August 05, 2016
2 min read

Autologous fat grafting achieves volume, patient satisfaction in cosmetic breast augmentation

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Autologous fat grafting achieved cosmetic breast augmentation with satisfactory levels of volume retention and satisfaction rates in some studies, according to a literature review recently published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

“Autologous fat grafting is increasingly used in cosmetic surgery,” the researchers wrote. “However, its efficacy and safety are still ambiguous.”

Researchers used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systemic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRIMSA) guidelines to conduct a systemic review of literature reporting on autologous fat grafting used for cosmetic female breast augmentation. PubMed,, Wiley/Cochrane Library and the Web of Science databases were searched for studies published between January 1996 and February 2016. Studies with at least 10 patients and a mean follow-up period of at least 1 year were included in the criteria.

There were 22 articles reporting on 3,565 patients, with a mean follow-up of 28.8 months. Ten of the studies reported on postoperative management.

In 17 studies, an overall complication rate of 17.2% (95% CI, 15.9-18.5 months) was reported in 3,409 patients. The most frequent complication were indurations (33%), persistent pain (25% in one study), hematoma (16.4%) and new modules (11%).

Pre- and post-operative mammograms were used in 11 studies to report on the radiologic images, which showed micro-calcifications (9%) and macro-calcifications (7%).

Eight studies with 523 patients were included in analysis for volume retention, with mean volume retention of 62.4%. Six studies reported on satisfaction, with 92% satisfaction rate among patients and 89% rate among surgeons.

“Although the evidence is still limited, [autologous fat grafting] seems to be a promising method to achieve cosmetic breast augmentation with an encouraging volume retention and satisfaction rates in a small number of studies,” the researchers wrote. “Complication rates and radiological findings are comparable to those after implant-based augmentation. However, good quality [randomized controlled trials] are needed to compare augmentation techniques, grafting methods, and use of auxiliary methods to further assess safety and identify which factors affect the outcomes.” – by Bruce Thiel

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.