Fat Grafting for Breast Enlargement? For Now, Indiana Plastic Surgeon Not Convinced

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Despite recent increased interest in fat grafting breast augmentation and more doctors offering these procedures, Dr. Gus Galante says that breast implants remain the option of choice for women who want to enlarge their breasts.

Fat grafting for breast augmentation is getting attention as a hot new option for breast enlargement, but the procedure and its results may not be nearly as attractive as some media outlets would have patients believe. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gus Galante (http://www.galantebreastenhancement.com) comments that these procedures are still not mainstream, and says that there are good reasons most surgeons performing breast enlargement in Indiana rely entirely upon traditional saline and silicone gel breast implants.

"Fat transfer for breast augmentation is an interesting idea, but currently these procedures can't compete with implant augmentations in terms of both results and reliability," explains Dr. Galante. "Surgeons have been attempting fat transfer augmentations since the turn of the last century and, quite frankly, there are some significant problems that limit the viability of fat transfer methods."

Many surgeons already use patients' own liposuctioned fat to fill facial lines or refine the shape of the buttocks, resulting in small-scale contouring changes. But larger-scale enhancements with fat grafting can lead to many concerns. In larger amounts, fat is much more likely to reabsorb into the body or even die off. In addition, even fat purified in a centrifuge can calcify and harden into lumps, which are particularly troubling in the breast enhancement context.

"Augmentations using breast implants in Indiana do not pose the risks currently seen with fat grafting," explains Dr. Galante. "The saline and silicone gel implants we have today are so popular because they've earned the trust of surgeons and patients. They produce reliable, consistent results when the surgeon is appropriately qualified, so the track record is there."

While Dr. Galante believes that further research may someday make fat transfer a viable option for small-scale breast augmentation for Indiana women, he says that currently his preference rests with the approaches backed up by both the research and his own experience.

"Perhaps 5 years down the line, techniques will be available to make fat transfer safe, with reliable results. As it stands today, however, I only perform breast augmentation using implants, and I won't begin to consider fat grafting for my patients until there are universal and consistent results to support its efficacy."

Dr. Gus Galante (http://www.galantemd.com) is a board-certified Indiana plastic surgeon providing a full spectrum of cosmetic enhancement procedures ranging from nonsurgical "injectable face lifts" to breast enhancements and complex combination plastic surgery procedures. After receiving his medical doctorate from Indiana University, Dr. Galante trained through general and plastic surgery residencies at the Loyola University Medical Center and completed an additional fellowship in aesthetic surgery and reconstructive breast surgery. Dr. Galante's offices are located in Schererville and Valparaiso, Indiana, and he serves patients from all over Northwest Indiana.

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