A breast lift is not always necessary to treat breast ptosis, or sagging breasts. In some cases, it is possible to lift and add fullness to the breasts using only a minimally invasive technique involving the injection of autologous fat cells. This is known as breast lipofilling, fat transfer, or lipomodelling.
In which cases is this aesthetic surgery procedure indicated to lift the breasts? What does the procedure involve? Are there any scars? What are the expected results?
Types of breast ptosis
The skin of the breasts and neckline is fragile and so is naturally susceptible to fluctuations in weight – particularly due to pregnancy or following sudden hormonal changes (puberty, menopause). Consequently, a woman can end up with sagging breasts, lacking firmness: this is known as breast ptosis.
This is combined with:
- heavy breasts: large breasts with a lot of fat and/or an overdeveloped mammary gland;
- or breasts that seem to have been emptied of their content: it is often the case after one or several pregnancies and breastfeeding, or considerable weight loss.
Several surgical solutions are available depending on the case:
- A breast lift: excess skin is removed and redraped to lift the breasts. This operation is indicated for small breasts with fine, loose skin but no breast hypertrophy;
- A breast lift combined with breast reduction: this dual procedure removes excess skin, as well as some of the mammary gland and/or fat if necessary, and lifts the breast, thus restoring more harmonious, shapely breasts;
- It is possible to add an implant if the breasts are sagging and if you wish to recover quite a lot of volume. The size of the implant depends on the quality of the skin: it must not be too heavy otherwise the breasts will tend to sag as the skin is too fine and fragile;
- It is possible to undergo a breast lift combined with lipofilling to add a little volume without an implant and therefore no insertion of a foreign body;
- In some cases, lipofilling is enough to reshape and lift the breasts! The ideal patient has small breasts that appear empty but with good quality skin, and who does not wish to increase the volume of the breasts too much;
Breast lipofilling: what does this aesthetic procedure involve?
Concretely, it involves removing fat from the patient’s body – typically the love handles, thighs, tummy, or knees – treating it (purification) using a specific process, and reinjecting the fat cells into the areas that need them. A micro-incision (3 mm) is made along the fold under the breast and around the nipple that is almost, even totally, invisible.
Thanks to this two-in-one procedure, certain areas of the silhouette can be reshaped – through liposuction – and firmer, naturally shaped breasts restored without using implants.
You can gain one cup in one session, no more, allowing you to recover youthful breasts ultra naturally!
The procedure is carried out under general anaesthesia. After the operation, the patient must wear a compression garment over all the areas operated on.
The change is immediately visible but you must bear in mind that between 30% and 50% of the fat injected will be absorbed, which is normal. You will need to wait for 3 to 6 months to see the final result: reshaped, natural, well-balanced breasts.
Should I be worried about breast lipofilling?
No. Breast lipofilling is a very low-risk technique as the fat injected is autologous, in other words, it is taken from your own body.
Incidentally, there is no link between lipofilling and a risk of breast cancer; no study has highlighted a causal link. However, it does not prevent the onset of breast cancer.
Conversely, the injection of autologous fat in the breasts can lead to the formation of totally benign cysts that can interfere with some clinical examinations.
Consequently, it is important to call on an experienced surgeon such as Doctor Rajao in Paris, who is used to doing this procedure. A preoperative radiological assessment (ultrasound, mammogram, and breast MRI) will be conducted and the results must be normal. She will also check that there is no personal or family history of breast cancer (procedure validated by SOFCPRE).
What are the advantages of breast lipofilling?
- It is a minor breast augmentation in one session, providing a perfectly natural result (to look at and to touch) that is stable over time (but varies with your weight changes).
- You can undergo lipofilling several times throughout your lifetime to adjust the volume;
- No foreign body is inserted: no risk of developing a capsular contracture and no need for regular breast implant check-ups or to consider a new procedure to change or remove the breast implants.
- This operation leaves no visible unsightly scars, as the fat is collected using extremely fine cannulas then injected via 3-mm micro-incisions also using a cannula.
What are the disadvantages?
As with any graft, there is a loss of between 30% and 50% of the total mass of the fat grafts injected.
What are the contra-indications of lipofilling?
- Personal or direct family history of breast cancer
- Abnormal radiological assessment of the breasts
- Insufficient fat reserves
Do you wish to undergo breast lipofilling? Contact the team of Dr. Rajao Aesthetic Surgeon in Paris for a consultation.