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7.3.10 grafting or fat transfer is a process that involves harvesting fat from one part of the body where an excess exists and then placing it in another part where the additional bulk is used for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes.

Breast augmentation via fat grafting involves reconstruction or augmentation of breasts using body fat and can help improve conditions like breast deformity, inadequate soft tissue and wrinkles.

Though fat grafting is already a popular concept and has been used successfully in filling wrinkles, cheek and chin implants, its usage is restricted to breast enhancement due to medical complications.

Elaborating on medical complications Anup Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon at New Delhi's Apollo Hospital, said, "A decade ago surgeons were hesitant to perform this procedure as calcifications (the process in which calcium salts build up in soft tissue, causing it to harden) after fat transplantation could not be differentiated from those caused by cancer.""But with the latest technologies like MRI, these misconceptions can be cleared and we (surgeons) can go ahead with this method," he said.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recently dropped its reservations about this method, giving a green signal to cosmetic surgeons across the world.

"I personally feel the situation with fat grafting will be the biggest thing in plastic surgery in the first half of the 21st century, not just for breasts but for other parts of the body as well," said Dhir. cosmetic surgeon Meenakshi Agarwal, who has performed a few such surgeries, says that this method gives smooth and natural breasts unlike silicon implants that do not look genuine."If a woman wants natural looking breasts, she should go for fat grafting. It is a better way of getting a soft, visible push-up effect and more streamlined breasts. Though the process of fat grafting is more popular than facial rejuvenation, I am sure in the future, it will be much more popular because of its twin benefits," Agarwal explained.

Dhir gives a word of caution and says that the outcome of breast augmentation through fat grafting is related to the surgeon's level of expertise and technique used."The technique must include all precautions to ensure that the maximum survival of fat tissue occurs. This can be achieved by reducing the possibility of trauma to the harvested site, demonstrating correct refinement of the tissue. A patented suction system is being developed," explained Dhir.

"As fat grafting does not involve open incisions, there is less risk in terms of damage to nerves, blood vessels and ducts compared to open surgery," he added.

Recovery time of this method is one to three days and there are no side effects. The cost involved is around Rs.60,000 onwards.


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