Every culture throughout history has placed value on the female breast. It is viewed as a source of strength, a source of fertility, a source of nutrition and a source of beauty. The female form and its appeal to all of humanity are integral to the size, shape and position of the breast. In addition, the nipple and areola play a vital role in the overall appearance of two of the most important aspects of the female form.
Surgical breast enhancement is well over 100 years old, as is fat transfer. The components of fat transfer include harvesting, methods of cell processing, methods of transplantation, and management of the recipient site. Breaking down the process of fat transfer into these components can be helpful in analyzing and understanding its positives and negatives.
The term autologous refers to tissue from one’s own body. You would think that autologous fat would be perfect for use as enhancement material for breasts. However, the key factor with respect to autologous fat transfer is survival. That is, if you remove a cup of fat from your abdomen and move it to your breasts, will this cup of fat live? Medicine and science has learned with great angst that survival is dependent on blood supply. In other words, if it cannot be guaranteed that the segment of tissue will have adequate circulation, then it will necrosis and shrivel and die.
Micro surgical techniques, or the joining of at least one artery and preferably two veins from the donor to the recipient tissue, can overcome this obstacle. But with fat cells there is no practical way to do this. The vessels are so small that it is impossible to join them at a cellular level. Consequently, survival fat is unpredictable and, for the most part, minimal. There have been mechanical and chemical attempts to enhance survival, but these attempts have not achieved impressive results.
It is important to understand that there is a difference between fat cell transfer as a volume and contour enhancement and stem cell transfer. To date, there is no known way to grow breasts with stem cells. Furthermore, the volume is very limited — usually less than 250 ccs at best — most of which will disappear.
Therefore, it is my firm opinion at this point in history, with all of the science we have at our command, that fat transfer as a method of breast enhancement is a failure and a waste of time and money. If you want your best looking breasts, implants with or without a breast lift are the optimal and most efficient way to achieve this.