What is Lipotransfer?
Lipotransfer for breasts is a surgical procedure in which fat from fat-rich parts of your body such as the thighs, buttock, or abdomen, is extracted through liposuction and injected into your breasts to make them look larger or firmer. Thus, lipotransfer not only shapes your breast but also the other part of your body from where the fat originated. However, it should be noted that lipotransfer only offers a slight increase in breast volume as compared to artificial breast implants.
Some advantages of lipotransfer over breast implant surgery include:
- Less invasive
- Quicker recovery and discharge
- Eliminates certain risks associated with breast implants such as implant displacement, capsular contracture or shrinkage, infection, and tissue necrosis
- Improves overall physical appearance
- Enhances self-esteem and confidence
What are the Indications for Lipotransfer?
Lipotransfer is recommended to improve the appearance of your breasts in those who either do not prefer an artificial implant or have a medical reason not to get one.
You are a good candidate for lipotransfer if you have:
- Small breasts
- Sagging breasts due to breastfeeding, pregnancy, or developmental defect
- Changes in breast shape or appearance due to weight gain, weight loss or aging
- Asymmetrical breasts
Pre-Surgical Preparation for Lipotransfer
Pre-surgical preparation for lipotransfer includes the following:
- A thorough examination by your surgeon to check for any medical issues that need to be addressed prior to the procedure.
- You may be required to obtain a mammogram to help detect any breast abnormalities.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption before and after the procedure for a specified period of time, as this may hamper proper healing and increase your chances of areolar or nipple damage, tissue necrosis, and other complications.
- You will also be given other instructions related to diet and lifestyle changes to ensure success following the lipotransfer.
Lipotransfer can be performed either in an outpatient or hospital setting. You are placed on the operating table in the supine position on your back. The choice of either local or general anesthesia is decided by the surgeon based on the candidate’s age, health, and medical history.
The donor site is first identified and marked - usually the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks - and a special needle and syringe are used to aspirate or remove fat from the deeper fatty layers. This section of the procedure is known as liposuction.
The aspirated fat tissues are centrifuged to separate the fat cells from other body fluids. This processed fat is re-injected into the breast muscles and fatty layers to correct any contour deficits. The fat cells are injected in such a way that blood supply is easily available for their survival.
Any incisions are closed and covered with waterproof tape.
Recovery and Post-Operative Care for Lipotransfer
Most people can go home the same day after the procedure if no complications are noted. The common postoperative care instructions and recovery include:
- You need to arrange for someone to drive you home as you will not be able to drive yourself.
- You may notice sensitivity, tenderness, swelling, and bruising over the breasts treated with lipotransfer. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications are provided as needed.
- Your physician will also provide you with antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
- Refrain from any upper-body physical activity and any strenuous activities for 4 to 6 weeks to promote healing.
- You may bathe 24 hours after the lipotransfer.
- Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on diet, wound care and the type of bra to be worn after the procedure.
- A compression garment is recommended for 2 to 3 weeks after the procedure to promote healing.
- You may need to take 5 to 7 days off work to facilitate recovery.
- You will be able to resume normal activities within a week or two but may have certain activity restrictions.
A periodic follow-up appointment will be scheduled to monitor your overall progress.