Growing muffins, err, muffin-tops? Doctors can put those muffins to good use now with plastic surgery-- siphon your muffin tops to make boobs. Mr's mom had a different procedure where they took her back rolls to make boobs. Hey, I guess it's recycling!
Problem solved. A new study suggests an
inventive use for your muffin top: In Miami, a plastic surgeon is
liposuctioning that excess fat and injecting it somewhere many women
actually want a little extra bulge — their breasts. (Waste not, want
The procedure combines two of
the most popular cosmetic surgeries in America — 307,000 breast
augmentations and 245,000 liposuction procedures were performed in
2008, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It
essentially gives patients a twofer, said Dr. Roger Khouri, the Miami
plastic surgeon who pioneered the technique and is now reporting
results in 50 women.
“You get rid of the
fat where you don’t want it, and you move it where you want it to be,”
said Khouri, who recently presented his findings at the annual meeting
of the plastic surgeons' society in Seattle. "The augmentation looks
completely natural. This does not have the implant look; this does not
have the fake look. There’s no scar, and there’s no incision.”
that's the appeal for many women. Khouri's approach seems like a more
natural way to up your cup size, as opposed to getting breast implants.
It's your own fat, after all — it's all still you. Just ... rearranged.
“I live in Miami, and it’s pretty common
to see women here with breast implants,” said Huerta, who's 28 and had
the procedure done two years ago. “But it’s really uncommon to see
breasts I really like. They look really fake — too separate, too
bubbly, too plastic-y. Just the thought of putting an implant in me —
putting something foreign in my body — was not an idea that I’d really
felt comfortable with.”
Cheeseburgers find a new home
the weeks before her surgery, Huerta decided to give Khouri a little
more to work with, and packed an extra 9 pounds on her 5-foot-4-inch
frame with a diet that consisted of more cheeseburgers and fries than
usual. "I wanted to make sure I could make my breasts as big as
possible, so I decided to store as much fat as possible — so he could
pull out as much fat as possible," said Huerta, who went from weighing
115 to 124 pounds. “I was eating everything in sight."
not exactly the route Khouri recommends, but it worked in Huerta's
case, who went from a small B cup to somewhere between a C and a D.
plan backfired a bit, as it took some dieting to get back to her normal
weight, but she's still loving the natural look and feel of her surgery
results. (And so is her boyfriend, she adds.)
notes the procedure works best on women who aren't really fat, but who
have just a little extra squashiness in some of the usual places: the
hips, tummy or thighs. His research tracked 50 women, ages 17 to 63,
over five years, and found that the average increase was about 210
milliliters, or about two cup sizes.
advantage of this is you can put the fat exactly where you want it so
you can sculpt the breast a little bit more, whereas the implants only
come in so many shapes and sizes,” said Dr. Karol Gutowski, a clinical
associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago and the
chief of plastic surgery at the NorthShore University HealthSystem in
Illinois. Gutowski did not contribute to this study, and hasn't done
the procedure himself, but he's familiar with Khouri's research.
Plastic surgeons first tried this
fat-recycling tactic in the mid-1980s, soon after liposuction was
developed, and since then, experts have argued about the procedure's
safety and effectiveness. Initially, doctors were concerned that the
displaced fat would calcify, and either obscure mammograms or be
mistaken for cancer growths. Now, improvements in MRI make those fears
a non-issue, experts say.
“So far, we’re not seeing there’s any increased risk of cancer or any problems with detecting of cancer,” Gutowski said.
was still one drawback: It just didn't work very well. Over time, the
body usually reabsorbed the fat that surgeons had injected into the
"You can overstuff as much fat as
you want, but unless the fat is surrounded by a lot of tissue, it's not
going to grow," Khouri explained. "Every little droplet of fat, to
survive, has to be surrounded all around by healthy tissue with human
Lipsuction plus vacuum bra does the trick
Khouri tried combining liposuction with an earlier breast-enhancing
innovation of his that hadn't exactly taken off — the Brava, which went
on the market in 2001. It works like a motorized suction-cup, it's
shaped like a giant bra and it sucks and stretches breast tissue.
Marketed as a nonsurgical do-it-yourself boob job, the Brava has been
met with disappointment by users who felt, well, deflated by the lack
of long-term results from the device alone.
In Khouri's study, patients wore the
Brava for 10 to 12 hours a day several weeks before and after surgery.
Most patients, like Huerta, wore the device overnight, mostly to avoid
the attention they'd attract in public. Awkward as it may be, the Brava
seemed to do the trick. The vacuum bra expanded the breasts just enough
to give Khouri pockets surrounded by healthy tissue where he could
inject the liposuctioned fat.
so far, so good. The study followed each of the women for an average of
three years after surgery, and for these women, fat graft survival
averaged 85 percent. A Harvard doctor picked up the procedure and has
done several surgeries this way, and in February, Khouri will run a
two-day workshop where he will perform the fat-grafting surgery in
front of 500 plastic surgeons.
Now, this method is being focused toward
breast reconstruction for cancer survivors, such as Astrid Nicastri,
who is 32 and lives in Miami.
really unhappy with the idea of getting implants,” says Nicastri, who
was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and had one breast removed in
2008. It was not her first bout with the disease. She'd had brain
cancer at 12, another brain tumor in 2006 and after surviving breast
cancer, she says, “I’d had enough. I didn’t want anything more messing
with my body. I didn’t want implants in my body to remind me. For me,
it would be a reminder that I’d had breast cancer. … I didn’t want
something foreign in my body.”
Nicastri heard about Khouri's work at a cancer support group, she
scheduled an appointment and had her surgery earlier this month. She
loves her results, and has even passed out Khouri's card to other
breast cancer survivors she's met.
“When you have something missing from
you, you’re more self-conscious,” Nicastri says. “It gives me so much
more courage to go out there in the world. And I got a little liposuction, too.”