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Can a Breast Fat Transfer Compensate after Breast Implant Removal?

There is a nascent trend emerging in aesthetic surgery – that of breast explant surgery, or breast implant removal. From the Baywatch star herself to the Spice Girls, women who championed breast implants such as Pamela Anderson and Victoria Beckham have had them removed.  

As the public begins to perceive beauty differently, it seems some women are beginning to move away from large breasts towards a more fitness-based ideal of beauty. This is not to say that breast implants are redundant – in many cases, they provide stunning cosmetic results, and many women who get the procedure are forever happy with their implants. Nonetheless, for an increasing number of women, aesthetic concerns, a change of lifestyle or body shape, or complications with their initial procedure may compel them to reconsider their breast implants.

After breast implant removal, breasts will often require some form of modification and restructuring to look their best. A breast fat transfer procedure can offer an effective way to rejuvenate the breasts after explant surgery.

Where are the Implants Going?

As Stevie Nicks said, “The whole world was getting them back then.” In the ’80s, ’90s and early ’00s, breast implants soared in popularity as beauty ideals focused on voluptuousness. Today, healthy is sexy, and our aesthetic perceptions reflect this.

As the number of breast implant surgeries in the U.S. and Canada slowly declines (down 0.2% from 2016 vs. 2015), breast explant surgeries and breast fat transfer surgeries are rising significantly, increasing by 13.4% in the US and 41.1% in Canada during this same period.

These statistics indicate that women are turning to procedures for physical enhancement that yield a more natural appearance. And as women who once chose to have breast implants later have them removed, they are interested in options to make their breasts as attractive as possible.   

When performed by an experienced surgeon with a critical eye for aesthetic beauty such as Dr. Eric Pugash, breast fat transfer offers women an effective way to compensate for breast implant removal in a way that looks totally natural.

How Does Breast Fat Transfer Work?

Breast fat transfer is a procedure that takes fat cells from one part of the body – generally the thighs, buttocks, or hips – and injects them into the breasts. This breast augmentation technique introduces no foreign objects to your body – it is simply the rearranging of the body’s natural tissues. 

Like all cells, fat cells live and grow. The goal of fat transfer is that the transferred cells will re-establish themselves and grow to create natural and long-lasting fullness of the breasts after the procedure.

Compensating for the Implants

After breast implants are removed, the volume of the breast is significantly decreased, the skin surrounding the area may loosen, and the general shape and integrity of the breast are generally reduced. Of course, this is to be expected, as the object that once gave the breast its fullness is no longer in place. It can be challenging to predict what the breast will look like after implants are removed, but breast fat transfer may provide a solution to these issues.

Breast fat transfer offers breast explant patients a procedure to reshape the breasts and compensate for the loss of the implants.  

However, it is important to understand the limitations and drawbacks of fat transfer to the breasts. Firstly, many women with implants, or those wanting them, are very slim, and it may be a challenge to find enough fat elsewhere on the body to fill the breasts. Secondly, the take, or survival of the transferred fat, is somewhat limited and unpredictable. Patients need to understand that it may be necessary to have the surgery done again (and possibly again) to achieve the desired result. Finally, taking fat from the tummy, thighs or hips may create deformities at these sites, such as waves and divots. 

As Mr. Dylan once sang, “The times they are a-changin’.” The standard of beauty is one of the more fluid aspects of human culture, and if you find yourself considering a change, you’re not alone. Reach out to Dr. Pugash on 604 522 5199 or fill out his online form to discuss how breast fat transfer can give you a natural, healthy look after breast implant removal.