredictable volume retention (outcome can not be assured)

3) It has been my experience that about 50% or less of the fat injectate into the breasts persists. Volume retention is the main risk, not unevenness or lumps.

The real question in your case is whether the amount of fat harvested from your saddle bags alone is sufficient for a FIBA procedure. The answer is probably not. The only reason to do it in your case is because the fat is otherwise going to be thrown away and maybe 1/4 to 1/3 cup size increase may be better than where you are now. But if your goal is one to two cups sizes bigger, then implants are the only options to achieve that goal.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana