Traditionally, surgical approaches for breast enhancement were typically categorized into two groups – using breast implants or injecting one’s own fat, also known as fat grafting to the breast. With either technique, the majority of breast enhancement can be achieved with acceptable results. However, when used on its own, both techniques have their own unique shortcomings that stand out.
Sometimes, when utilized for breast augmentation on its own, breast implants can look “fake” or “un-natural” when placed under the breast tissue. This can be more apparent in slim Asian ladies, as the edges of the breast implant would be obvious. To counteract this, most plastic surgeons would then insert the breast implant under the chest muscle (Pectoralis Major Muscle) in order to give a more “natural” appearance to the overall enhancement. Placing under the muscle, or sub-muscular placement of breast implants, tends to stretch or traumatize the muscles more, and sometimes lead to animation deformity (implant movement in tandem with muscle contraction) when the muscle is activated.
Diagrams of cross sections of breast implants, subglandular (left) and submuscular (right) - Source: Food and Drug Administration website - www.fda.gov
On the other hand, fat grafting utilizes one’s own fat tissue/cells which are carefully transferred into the breast to volumize the breast. Whilst its strength lies in the natural appearance and feel of the transferred fat, it falls short in not being able to deliver substantial volume, projection and shape. When fat grafting is used in isolation, patients are often told that more than one session of fat grafting may be required to achieve one’s ideal breast size and shape.
This next wave of advancement in breast enhancement surgery involves smaller scars and more natural results with quicker recovery. Hybrid Breast Augmentation entails using both breast implants and fat injection at the same time to deliver the next level of results. This state-of-the-art method provides a remarkable solution for breast enhancement, offering a perfect balance between the volume and shape provided by implants and the natural feel of the patient’s own body fat. New technology of breast implants and better scientific knowledge and techniques allow plastic surgeons to utilize Minimal Scar Techniques (less than the Traditional scar) to insert breast implants into more natural planes (sub-fascial versus sub-muscular plane). With less trauma and stretch of the chest muscles, patients can resume active lifestyle and exercise much earlier.
Figure Reference: Maximiliano J et al. Hybrid Breast Augmentation: A Reliable Formula for Preoperative Assessment of Fat Graft Volume Based on Implant Volume and Projection. Aesthet Surg J. 2020 Jul.
Marrying the best of both worlds, the injected fat tissues serve to enhance the shape around the breast implant, giving an enhanced coverage and shape around the implant. Combining both the volume of fat and breast implant allows the selection of smaller implants to achieve the final volume that is desired. Smaller breast implants will have less internal stretch and tension on the body, in turn allowing for faster recovery with more natural results.
The use of fat graft together with breast implants allows for more customization or precise corrections, such as:
It is possible to achieve good results with breast implant or fat grafting alone, but many patients would do much better with the combination of both, in a hybrid technique.
The additional benefit of liposuction during your breast augmentation gives the opportunity to remove stubborn fat from the torso; which enhances and harmonizes the overall look and accentuates the curves of the entire torso.
Common areas of concern would include:
(1) lateral chest area bulging fat tissue (commonly known as “side bra fat”)
(2) belly fat tissue (above and below the belly button)
(3) armpit fat tissue.
When compared with breast augmentation with implants only, even though hybrid breast augmentation surgery may take longer and require additional operative sites, recovery is just as fast, if not faster, than regular breast augmentation.
Understandably, most patients would require assistance to decide what is the ideal size for them. What is seen on the Internet or social media often does not provide a direct correlation with each patients’ unique qualities. Using the latest artificial intelligence software and imaging technology, we are able to simulate various possibilities for your breast augmentation result. Crisalix is a powerful tool which provides surgeons with the ability to provide a more engaging, informative, and personalized consultation experience. Do enquire about utilizing this tool when embarking on your breast augmentation journey.
Figure 2: Crisalix Simulation platform provides dynamic and realistic visualization of potential surgical outcomes.
Hybrid breast augmentation, also known as composite breast augmentation, represents the latest significant advancement in the field of breast augmentation, and could represent the most ideal option for patients looking for natural results for breast enlargement. At Polaris Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, we excel at modern aesthetic procedures with complementary treatments to attain realistic, natural-looking, and long-lasting outcomes.