Back Bay - Natural Breast Augmentation - Boston, MA
Reporter: This year, nearly half a million American women will undergo breast augmentation. And for women opposed to artificial implants, there's a new option rising in popularity called fat grafting. It helps women lose fat where they don't want it, and reuse it where they do.
Dr. Del Vecchio: A fat grafted breast is as natural a breast as you can get.
Reporter: Boston plastic surgeon Dr. Dan Del Vecchio has been doing traditional breast augmentations for years. But since 2006, has added fat grafting.
Dr. Del Vecchio: Fat grafting is simply taking fat out of one part of the body with liposuction and, like seeds, implanting them into other parts of the body.
Lauren: I have some areas of fat that diet and exercise really can't touch at this point. And so, I can smooth those areas out and add to my bust at the same time. It's awesome.
Reporter: 26 year old Lauren, an economics grad student at Harvard, felt fat grafting was her best option.
Lauren: With the saline or the silicone implant, that's a surgery that needs to be redone periodically throughout-
Lauren: I also heard that they feel different.
Reporter: Dr. Del Vecchio's technique incorporates the BRAVA Bra expansion process, stretching the tissue and creating space for the transplanted fat. Expansion complete, Lauren was ready for surgery.
Reporter: Lauren's surgery should take just under two hours, the key being to get the fat out of the body and back into it as quickly as possible.
Reporter: The fat is first harvested, with traditional liposuction, from Lauren's hips, thighs, and stomach. It's then processed by intense spinning to separate out any blood and water. The purified fat is then strategically injected.
Dr. Del Vecchio: It's only been out of the body about 30 minutes.
Reporter: While most cosmetic surgeons say fat grafting is safe, the concern remains fat's survival. With today's techniques, on average 85% should stay intact. 20 years ago, the procedure was condemned because of low fat survival rates, and because doctors feared that calcified fat deposits on mammograms might be misread as cancerous cysts.
Dr. Del Vecchio: We can't prove that it doesn't cause cancer. All the data suggests that there's no increased risk of cancer.
Reporter: And now, two months later:
Lauren: I am really happy with how things are looking.
Reporter: Lauren lost at least one pants size, and gained almost two cup sizes.
Lauren: I feel very confident. And I think especially once I start being able to kind of swap out the old clothes for the new stuff that fits me better, I'll be even happier.
Reporter: Now, Lauren still has a couple more months of healing before her body will stabilize, but she says it was all worth it.
Reporter: Costs can range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.