The Pros and Cons of Fat Grafting
I have recently seen a patient of mine in the clinic on whom I performed fat grafting to the calf. She is a young lady who was born with a congenital defect of her ankle which meant that her left leg did not grow in the same way as her right leg and her calf and ankle were much thinner on the left side. We spoke about her options which were either to perform fat grafting or use an implant. There can be particular problems with implants in the calf, particularly in terms of infection or being able to feel the edges of them and sometimes they can erode through the skin.
Of course, there are potential complications with any operation and there are complications with fat grafting too, but the main thing was that she was so young that the long-term durability of fat grafting is superior to implants and so we chose to go down this route. She needed two operations spread over several months, but she has really got a fantastic result. Her calf feels soft and supple just like the other side which is not surprising because once the fat is grafted it is normal fat. The beauty of it is that it will change with you, so that if you put on or lose weight fat cells will get bigger or smaller just as they would have done if they had stayed in their donor site, (in this case her thighs).
I love the technique of fat grafting and you can produce really exceptional results, particularly when there is a 3-dimensional defect, because the fat can be laid down in a very careful and precise pattern.
Fat Grafting for cosmetic breast surgery
Clearly most of the work we do here at the clinic is in the breast and fat grafting for the breast is not as popular as you might think.Moving fat from one area and injecting it into the breast to enhance the volume without the need for silicone implants and all the potential long-term effects they can have is surely appealing.
But the main problem for cosmetic breast augmentation is that fat grafting only produces subtle results, and by definition most people who require breast augmentation are slim and so there is usually a limitation on the amount of fat that can be removed and this then has to be split between the two breasts.
I was privileged to be invited on the Faculty for the BAAPS 2017 Plastic Surgery Conference last week and was delighted to meet Foued Hamza who practices in Paris and London and presented his results of fat grafting in the breast. He showed some really impressive results and also talked about the limitations that he has found during his extensive experience. Like any surgical procedure the pros and cons need to be discussed with the patient so that we can make an informed decision together.
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The secret to getting a happy patient…
Is to have one whose expectations are aligned with what is feasible with the surgical technique being considered. Certainly, there is no way that fat grafting can compete with implants when it comes to adding a predictable and significant volume to the breast.
The volume achievable is usually a cup size or less, and so the procedure often needs to be repeated and whilst it can sound appealing, the fact that it is harvested from the abdomen, buttocks or thighs, there is usually not a significant body contouring effect because fat harvesting is much gentler than traditional liposuction and so smaller volumes of fat are removed.
It can also be a bit uncomfortable where the fat is taken from, and there are risks of infection and fat necrosis or oil cysts, so this all needs to be put into the mix as to whether you think fat grafting to your breast might be right for you.
Because we are all specialists here at The Staiano Clinic we can talk to you about the pros and cons of each procedure and will not expect to have a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
If you would like to know more or have any questions please contact us at the Clinic, you can call us on 0121 454 3680 or email email@example.com.