Have you heard the term ‘composite breast augmentation’ and wondered what it is? It sounds pretty strange and technical, but actually, composite breast enlargement is designed to give a very natural-looking enhancement to the chest.
As the fashion for overly-large and artificial-looking breasts moves towards a more subtle aesthetic, composite breast augmentation is becoming increasingly popular.
Ocean Clinic has been a leading force in developing the procedure and, thanks to the enhanced results it offers, it’s being adopted as a protocol of choice by plastic surgeons globally.
Read on to discover how the procedure differs from standard breast enlargement, how’s it’s performed and what the benefits are …
What is composite breast augmentation?
Composite breast augmentation is a procedure that combines traditional breast augmentation implants with breast augmentation fat transfer. It’s carried out to increase the size of the breasts and/or to enhance their shape.
As well as providing a more natural result, the procedure is popular because it also includes liposuction of common problem areas, like the tummy. Stubborn pockets of fat can be targeted, with the fat then grafted into the breasts. In this way, composite breast augmentation is a 2-in-1 procedure.
How is composite breast augmentation performed?
To carry out composite breast augmentation, it’s first necessary to locate donor fat elsewhere on the body. Because of this, the procedure is not suitable for very lean patients, however, most of us have sufficient fat stored in one place or another.
Fat is most commonly harvested from the stomach, waist, thighs and flanks. It’s extracted with a liposuction cannula, which is small in diameter and requires only very tiny incisions. This means it leaves next to no scarring.
The fat extraction is carried out at the same time as the rest of the surgery, so patients are fully anesthetised. While the fat is being prepared for reintroduction to the body using a centrifuge, the surgeon will make the incisions for the implants.
These are made in the creases beneath the breasts and are small in size (only about three centimetres). In most cases, the fullness in the base of the breasts will completely conceal the scars when you are sitting or standing.
The implant will then be placed. Composite breast augmentation allows for the use of smaller implants because volume can be added with fat. It also allows for asymmetry to be corrected, since different volumes of fat can be placed around the implants in each breast.
The implants will be placed subpectorally (under the muscle), which helps to produce the most natural-looking results. This is because it creates more cushion between the implant and the skin, so you’re less likely to feel the edges or see rippling.
The transplanted fat is used to further disguise the outline of the implants. By carefully injecting it into the medial borders, it makes the transition from chest to implant smoother. Fat grafting also gives the surgeon the opportunity to give the patient a nicer cleavage. Providing cushioning between the implants creates a soft undulation, which cannot be achieved with implants alone.
How does recovery from composite breast augmentation differ from regular breast augmentation?
With composite breast augmentation, two separate procedures are performed, so recovery is slightly more extensive. There will typically be some swelling and some bruising where fat has been removed and you will need to wear a compression garment/belt around the donor site for 2-3 weeks.
The chest will also be more swollen than when implants alone are used. This is because an overabundance of fat is grafted during the procedure to account for the cells that don’t become vascularised (gain a blood supply) and therefore die off. Usually, this is between 40-60%.
It means your breasts will initially appear bigger than they’re going to be once healing is complete. The fat that remains 6 months post-surgery should be with you for the rest of your life. Meanwhile, the donor areas will be more resistant to weight gain due to the removal of fat cells.
Am I a good candidate for composite breast augmentation?
You’re a good candidate for composite breast augmentation if you have small breasts that are in a good position on your chest. Ideally, you’ll have an area/s on your body with an amount of excess fat to serve as donor site/s. If you are on the slimmer side, it’s still possible to remove smaller amounts of fat to be grafted but the benefits will be more modest.
If you have sagging breasts, you will not be suitable for this procedure as an uplift will be required (take our breast test to check). However, if you have simply lost volume in the upper part of your breasts and the nipple is still in a perky position, composite breast augmentation can yield a great result by replacing lost volume. It’s also a good technique for correcting differences in breast size or shape.
Would you like to learn more about composite breast augmentation? Contact us for an in-person or online consultation.