The process of taking fat cells from one part of the body and injecting into the breast is natural breast augmentation or fat transfer. This is sometimes performed after breast cancer treatments like lumpectomy that affects the shape of the breast. In other cases, women opt for fat transfer to boost their self-confidence with shapely breasts. Fat transfers have known to improve sagging breasts, asymmetrical breasts or breasts that are deformed. Breast augmentation with fat is autologous breast augmentation.
Since the fat from the woman’s body is used for augmentation, an implant is not necessary. The breasts look normal and healthy after the procedure. Tiny incisions are sufficient for the fat transfer, which heal well with no ugly scars. Fat is drawn by liposuction, and the procedure holds much promise in plastic surgery. In 2007, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons commissioned a Fat Graft Task Force, which concluded that autologous fat transfer can be used for breast augmentation, but stated that “techniques and results vary, and there is a tremendous need for high quality clinical studies.” The limitations of liposuctioned fat transfer were: the amount of fat that can be transferred in a single session, and the percentage of graft survival.
BRAVA Device for Breast Augmentation
In 1999, the BRAVA device was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Drs. T J Baker and R K Khouri presented their early findings on 10 patients who had maintained nonsurgical enhancement of their breasts using their mechanical bra system. The device exerts negative pressure on the breast, which in turn stimulates breast tissue growth. All women in the study expressed satisfaction with the outcome of using the device. Further studies by the physicians that included magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and biopsies revealed that the increase in breast volume was attributable to increase in normal breast tissue.
The device consists of two semi-rigid plastic dome-like structures that are specifically sized for each patient. The dome has a border of silicone gel that allows the device to stay flush with the chest wall comfortably. The device has been used for over 10 years and demonstrated modest yet permanent augmentation after long-term use. The use of the device is painless, and if the woman experiences pain, the domes are immediately removed. Loose breasts are more mechanically compliant and show good response to the Brava expansion system.
Women choosing the Brava device must be committed to its use. A typical Brava device user is disciplined and educated and therefore compliant with its use. Using a Brava device is a two-in-one procedure, i.e. fat is removed from an undesirable area and transferred to the breasts.
Women must monitor their breasts closely for any untoward changes and seek medical attention immediately if necessary.