Fat Transfer vs. Silicone Implants: Which is Right for your breast augmentation?
For different, personal reasons, some women decide to have their breasts enlarged: for example, I have patients who pursue a certain ideal of beauty and would like to feel more confident and satisfied with their appearance through breast augmentation. By gaining a more proportional body image they seek to increase their self-esteem and possibly also social acceptance of those around them.
For other patients of mine, the body has changed so much due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations or aging that they want to restore or correct their old breast shape and size. Even after medical procedures such as a mastectomy due to cancer, breast augmentation can serve to restore a woman’s outward appearance and self-confidence. But whether aesthetic or medical reasons: In my experience, breast augmentation usually leads to an improvement in emotional well-being as well.
My body fat or implants: Which is right for me?
Once the decision for breast augmentation has been made, the next question my patients ask is which method is right for them. Two of the most common methods are the use of silicone implants and fat transfer using your own body fat.
The two methods are fundamentally different. Therefore, I would like to explain both approaches in more detail and present the most important differences, advantages and disadvantages of each method combined with my years of experience
How does a breast augmentation with implants work?
By placing artificial silicone implants in your breast, your breast volume can be increased. The implants consist of a silicone shell filled with silicone gel or fluid. The size and shape of the breasts are customized by the choice of implants.
Liposuction and injection: how the transfer of body fat works
A breast augmentation with your own body fat requires that fatty tissue is suctioned from another part of your body, such as the abdomen or thigh. The body fat will then be injected into the breast after prior preparation. The whole is a more natural method, because the body’s own tissue is used.
Scars and more: How invasive are fat transfer and silicone implants?
In order to place silicone implants, small skin incisions are usually required. This can lead to a slightly more prominent scar. The surgery is usually more invasive compared to a fat transfer.
For a transfer of autologous fat, only small incisions are needed: firstly for liposuction and secondly to inject that fat into your breast. This results in minimal scarring and is therefore less invasive.
Which looks more natural: silicone implants or body fat?
In terms of natural look and feel, silicone implants tend to have a slightly less natural feel, and in some cases they can be identified as implants by pressure or movement. Transferred autologous fat, on the other hand, provides a more natural look and feel – not least because the injected tissue is essentially the body’s own.
What you should know about the durability of both methods
Today’s silicone implants have a very long shelf life and usually do not need to be replaced until several decades. Complications such as ruptures, capsular fibrosis and implant displacement can sometimes occur.
In the case of transferred fatty tissue, there is generally a possibility that it will remain for a longer period of time. However, absorption rates may occur, resulting in minor volume loss. However, the complications are usually minor and less frequent than with silicone implants.
Can breast size and shape be tailored with both procedures?
The main advantage with silicone implants is that the size of the breasts can be precisely and accurately controlled by the selected implants. In this way, you can easily achieve your desired cup size. With a fat transfer, on the other hand, size adjustment is limited because not all of the transplanted fat “survives”. Sometimes several sessions are required to achieve your desired result.
How does the cost for lipofilling and implants differ?
The initial cost of silicone implants is usually higher than for a fat transfer because special implants are required. The cost of a breast augmentation using your own body fat is usually lower. However, several sessions may be required.
Conclusion: A comprehensive consultation is essential
As an aesthetic surgeon with many years of expertise in breast augmentation, I cannot give you blanket advice on one method or the other. However, I will be happy to throroughly consult with you about the matter, taking into account your individual preferences, goals and health factors. Together we will find out whether in your case silicone implants or body fat transfer is the right method for you.