In recent years, aesthetic concerns have increasingly led individuals seeking physical improvement to turn to medicine. Collagen has long been used in cases of medical necessity. Physicians have since learned that it can be used to enhance the appearance of the breasts or buttocks. Collagen may be preferred by some individuals seeking breast or buttock enhancement because it is less invasive than other methods.


History

Though the methods, tools and substances involved have changed, fat injection has been used in medicine for many years. Since the 1800s, fat injection has been used to correct aesthetic abnormalities, such as indentations and malformations occurring as part of a disease process.

In modern medicine, fat injection is often used in elective procedures to improve appearance. Many individuals choose this method for enhancement of the breasts and/or buttocks because it is a minimally invasive way to achieve a desired effect.

Collagen Vs. Other Types of Fat Injections

There are many types of fat injections. Two of the most common are exogenous fat injection (such as the injection of collagen) and autologous fat injection, which typically involves removal of excess fat from one part of the body for deposit in another area.

Generally, the collagen used for augmentation is derived from animal sources (generally cows and other bovine animals). In some cases, it may be human collagen. Human collagen is obtained from sources such as human cadavers and placentas, whereas typical collagen is harvested from animals.

Warning

Collagen is “exogenous,” which means that it is not generated by your own body. This also means that it poses a risk of reaction. Any time a foreign substance enters your body, there is a certain degree of risk, due to unpredictable immune responses. However, this risk margin varies among individuals and should be discussed with a physician prior to beginning the procedure. Additionally, as with any invasive procedure, there is a risk of complications, such as local infection.

Benefits

For those who want to enhance the breast area or buttocks, there are many options. Collagen injections are an attractive option for many patients, due to the cost effectiveness and because unlike traditional augmentations, they do not require major surgery. Thus, collagen enhancement presents a relatively low-risk, quick and effective option for those seeking to enlarge the breasts and/or buttocks. Indeed, Matsundo and Toledo characterize injected fat grafting as an approach that involves “major advantages and few complications.”

Considerations

There are many things to consider when pondering changes to your breasts and/or buttocks. When choosing a method for enlargement, it is important to factor in general health, the availability of resources, the desired result and the implications of the choice. For example, a collagen augmentation may require less recovery time, but it will also require maintenance procedures that a major surgery may not. Accordingly, how dramatic a change the desired size represents may need to be considered—it is unlikely that collagen is the most appropriate method for very extreme changes.