Keeping your breasts “perky” after extreme weight loss or post-pregnancy can be tricky and most of all hard. Patients who’ve lost around 40+ kilos or have given birth sometimes suffer not only from loose, hanging skin in their abdominal region, but also from significant breast shrinkage. For prospective patients who are already considering tummy tuck surgery, Dr Beldholm can also use some of the patient’s own fat to naturally enhance the appearance of the breasts.
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What causes volume loss in breasts?
Huge fluctuations in weight can cause unnecessary stretching of the breasts and volume loss. As a person gains weight, the skin around the breasts expands to accommodate the extra fat. When a person loses weight either through dieting, childbirth or bariatric surgery, this can be stressful to the body’s collagen and elastin–both which support breast firmness. As a result, the skin around the breasts can easily lose its elasticity. When this occurs, some women are not only left with sagging breasts, but some notice that their breasts also seem “empty” or lack volume.
A natural solution
For woman seeking a cosmetic solution to improve the appearance of their breasts, breast augmentation surgery is often an effective solution. During surgery, silicone or saline implants are inserted into a woman’s breasts to make them fuller. Implants alone, however, do not always correct sagging. That’s why breast lift surgery may also be necessary.
For patients already pursuing abdominoplasty and are also interested in improving the look and feel of their breasts, they are options available that don’t include the insertion of implants. There is actually a more natural way to increase breast size by using a patient’s own body fat.
Breast augmentation with fat injections
Increasing a patient’s breast size with fat injections is only possible for women who have excess fat in another body area that can be collected and then injected into the breasts. For patients who are already undergoing tummy tuck surgery, the procedure involves the following steps:
- During abdominoplasty, Dr Beldholm collects the patient’s fat from the abdominal region through VASER liposculpture.
- He then injects around 250 mL of fat into the patient’s breasts using very small incisions. This typically does not result in any long term scarring.
- Following the fat injection, patients can expect to see their breast size increase by one cup.
- The operation is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. When combined with abdominoplasty, this increases a patient’s total surgery time by about one hour.
For women who want their breasts to complement their tummy tuck and prefer a more natural ways of doing so, fat injections offer a perfect solution. Other benefits include:
- Long term results
- A natural, soft feel following enlargement
- Virtually scarless
- Less invasive because requires no implants
- Breast enlargement that is subtle
As with most cosmetic procedures, there are both pros and cons. Each patient must seriously consider both prior to having any type of surgery. Disadvantages of fat transfer breast augmentation include:
- Enlargement is limited to about one cup size only
- Fat injections do not lift the breasts. So for patients who suffer from sagging, they may still require a breast lift
- There is a small chance that the fat can be reabsorbed by the body
- While rare, there are some health risks such as: the potential for cysts, infection and microcalcification
Weight loss patients and women who’ve given birth may be candidates for fat transfer breast augmentation if they meet the following conditions:
- They do not suffer from significant breast sagging
- They have reasonable expectations and fully understand the advantages and disadvantages
- Patients who realise that the results are subtle–not dramatic
- Patients have enough fat that can be collected from the surgical location. There is enough fat to harvest from a donor site