A prospective study on lipoaugmentation of the breast

Scott L. Spear, Troy Pittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: The current standard for breast augmentation involves placement of an implant. As an alternative, surgeons have been exploring breast augmentation with autologous tissue in the form of injectable fat. Objectives: The authors explore the efficacy and safety of lipoaugmentation of the breast, with specific interest in volume changes, fat retention, overall aesthetic improvement, and patient satisfaction. Methods: Direct measurements, 2- and 3-dimensional images, mammograms, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were obtained preoperatively from 10 consecutive patients undergoing augmentation mammaplasty with autologous fat transfer. These measurements were repeated 1 year postoperatively. Postoperative photo imaging was conducted at 3-month intervals for 1 year. Efficacy was evaluated by determining the volume of fat retention 1 year after the procedure with 3-dimensional imaging, standard breast MRI volume measurements, and subjective aesthetic comparisons. Results: The average amount of fat injected was 236 cc (90-324; SD, 69.8) in the right breast and 250 cc (90-300; SD, 65.1) in the left. The mean volume change based on 3-dimensional imaging was 85.1 cc (36% retention) for the right breast and 98.1 cc (39.2% retention) for the left. The mean volume change based on MRI measurements was 30.0 cc (39.8% change) on the right and 29.3 cc (38.1% change) on the left. Blinded observers found substantial improvement in 1 patient (10%), moderate improvement in 5 patients (50%), and minimal to no improvement in 4 (40%). Overall patient satisfaction was high, as measured by the abbreviated BREAST-Q. Radiologic abnormalities and artifacts were common and required additional imaging. Conclusions: Objective breast enlargement in this study was modest but yielded disproportionately high subjective patient satisfaction reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-408
Number of pages9
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • autologous fat transfer
  • breast augmentation
  • breast surgery
  • fat grafting
  • lipoaugmentation
  • mammaplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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