Manhattan-based surgeon, Sydney Coleman, MD, is using a new technique for breast augmentation—fat grafting—that transfers fat harvested by liposuction from the waist and thighs to the breast.

Augmenting the breast with the body’s own fat first became popular in the 1980s. Women loved the idea of using their own tissue to upsize and they were thrilled with losing girth from below the waist, while blossoming up top.

However, the procedure largely fell into disuse after 1987 when the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery declared it should be prohibited because of side effects that included cysts, calcification, tissue scarring, and mimicked breast cancer.

Coleman insists the official caution was all about politics.

“The decision was taken for purely political and economic reasons,” he says. The delicate and demanding technique was threatening to people whose practices were based on implants. Surgeons doing breast implants got together and decided to eliminate the possibility of fat injections to the breast.”

Coleman and others quietly persevered, refining and improving the technique.

Now, more precise and sensitive breast imaging, including ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, along with vastly improved techniques and skills of fat grafting, have paved the way for a resurgence of “lipomodelling” of the breast.

Coleman says the technique won’t replace implants, but it will be a surgery performed commonly.

An article on this topic will appear in the October issue of Plastic Surgery Products.

[www.thestar.com, August 11, 2006]