Fat transfer breast augmentation essentially uses liposuction to take fat from other parts of your body and inject it into your breasts. This is a breast augmentation option for women who are looking for a relatively small increase in breast size and would prefer natural results.
Breast reconstruction using autologous fat grafting: The BEAULI™ Method
Inspired by the excellent results and following further, similar publications from Italy and France, a new procedure for a particularly gentle collection of fat cells via waterjet liposuction, the so-called BEAULI™ Method has been developed in collaboration with the company Humanmed AG, from Schwerin, Germany, in 2007.
The results were published in the leading German Journal for Plastic Surgery, Plastische Chirurgie, in December 2010.
BEAULI™ (pronounced ‘Bjoolee’) is the acronym of
Eigenfett (autologous fat)
AUfbau mit (reconstruction with)
LIpo (=Fett-)Verpflanzung (Lipo-transfer)
Berlin Autologous Lipotransfer
The cells are washed out with water and collected in a sterile container. Subsequently, they can be transplanted with the use of small syringes. The survival of fat cells depends on them connecting as quickly as possible to tissue that has a good blood supply. This is why fat cannot be transplanted in larger chunks, but thin cannulas have to be used to distribute individual fat cells like strings of pearls in the tissue.
In the meantime, several hundred treatments of breast augmentation using fat grafting have been performed globally using this method. All of them have been successful. Apart from genuine breast augmentations, we have also performed reconstructive breast surgery following cancer and also surgery in cases of so-called capsular fibrosis after silicone implants where these were removed and their volume replaced by grafted fat within the same session.
Who would benefit from a breast reconstruction using autologous fat grafting with the BEAULI™ Method?
Breast reconstruction with autologous fat grafting is ideal
For women with typical fat distribution abnormalities (ample fat on thighs and buttocks, slim upper body and small breasts)
After weight loss and remaining fat pads in the abdominal area
In cases of smaller breasts and the urgent wish for an augmentation and a dislike of silicone implants
In cases of capsular fibrosis caused by implants
For reconstruction, in cases of asymmetric breasts following the completion of cancer treatment
Prerequisites for a breast reconstruction using autologous fat grafting are:
Non-smoker (a minimum of 10 days before surgery)
Of normal weight or slightly overweight (BMI 20 – 30)
The procedure of breast reconstruction using autologous fat grafting
Approx. 1 week before the intervention, a preparatory examination is done which includes photo documentation, blood sampling and clinical examination.
On the day of surgery, the areas for liposuction are marked in the morning.
The surgery is performed under twilight anesthesia or general anesthesia, if requested. At the end of the intervention, the breasts are protected by a cotton dressing and compression pants or a compression garment are to be worn, over the areas that have undergone liposuction.
Approx. 2 hours after surgery, you are allowed to eat and drink again.
During the following days, the breasts are swollen and there might be some bruising. More severe pain is not to be expected. You are more likely to feel the areas having undergone suction. In most cases, the pain is described as a muscle ache.
Bruising and swelling disappear within the next three weeks. Compression garments will have to be worn over areas of liposuction for four to six weeks.
Usually, the patient will see her doctor one week after surgery and then again after a further four weeks. The final results are to be expected after three months. However, no major changes are to be expected after the sixth week at the latest, as approx. 80% of the lasting results will have been achieved by then.
What are the complications that can occur in breast reconstruction using autologous fat grafting?
A small part of fat cells will not survive the transplantation and will be reabsorbed by the body. In our first evaluations of our MRI images taken before surgery and half a year later, we could show that, on average, 76% of the fat transplanted using the BEAULI Method are incorporated.
The main risk of a breast augmentation using autologous fat grafting is considered to be the fusion of non-incorporated fat cells with the subsequent development of oil cysts in which very many fat cells stick together and the body is unable to eliminate them. The BEAULI-technique of fine distribution within the tissue allows us to prevent this problem to a large extent.
In a US-study looking at two year-follow-ups after fat grafting (though performed with a different method), three to four percent of 70 patients reported smaller calcifications that were clearly identified as benign in mammography. In rare cases, inflammations developed (immediately after surgery), which usually were suppressed by antibiotics. Only in an extremely unfavourable case, one would have to face the development of an abscess. This would require a surgical intervention and could possibly lead to breast mutilation.
However, such consequences have not yet occurred under the BEAULI™ Method. Furthermore, all these side effects can occur under any kind of breast surgery, including breast augmentation with silicone implants.
Why does one read so much contradictory information about breast reconstruction using autologous fat grafting?
Fat injections have been and are still performed without proper attention being paid to the correct handling of fat cells. Sometimes the fat collected in conventional liposuction is directly injected into the breasts through large cannula. Thus, a large part of cells are dying and they subsequently lose their content (oil). In the case of larger fat lumps, the oil that has merged is no longer metabolized in the body, but secreted within its surrounding tissue. This tissue can later calcify and become visible on x-ray images as an oil cyst. If calcifications are numerous, the whole breast can harden. This is why we have given our method its genuine name in order to clearly differentiate it from other procedures.
Why does one have to warn against stem cell enrichment?
Sometimes the so-called transplantation of stem cells is propagated for the breast augmentation using autologous fat grafting. As we have already described above, fatty tissue is a mixture of mature fat cells and microscopic small stem cells. These stem cells can develop into fat cells, if they are located in fatty tissue and a fat cell dies within its vicinity, but they can also develop to become muscle cells, bone or other cell types. Therefore, the stimulus to cell renewal within the environment is decisive. In other words, once a fat cell dies due to old age within the fatty tissue, a stem cell incorporates oil and turns into a fat cell. However, it only does it, once it gets this stimulus.
In breast reconstruction with autologous fat grafting, some centres mix a concentrate of stem cells with the fat that is to be transplanted, hoping to improve the incorporation result. However, this method, which is very contested among physicians, has not yet provided a scientifically sound proof of a better result and we oppose it for fundamental considerations.
REPORT MAINZ (German first TV channel, ARD) impressively confirmed our warning against stem cell enrichment, a position that we also represent globally on professional congresses: http://www.swr.de/report
Transferring your fat into your breasts
Doc, can you just take my belly fat and put it in my breasts?“ Yes I can. It is almost a buy one get the other one free surgery. While forming your body into a better shape, your breasts can be enlarged with your own body fat. Can`t be better, right? Yes but just keep in mind that in two sessions of this procedure you can have one size more (A to B, B to C).