More than 286,000 women had breast augmentation last year. That, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, makes boob jobs the most popular plastic surgery of the year, yet again.
And while silicone implants are now far more popular than saline implants, there's a new breast enhancement method that's just starting to gain buzz with consumers: harvesting fat from other portions of the body to enhance the breasts.
Fat-transfer breast augmentation can be done as an alternative to using silicone or saline implants or as a method to enhance the addition of implants.
Plus, since fat is typically harvested from stubborn pockets of fat — think thighs or abdomen — many women are understandably excited about the thought of enhancing their breasts while potentially reshaping problem areas.
Fat is harvested using traditional liposuction and then strategically placed into the breasts. The transferred fat is then absorbed at a rate of 30 percent to 50 percent; the remaining fat creates natural volume and contour to enhance breasts.
Fat grafting alone can be used to enhance breast size but typically only by about one to two cup sizes. Those looking for a more dramatic increase in size are turning to implants paired with grafting.
It's important to note that fat-grafting for breast enhancement is an emerging technique, so the long-term effects may need further evaluation. Complications include interference with mammograms and potential cyst formation. In fact, in 1987 the ASPS released a statement saying that fat grafting was not recommended.
However, last May, a study featured in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the ASPS, touted the benefits of autologous fat transfer for both breast augmentation and reconstruction. And a more recent ASPS survey, released just this past July reports that seventy percent of U.S. plastic surgeons have used fat-grafting techniques for breast operations.
Which means that, yes, doctors can finally take the fat out of your butt and put it in your boobs.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.