Breast implants have been used safely for many years. However, for those of you who are still worried about placing a foreign object into your breasts, there is an alternative. Your fat can be harvested from one area of your body and then injected into your breasts for enhancement. This is known as natural breast augmentation, natural breast augmentation, fat transfer to the breasts, or fat grafting to the breasts. There are some limitations, but this is a great alternative for women who absolutely do not want breast implants and who only want to be half a cup to one cup size larger.

Which is better – natural breast augmentation or breast augmentation with implants?

Breast augmentation with implants is the current standard of care when it comes to breast augmentation. The important thing to note before considering using your own fat for your breast augmentation is that natural breast augmentation results are less predictable than using breast implants. Approximately 50-70 percent of the fat transferred to your breasts will survive the surgical process. This means 30-50 percent will not survive and will be resorbed by your body. With natural breast augmentation, you’re limited to half of a cup to 1 cup size increase, at the most. This means you may need to have the procedure done more than once to get your desired size increase. In contrast, breast implant size remains stable throughout your lifetime with breast implants. Natural breast augmentation will fluctuate with your weight. Finally, breast augmentation with implants will tend to give a larger, fuller, higher look. Natural breast augmentation will generally produce less fullness and a more subtle enlargement.

Who is a good candidate for natural breast augmentation?

You should be healthy without any major health conditions and at least 18 years old. You should not be pregnant, currently nursing or have nursed in the last 6 months. Dr. Odunze-Geers will go over your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for the surgery. Additionally you must have enough fat to transfer to your breasts and your breasts must have some stretch in order to have enough space to receive the injected fat. This stretch usually comes from the breast changes that occur with breastfeeding or weight fluctuation.

How long does natural breast augmentation surgery take?

The procedure will take approximately 2-4 hours depending on how much liposuction you want done at the time of your natural breast augmentation.  Dr. Odunze-Geers will give you an expected timeframe for your specific procedure.

Is natural breast augmentation an inpatient or outpatient procedure?

Natural breast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis at the surgical center under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia with sedation. Someone must drive you home and be available to care for you for the first 24 hours.

How long is the recovery like after natural breast augmentation?

The majority of your soreness will improve over one week. You will have swelling in the first 6 weeks that will make your breasts appear bigger than the final result. You will have to wear a surgical bra with no underwire for 6 weeks after surgery. At around 6 weeks, you can be measured for new bras! For the first 6-8 weeks after natural breast augmentation, you cannot put any pressure on the breasts. This means no tight bras or clothing and no sleeping on your stomach. Placing pressure on your newly transplanted fat will misshape the fat and will cut off the circulation to the fat, ruining your results.

Do the results of natural breast augmentation last forever?

Yes and no. The fat that survives the surgical process is there forever. However, your breasts may fluctuate in size with your weight after natural breast augmentation. Lose weight and your breasts will get smaller, gain weight and your breasts will get bigger. Additionally, gravity, pregnancy, weight fluctuation, and aging will change the appearance of your breasts. Additional surgery will likely be necessary in the future to maintain the look of the breasts.

Is natural breast augmentation safe?

At the present time, there does not appear to be any evidence that conclusively shows that natural breast augmentation poses any significant danger, including causing breast cancer.   

What are the possible complications of natural breast augmentation?

Possible complications for natural breast augmentation include but are not limited to seroma, hematoma, bleeding, infection, fat lumps, and changes to your mammogram necessitating more follow-up than what is routine, including additional breast imaging (ultrasound and MRI) and breast biopsies.

Is natural breast augmentation a one-time surgery?

It is important to realize that natural breast augmentation may not be a one-time surgery for you. Additional fat may need to be added at a later date to achieve the enhancement your seeking. This is because only so much fat can be placed into the breasts during one surgery and also because 30-50 percent of the fat injected into the breast will not survive.

Can natural breast augmentation be done at the same time as other procedures?

Natural breast augmentation can be performed in conjunction with a breast lift, otherwise known as a mastopexy, if your breasts need to be lifted in addition to increasing their volume. Natural breast augmentation can also be combined with a tummy tuck. This combination is known as a mommy makeover. Various other procedures can be combined with your natural breast augmentation. During your consultation with Dr. Odunze-Geers, she will tailor a surgical plan specific to your needs.