Surgery replaces breast implants with body fat to create natural look

While breast implants have become increasingly common, there are a significant number of women who ultimately decide to reverse their decision.

Francis, who asked ABC7 News not to use her last name, received silicone breast implants over a decade ago. As an emergency responder with a physically strenuous job, she decided to make a change when one of the implants began to deflate. "I knew I didn't want anything foreign in my body anymore," Francis said.

So, plastic surgeon Kamakshi Zeidler, M.D., offered Francis the option of removing the implants and using fat from her own body to rebuild her breasts. "A lot of women really like this idea of fat grafting and I do too because we can kill two birds with one stone," Zeidler said.

First surgeons remove fat from the patients' body with liposuction, which typically reduces the waistline in the process. That same fat is then purified using a system called pure graft. Zeidler said the purified fat cells will survive at a much higher rate when they're ultimately transferred.

She says surgeons typically remove the implants and then raises the breast area with a lift procedure. Finally, the purified fat cells are layered over the existing muscle where they'll graft and become living fat tissue, adding shape and volume to the breast. "Francis' breast now has lots of fat cells that are living and will be with her forever. They'll gain and lose weight with her over time," Zeidler said.

The procedure gave Francis a look that she considers more natural and roughly a cup size smaller than she was with the implants, with the promise of moving forward with no more surgeries.

Written and produced by Tim Didion.
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