There are many reasons women decide to have breast surgery, but implants are not for everyone. DR LEE HANJING is a plastic surgeon in Singapore. Here she explains why the procedure of liposuction and breast fat grafting is worth considering.
What options are available for women seeking breast surgery?
The three breast augmentation procedures I perform as a plastic surgeon in Singapore are breast implants, breast lifts and breast fat grafting.
What is fat transfer breast augmentation?
Breast fat grafting is a cosmetic procedure for increasing the volume of your breast. It’s a natural way to achieve breast enhancement using your own fat cells from another part of your body. So it’s the classic “rob Peter to pay Paul” scenario. Your breasts are enhanced at the same time fat is removed from areas like your abdomen and thighs. A win-win!
Who is a good candidate for this procedure?
A common candidate is someone with naturally smaller breasts who wants to enhance volume and shape without implants. Others find their breasts have become droopy due to ageing, or have changed after pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s also commonly used to correct contour deformities after reconstruction following a mastectomy, and to treat congenital breast deformities with asymmetry like sunken breastbone (Pectus Excavatum) or Poland syndrome.
What are the benefits of breast fat grafting?
- The post-surgical breasts are natural looking and soft to touch (unlike implants).
- A 0.5-1 cup size increase can be achieved with each fat grafting cycle as between 150 to 250mls of fat can be injected on each side.
- The procedure removes fat from stubborn areas like the abdomen and inner thighs.
- The patient can decide where to have the liposuction including the abdomen, inner thighs, arms and calves.
- The incisions are very small (less than 1cm) and barely visible once healed.
- The injected fat cells come from your own body, so they’re not foreign material. You won’t have to worry about future implant complications.
Are the results permanent?
Yes! Approximately 70 percent of fat grafts will survive a procedure. These fat cells will last forever, barring extreme weight loss down the track.
Are there any potential disadvantages?
The procedure doesn’t give an immediate larger volume breast augmentation or obviously “done” look like breast implants do. Fat is not structural, so it will give a softer look.
There can be additional discomfort at the liposuction sites, and there may be a short period where you experience some firmness and lumpiness in the liposuction areas and breast. This will gradually settle over time with massage.
Lumps or cysts may also form from nonsurviving fat cells. A pre-operative ultrasound or mammogram is done for comparison.
Talk us through the procedure, step by step.
The two-to-three hour procedure is performed under general anaesthesia for the comfort of the patient. It can be done as a day surgery without the need for an overnight hospital stay.
Small incisions are made, usually seven in total if liposuction is done to both abdomen and thighs. The extracted fat is liquified and injected into each breast in one site on the inframammary fold (underwire area). Compression garments are placed on following surgery; you should wear them for several weeks to help with reduction in swelling and bruising. These also improve the shape and skin retraction post liposuction.
What’s the downtime and recovery?
As there’s some soreness and discomfort in the operated areas, it’s ideal to take a week off work. Swelling and bruising will mostly settle by the one-month mark. Avoid strenuous exercise for six weeks, and you’ll be feeling good and looking even better!
Now you know all about breast surgery with plastic surgeon in Singapore Dr Lee Hanjing, why not check out our guide to the best facials on the island!
This article first appeared in the July 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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