Dr. De Fazio Plastic Surgeon :: Procedures :: Breast :: Breast augmentation by lipofilling

Breast Lipofilling

aumento_seno_lipofilling.jpgLipofilling is a natural and safe procedure, which does not imply allergy risks; it is useful to give a better definition to some areas of the body, like the breast.
Through this procedure, it is possible to harvest fat tissue from parts of the body such as the thighs or the abdomen (tummy) or from any other site where it is availableand, then, graft itto any other part of the body.

local + sedation or general
2 to 4 hours
1 day / day surgery
1 week

The procedure

The grafted fat tissue is permanent and, since it is enriched with autologous stem cells, no allergic reactions can occur.
Lipofilling can also correct post-traumatic and post-surgical defects.

Benefits of this technique:
- the fat tissue grafted is permanent, thus lasting a lifetime
- it is affordable
- no allergic reaction can occur
- the result is extremely natural.

Lipofilling is performed in a surgery room if the areas to be treated, like the breast, need a big quantity of adipose tissue and, as a consequence, the harvesting (liposuction) must be from several parts of the body. In these cases, anesthesia must be spinal or general. 
Dr. De Fazio uses lipofilling by Dr. Coleman's technique.
For this kind of lipofilling procedure, the surgeon uses a small needle or cannula attached to a surgical vacuum or syringe, harvesting the fat tissue from the donor site, preferably from the parts of the body where fat tissue is firmer: abdomen, hips or thighs. Once harvested, the adipose tissue is processed to remove fluid excess and charged into 1cc syringes and then, using very thin needles, it is injected bilaterally, both above and under the mammary gland.
This process can be repeated as many times as needed, until the desired correction is achieved.
The harvesting of fat tissue for breast lipofilling is normally performed in combination with a small liposculpture. In most of the cases, to get the desired volume enhancement, it is necessary to harvest an adequate quantity of material, considering that breast augmentation requires in average 250-300 cc of adipose tissue for each breast.
During the procedure, the harvested fat tissue can be centrifuged and, as a consequence, half of the quantity is lost. For this reason, the patients who decide to undergo this procedure must have the necessary quantity of adipose tissue available for liposuction. As a consequence, the procedure will have a dual result: reducing adipose tissue in the areas where it is excessive and enhance the breast volume. On the breast there will be no visible scars since the needles used leave no marks. In the donor sites, there will be a small scar of about 3 mm (the needle size).
The procedure is performed as day-hospital surgery except from the cases when it is performed late in the afternoon or upon the patient's request.
This procedure is very safe, since it is minimally invasive.

Preoperative Preparation

The preoperative preparation implies blood tests, an ECG and, according to surgeon's assessment, an ultrasound of the mammary area.
Two weeks prior to surgery, as well as two weeks after, aspirin should be avoided. Aspirin can reduce blood coagulation and can cause complications.
It is recommended to female patients taking oral contraceptives to stop taking them one month before surgery.

After the procedure

Already from the first day after surgery, lymphatic drainage massage is recommended together with, when necessary, a course of Tecar® Therapy, to facilitate the absorption of edema (swelling) and ecchymosis (bruises). The surgeon, together with the physiotherapist performing the therapy, will decide the number of sessions for both treatments.

It is very important that the patient keeps the same body weight after the procedure, since a weight loss could reduce the volume of adipose tissue grafted into the breast. The breast volume enhancement becomes stable within 3 to 6 months after surgery; especially during the first month, the breast volume is higher because of the edema and, then, it stabilizes in a volume equal to 70-85% of the grafted volume.

Possible complications

Complications are rare, but edema (swelling) and ecchymosis (bruises) normally occur. They usually disappear within 15-20 days.

Rarely, some irregularities or asymmetry might occur, but they can easily be corrected with a minor secondary surgery under local anesthesia 6 months after surgery.
The risk of hematoma and infection is very rare, as very rare are cases of embolism, but medications to prevent them are always prescribed. Although infections are rare, antibiotics are prescribed to prevent any possible infection.

Recovery time (back to social life)

Social activities will be reduced for one week after surgery if involving the treated areas (such as thighs, knees, hips, tummy and buttock). Long walks should be limited, as well as strains and sports, for one week; yet, already from the day after surgery, office work can be resumed. Pain is normally not occurring and can anyhow be easily controlled by proper therapy.
Recovery of the normal physical activities does not get not longer because of edema and swelling. If some redness occurs, even though rare for this procedure, it normally involves the lower breast quadrants. In this case, sun exposure should be avoided until the redness is gone but, anyhow, for not more that 30 days after surgery. Pain and discomfort can last for 2-3 weeks and could reduce the functionality of the arms if straining, such as lifting heavy objects.
Sports can be resumed during the 3rd or 4th week after surgery.                                     
There are no special limitations regarding diet.                                                                                               
Driving is not affected in this procedure, but the breast should not be pressed or massaged for 30 days.