Stephen McCulley, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon. MBChb, FCS(SA)Plast, FRCS(plast)

Fat injections in the breast are used for both breast enlargements (augmentation) and breast asymmetry

Why Choose To Have Fat Injections In The Breast?
This procedure improves the shape, fullness or volume of the breast by injecting the patients own fat into the area. This treatment, for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes, can also be used in the face. Please click here for further information.

Treatment for the breast can be for both breast augmentation and breast asymmetry (differing breast sizes). It is an excellent form of treatment for defects or ‘depressions’ following breast cancer removal.

The results of this treatment are permanent, however the amount of fat that permanently survives can be unpredictable. Usually 50% of the injected fat survives and therefore the treatment may require repetition in order to achieve the desired results.

Procedure In Brief
The procedure will be carried as a day-case under local or general anaesthetic depending on the size of the area to be treated. The fat is removed from the thigh or abdomen by Liposuction. After extraction, the fat is specially prepared and re-injected into the breast using small needles. There are virtually no scars.

Breast Enlargement (Augmention) With Fat Injection
The procedure can permanently change the breast size and, is particularly ideal if the patient is already considering investing in having Liposuction of the thighs or abdomen. The advantage of this treatment as opposed to having breast implants, is that the breast will feel very natural.  Also, they will not require the repeat operations that implants do when they inevitably need to be changed over time.

It is important to understand that the fat is injected under the skin and  breast and not actually into the breast tissue itself. This is to prevent any changes to the appearance of the breast on future scans or X-rays in the future. The scars upon the breast are extremely small and are not noticeable over time. There are small 3-4mm scars for the liposuction on the tummy or thighs.

Large volume changes to the breast is not achievable in one operation. Approximately one bra cup change can be reached in one operation. Repeat surgery is feasible if wanted. As with all fat injections, the survival of the fat in the first few months following the procedure is unpredictable. It varies between 30-80% (average 50%) of the fat injected. The fat that remains after 3-4 months is likely to be permanent.

Medicines
A full medical history will be obtained before any surgery. As a precaution, do not take any over the counter medicines or herbal remedies prior to surgery or for 3 days following. Also avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and Voltarol based tablets. It would be useful to bring a list of any prescribed medications to your pre-op assessment.

Smoking
If you are a smoker, try and stop around the time of the procedure as it can reduce the chances of complications.

Top

Recovering from Fat Injections

Length Of Surgery
The procedure will take approximately xx-xx depending upon the technique.

Length Of Stay In Hospital
Usually a day case.

Recovery
The breasts will be swollen and bruised for about 5-7 days; the area that has had the Liposuction (thighs or abdomen) will also take the same time to recover.

Bras
You should bring a soft (non underwired) sports bra in the planned new cup size into hospital with you. The bra should feel comfortable, whilst still providing support. You will need to have two bras at home that can be worn on rotation. The chest measurement does not usually change but can reduce by 1-2 inches. You will be able to wear an underwired bra after 8 weeks; this should be properly fitted to your new shape and size.

Time Off Work And Socialising
Patients can expect to take 5-7 days off work while the breasts and thigh/abdomen recover. Patients should be able to return to normal activity in 2-4 weeks.

Time To Exercise
Patients should avoid strenuous exercise until fully recovered.

Driving
Patients should avoid driving until they are completely free of pain and restriction, and be able to confidently perform an emergency stop. This is to ensure they will be covered by their insurance policy. It may take up to two weeks to recover sufficiently.

Potential Complications With Fat Injections

This is a routine procedure that is a great success for the vast majority of patients. However, as with any procedure, it is very important you understand what can go wrong as well as right. The potential complications are listed below, most of which would only occur if the product was to be injected into the wrong place.

  • Lumps and cysts: Some of the injected fat has a small chance of developing into a small lump or cyst. Whilst this is not dangerous, it could potentially appear in a mammogram in future X-rays - and therefore be a cause for concern before being properly identified. However, research evidence does show that any small cysts are usually very identifiable as such.
  • Breast cancer: There is no evidence to suggest that live fat being injected into the breast causes any cancer changes, although it does remain a debate and so included here. Stephen McCulley injects the fat under the skin and breast and not directly into the breast itself further minimising the risks of any effects on the breast tissue itself.
  • Bleeding or infection:
  • Loss of volume:
  • Altered nipple sensation:

If you experience any side-effects that you are concerned about please don't hesitate to contact us.

Top

What do Fat Injections cost?

Fat Injection £2,100-£4,500 depending on the type of procedure used.

What Is Included In The Cost?
The prices listed are all inclusive and cover:

  • The pre-operative assessment and investigations
  • The operation
  • Hospital stay and any treatment required
  • Any emergency treatments or re-admissions relating to your surgery within the first year
  • All follow up (nursing and with Stephen McCulley) relating to your surgery

Top

Frequently Asked Questions

If you'd like to see more then please view our frequently asked questions on Cosmetic Breast Surgery!

Top