The results from a recent study conducted by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) shows that an increasing number of women are choosing to have a breast augmentation using fat transfer, instead of getting the more traditional silicone or saline implants.

In its annual international study released in July 2017, ISAPS announced that breast augmentation was still the world’s most popular cosmetic surgery procedure, with silicone implants rising in popularity by 11% over the previous year. However, the popularity of saline implants dipped by 4% and the number of women instead choosing breast augmentation using fat transfer rose by 22% – one of the highest increases revealed by the study.

“We’re sure that many people reviewing this data will be surprised to learn about the popularity of breast augmentation using fat transfer,” says Dr. Renato Saltz, plastic surgeon based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and President of ISAPS. “But the truth is that fat transfer, or fat grafting as it is commonly called – has quickly grown to become one of the most ground-breaking cosmetic procedures over the last 5 years. Plastic surgeons now commonly use a patient’s own fat as a natural filler to restore lost volume in both the face and other parts of the body – with buttocks and breasts being the most common areas.”

So does fat transfer breast augmentation indicate the end of breast implants altogether? Dr. Saltz has a strong opinion about this. “As with any cosmetic surgery procedure, there are different ways and techniques to achieve an end result. Silicone implants still remain the most popular choice for the vast majority of breast augmentation patients worldwide – and that’s due to a variety of factors: including size, shape, longevity, etc.”

As with any cosmetic surgery decision, education about your breast augmentation options is paramount. “The first step is to consult with your plastic surgeon and hear what their recommendations are,” says Dr. Saltz. “They’ll take into account your natural body shape, your proportions, and what option will best achieve your goals. It’s a good idea to ask at the consult if fat transfer makes sense for you. For some patients it certainly will, but for others, an implant will be the best way to achieve the look they’re after. It’s important to remember that breast augmentation using fat transfer is a relatively new development in cosmetic surgery, it is more common for fat transfer to be used to shape the buttock area – such as in the Brazilian Buttock Lift, but it is an exciting option that might be suitable for those patients who are looking for a small volume increase.”