Get up close and personal with Tamara from Victoria – she just recently (8 weeks ago) had a rhinoplasty, and fat transfer to the breasts procedure with Dr Allan Kalus from Avenue Plastic Surgery in Victoria. Tamara gives us a rundown of the procedure, and explains why she is delighted with her outcome.
Trish Hammond: Great, well I’m really excited. I’m here today with Tamara. Tamara lives in Melbourne and she’s just recently had the fat transfer to the breast procedure done with Dr. Allan Kalus from Avenue Plastic Surgery in Victoria. Welcome Tamara.
Tamara: Thank you so much for having me.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, it’s a pleasure. I’ve been dying to speak to you. Tamara, when did you actually have your surgery?
Tamara: I think we’re going onto about eight weeks now, eight/nine weeks. Yeah, just a couple of months, yeah.
Trish Hammond: Okay, so nearly two months. Why did you decide, like what was the catalyst to make you decide that this is the procedure that you wanted to have done?
Tamara: Well, to be honest I wasn’t even looking to have my breasts done. I mean, it was just one of those things that, I guess I had, I’d lost a lot of weight last year, I lost about 19 kilos last year and my breasts did go down because of that, but I’d actually been looking at having rhinoplasty. I had quite a big nose. I have got European heritage and that’s kind of what got me looking at plastic surgery. I had a friend that actually told me about fat transfer and she was really keen on it, but she had heard about it from America.
I was like okay, that just, that sounds like something that I remember years ago thinking, wouldn’t it be great if they could take fat from my thighs and put it in my breasts.
Trish Hammond: Yes.
Tamara: Like a dream come true.
Trish Hammond: Yeah.
Tamara: I was just like, you know, look I haven’t really heard about that happening here, so why don’t you just wait awhile to see, until it becomes a thing here. Then a second friend of mine was actually a patient of Dr. Kalus’, of Mr. Kalus’ and she was getting her breasts redone. She had had them done ten years ago and she had to get them redone and part of his recommendation was to have them replaced but also to have fat transfer kind of around them to provide a bit more of a natural look around them. When she said that to me, I kind of connected the two together, I was like what, that’s a thing here?
Like I didn’t even know and so I did some research and found out that it’s, whilst it’s not the mainstream thing to do, there are some people out there who really specialise in it and Mr. Kalus has had so much experience and done so much work and is really passionate about it. I actually saw when I did my appointment with him, I spoke to him about my nose and then inquired about it. That’s where he kind of gave me the rundown a bit more than what I’d done research on.
Trish Hammond: Great, so I know for a fact that he has done a lot of the fat transfer procedures and he is one of the pioneers of Australia, well he’s done a lot so he knows what he’s talking about.
Tamara: Yeah, and that’s what really kind of, why I ended up picking him. I was going to see a couple of surgeons. I wanted to get second opinions and things like that but when I went and saw Mr. Kalus for my rhinoplasty, he’s innovative in that area as well, so he did a closed rhinoplasty on me, which was amazing because I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to breathe through my nose and there was a lot of things that I was really scared about. He was really innovative in that area as well and then he told me about all of the stuff he’d been doing with the fat transfer and he gave me all the details and I did my research online.
I’m very kind of, love lots of information and yeah, I just felt so at ease and he’s definitely not the kind of person to push you into having a procedure. If anything he’ll push back and really manage your expectations, which is great.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, that’s awesome, so tell me, what did you actually have done? Did you have a lift at all or did you just have the, just have fat done or did you have implants as well? What was your actual procedure that you had done, apart from your nose, which I know looks great. I can see [crosstalk 00:03:44]
Tamara: Yeah, no I just had the fat transfer. I had fat transfer taken from my thighs and from my hips. The fat taken from my thighs and just a little bit from my hips and implanted or grafted into my breasts. There were no implants. I’ve got a tall, slim frame, I just didn’t feel that implants were for me. I wanted a natural look. There was no lift, I just had them, just the fat grafted onto my breasts. As I mentioned, I’d lost a lot of weight so I had small breasts but nothing that I was like, from what I knew that was available in the market, I thought it was going to be implants.
For me, I was like well, I just don’t have that frame to support these really large breasts. I wanted something natural, so when I heard about fat transfer and it was like a one to two cup increase, I was like okay, I can manage that. That would actually look really good on my frame. Yeah, that’s why it worked really well for me, because I wanted that natural look. I wanted it to just look like I had fuller breasts.
Trish Hammond: Okay, so did he tell you how much fat he moved? Like how many litres or millilitres or [crosstalk 00:04:57]
Tamara: Yeah, so how’d it go? I had one breast that was a little bit smaller than the other so we put in an extra, we put in a little bit extra in that one, the smaller one. From memory, I think it was 250 CCs in one and 300 CCs in the other one, or 200 and 250 or something like that.
Trish Hammond: Okay, so how much, like have you gone up a cup size?
Tamara: I’ve actually gone up two.
Trish Hammond: Wow.
Tamara: I’ve gone up two cups sizes, yeah.
Trish Hammond: So from what to what?
Tamara: Do you know what? I have not had my, I’ve not actually gone to a, this is the thing, I’m still in my sports bra because I haven’t gone to like the bra shop to get professionally measured but I was essentially like kind of a biggish B, now I’m like a really smallish D.
Trish Hammond: Okay, all right, and you can really notice a difference. How do they feel?
Tamara: They feel like completely natural. They just feel like my normal breasts and the way he’s grafted it as well is he’s put a bit more emphasis towards the middle, sorry the outer, like to provide more cleavage, so rather than going evenly around the whole breast, he’s kind of put more on, I guess on the inner parts of the breast so that it has better cleavage and things like that, so it’s not like completely rounded but they look completely natural. There’s no scarring or anything like that.
There’s like I’ve got two little dots where the needles are, which are slowly fading and they’ll end up disappearing but I have spots all over myself anyway, so it will all just kind of [crosstalk 00:06:40], yeah, blend in. Completely natural, there’s no ridge, I don’t want to say ridge [crosstalk 00:06:47]
Trish Hammond: I know what you mean.
Tamara: … like that implants have that but they look just completely natural. [crosstalk 00:06:53]
Trish Hammond: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Tamara: They just look like they’re fuller. [crosstalk 00:06:55]
Trish Hammond: Just look like you’ve got bigger boobs without, I know exactly what you mean. Tell me, what about the lipo on the other areas? Are you still in compression garments?
Tamara: No, so I’ve been out of compression garments for two weeks now and I remember when I first started wearing them I was thinking to myself, oh my God, I’m going to have to wear these for so long, like all the time and then it came time to take them off and I was just like, I felt naked without them and I liked the support.
Trish Hammond: I know exactly what you mean [crosstalk 00:07:22]
Tamara: It’s kind of like wearing some kind of Spanx. It’s really quite funny.
Trish Hammond: Everybody says that, it’s like as much as you don’t like wearing them, they just give you that security so you feel like everything’s safe and tucked in properly and once they come off, it sort of freaks you out a bit.
Tamara: Yeah, exactly.
Trish Hammond: How long was your procedure? Do you know at all, Tamara? About how long you were under?
Tamara: Yes, so we booked out the room for two and a half hours. My understanding was my rhinoplasty was 45 minutes.
Trish Hammond: Oh, he did them together? So you had your rhinoplasty [crosstalk 00:07:55]
Trish Hammond: You’ve come out like a whole new woman, okay.
Trish Hammond: I didn’t realise you had it done together, sorry about that.
Tamara: Yeah, I had it all done together. Well that was the thing. Like I said, I had gone in originally for the rhinoplasty, to inquire about it and I thought to myself, well if it’s something that I’m going to do, I may as well do it all at the same time because I’ll have that time off work, I’ll be recovering anyway and I mean, I guess you save a little bit, not that much money but because you’re only having the surgeon come in once and there’s a couple of duplicate costs that you kind of, I guess, save on. It was all done together, yeah.
Trish Hammond: Okay, so in that two and a half hours?
Tamara: Yeah, that’s how long we booked the surgery out for. It’s quite a fast, well my understanding is that the fat transfer is a longer procedure than traditional implants because that’s the thing. It’s like with traditional liposuction, they’re just like yanking all the fat out, right, but because with the fat transfer they need to actually use it, they can’t really like rip it, you have to really keep it’s integrity, so when you’re pulling out the fat it’s a lot slower. There’s a lot of work that has to be done to the fat for it to be viable and I know Mr. Kalus takes a lot of care in all of that, so it’s a longer procedure than a traditional liposuction would be.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, okay, so when they’re taking it out they’re using, I guess they’re not as rough, I’m not quite sure what it is.
Tamara: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s a lot slower so it’s not, my understanding is it’s different equipment so that it’s treated more carefully. It’s also not as hard sucking as well, so it’s taken out with a lot of care because there’s a lot of treatment that happens to the fat cells. There’s a lot of work that they do to clean it and things like that, because it needs to then be used again and it needs to, he has a lot of, Mr. Kalus has a lot of success in the fat kind of taking, like staying on because you can graft it and then for the first two weeks certain fat can not survive and then it kind of flushes out.
I guess what you come out with is swollen breasts and quite a lot bigger but some of that fat can drop away, but he has a really high success rate. He has like a 80 percent success rate of the amount of fat that gets grafted.
Trish Hammond: That’s great. I know, because I did an interview with him a little while ago and I know he does a special, like he puts you on a bit of a kind of diet, doesn’t he, as well? Is that right, after your surgery?
Tamara: Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s definitely about having a high carb diet and there’s a few trade secrets that he tells his patients to do and he’s always testing out new things. I was one of the first patients to try out a few new ideas that he had and we found that it was really successful.
Trish Hammond: That’s great.
Tamara: It just helped to, I guess for him to, I guess if you say high carb diet that means something different to everybody, whereas he’s able to by testing and trying new things and suggesting things of what he wants you to do, he can kind of maintain that, I guess that standard of high carb.
Trish Hammond: Of course, of course. All right and tell me, what was your recovery like? How long were you, I know you had your rhino as well as your fat transfer, how long were you in hospital for?
Tamara: It was day surgery. I was out that afternoon.
Trish Hammond: Wow, and you had someone at home looking after you?
Tamara: Yeah, my friend picked me up and she was the one that had her breasts redone, so she had had those done not that far back from when I had, so I looked after her after her surgery, she looked after me for my surgery.
Trish Hammond: That’s really good, that’s handy.
Trish Hammond: All right, so in and out in the same day, what was your recovery like? What did you, like how many days before you didn’t feel like you’d been run over by a truck, or did you not feel like that at all?
Tamara: The first night, in terms of like pain, you’re not in pain. You’re swollen, you’re very much woozy that first day because the drugs are all coming out and things like that, so I got home and I was in my compression garment, but so where they, I guess where the needles or the little straw things go in for where the liposuction was, they had all bandages on them and then the compression garment on top of that. There’s a lot of, I guess, fluid and things like that that’s in there and so throughout the next couple of days it would look like I’m bleeding but it’s actually just the fluid coming out.
If it got disrupted it would be all red. It was more, that didn’t hurt, it was more just like sometimes like a bit of a horror movie when you kind of look to the side and you’ve got all this blood coming off the side.
Trish Hammond: Yes.
Tamara: But pain-wise, I was on, they had given me strong pain killers on hand but I didn’t use them. I was on Panadol back to back and that first night I did take some Endone, but that was because I just couldn’t sleep. Because of my rhinoplasty I couldn’t breathe completely out of my nose.
Trish Hammond: Okay.
Tamara: I struggled to fall asleep and I needed something to make me drowsy, but pain-wise no, because the thing is with my rhinoplasty, the next day we cleaned it out and I was able to breathe, so then I was fine sleeping, which was great. Pain-wise it was just back to back Panadol for about a week.
Trish Hammond: You know, it’s sort of funny because I had, last year I had liposuction as well and I was expecting the pain to be like hell on earth and I was exactly the same as you, I was like really, have I actually had anything done? I don’t know what it was, but I didn’t even have any bruising at all either, so [inaudible 00:13:56] I think he was just so gentle.
Tamara: I have lots of bruising.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, right.
Tamara: Yeah, I had a lot of bruising. It came up later, but because you were in the garment you don’t notice it. Pain-wise, like no pain. I was doing back to back Panadol so I didn’t notice it. There were a couple of times where you kind of forget that you need to take it again and then you kind of notice that you’re about to start being uncomfortable.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, so you get into it before it starts to settle, yeah.
Tamara: Yeah. I was the same with my wisdom teeth as well. They’re just like back to back, like as soon as you get up to your, what is it, four or six hours, just keep taking them and then, because they say it’s easier to avoid the pain than it is to get rid of it once it comes or something like that.
Trish Hammond: I think that’s what pain management’s all about, it’s kind of just keeping yourself at a certain level until your body’s got a chance to recover and yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s what pain management’s all about because yeah, I’ve had, I’ve recently had surgery, same thing, as soon as you, if you just go over that time and the pain sets in, it just takes so much longer to get rid of so I think just stay on top of it.
Tamara: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That would be my recommendation, absolutely.
Trish Hammond: Tell me, how long were you, well are you back at work now?
Tamara: Yeah, yeah, I was back at work, I only took a week off work.
Trish Hammond: Oh, a week?
Tamara: Yeah. They kind of recommend two weeks but I was like, I’ve got a desk job and I took almost a week and a half so I had surgery on a Thursday, then had that Friday off and then the following week off, so I was back that following Monday, so it’s kind of like a week and a half. I was like,well I’m going to be wearing a garment and my plaster will be off so no one will even notice. People don’t actually know the extent of what I’ve had done. Then when they took my plaster off my nose they put this tape down on my nose and I have to wear that for a week, so I had to go into work with tape on my nose but that, if anything, distracted from the fact that I was wearing a garment.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, that’s true. I remember when I had a rhinoplasty about 20 years ago, same thing and people just thought that someone had hit me or something like that, or that I’d been in an accident or whatever, people had no idea that I’d had a nose job.
Tamara: Yeah, that just, and I just walked in as if everything was fine, even though I had sticky up on my nose.
Trish Hammond: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:16:11]
Tamara: You just don’t draw attention to it and everyone’s fine. I was like oh, I just had some breathing problems.
Trish Hammond: Yeah. Good on you. Is there anything that you wish that you’d known before the surgery that you’d want to share with someone that was about to have it or whatever? Is there anything that, or a little tip or some advice or anything like that, that’s a bit of a piece of gold for people?
Tamara: Yeah, so definitely like if you’re planning to, I guess if you think about fat and I guess people who may have done research about liposuction might understand this, but it’s got to do with losing weight. I’ve lost, like I said, a lot of weight and I’ve got a friend who’s interested in it as well and it’s like if you’re planning on losing weight, lose the weight first because the way it works is, you’ve got fat cells and when you get fatter, you don’t get extra fat cells, your fat cells just get bigger so when they do the liposuction and they put that into your breasts, if you then want to lose weight after surgery, your breasts are going to get smaller because you’re losing the weight from your fat cells, which are now in your breasts.
Trish Hammond: Okay.
Tamara: Lose all the weight that you want to lose before hand, because you don’t want to be doing any diets after you’ve had the surgery, because you’re essentially going to lose weight in your breasts.
Trish Hammond: Yep, right.
Tamara: Because that’s where your fat is now.
Trish Hammond: Yep, got it, got it, so basically you want to be your goal weight, you don’t want to go in there thinking oh, well I’ll lose weight afterwards because [crosstalk 00:17:39] you’re going to lose it in your boobs because that’s where your fat’s gone.
Tamara: Yeah, because people forget, and I’ll have to explain this to people, because that’s the other thing about the high carb diet as well, when I went in to do my six week appointment I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and I had just been a week of not eating because I was so anxious and it’s not like my breasts went down but I could just tell that they weren’t as [crosstalk 00:18:01]
Trish Hammond: Full.
Tamara: Full, exactly. He was just like, well we don’t want that happening. You keep eating, you’re just going to essentially grow your breasts. When you think of it like that, and especially when I was coming out of surgery, it was like you need to eat and have lots of carbs and things like that and I was like yeah, but I just don’t want to put on lots of weight now that I’ve had this surgery. He’s like no, we want to grow those breasts. As soon as he said, we want to grow those breasts I was like, oh yeah, of course, that makes sense. If anything now, I can just eat what I want. Something good. Yeah, lose the weight before hand, you’ll not be losing weight afterwards because that’s going to affect the results.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, that makes so much sense. It just makes so much sense once you, it’s a fat transfer so you don’t want to be losing any weight because you’ll lose it in your boobs, which you’ve just paid a fortune to have done, so don’t mess it up.
Tamara: Exactly. Exactly, yeah. The benefits of this as well is like I always had like office thighs, where my thighs would kind of go out a bit, there was nothing wrong with them but now I just have these legs that I just love.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, right.
Tamara: Because that’s the extra benefit, it’s fat transfer. You now just have like no fat in your legs. It’s like crazy. Now I can eat whatever I want and sit at the desk all the time and I just don’t get fat down there. It’s hilarious.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, just put the weight on your boobs.
Tamara: Yeah, exactly.
Trish Hammond: Sounds perfect. Just eat and your boobs get bigger.
Tamara: Yep, I keep thinking I have to go healthy, I have to go healthy and I’m just like yeah, next week.
Trish Hammond: Yeah.
Tamara: I keep waiting for something to happen down there because that’s just what I know, even though I know that my fat’s not there any more, but it’s just bizarre. It’s just bizarre.
Trish Hammond: That sounds great, Tamara. [crosstalk 00:19:42]
Tamara: It’s a dual benefit.
Trish Hammond: Yeah, yeah, that’s exactly right. You lose the weight, lose the fat in the areas, those stubborn pockets of fat that are just never going to go.
Tamara: Exactly and that’s what Mr. Kalus said, because I was at that point where I was, I had lost enough weight whereas if I kept losing it I was worried that he wouldn’t find the fat and he just said to me look, lose whatever you want to lose, let me find the fat. He goes, because what we want is that stubborn fat anyway because that’s the stuff that can survive anything. He was, let me go hunting around for the fat, make my job harder. You don’t worry about it, you don’t have to gain weight for this, because that’s the fat that’s like easily going to, that’s the stuff that’s most probably not going to survive anyway. We want that stubborn fat, that’s what we want to harvest.
Trish Hammond: Yeah. Fantastic. Well I reckon you’ve pretty much answered all my questions. It’s something that I would love to have done.
Tamara: I highly recommend it. If I had known about this earlier, [crosstalk 00:20:35] but I’m really, I’m so glad I did it.
Trish Hammond: That’s so good. Thank you so much, Tamara. Thanks for sharing that story with us.
Tamara: No worries.
Trish Hammond: Ladies, if you’re out there and this is something that you’re thinking of doing, you can either drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out Dr. Kalus on Plastic Surgery Hub or what else can you do? You can just look in the directory. A lot of plastic surgeons are now doing, actually not a lot, but there are a handful of plastic surgeons doing the procedure as well, but Dr. Kalus is based in Victoria and I know for a fact that he has visitors from around Australia going to see him as well. Thank you so much again, Tamara.
Tamara: Thank you so much for having me.
Trish Hammond: No worries. Bye.
Tamara: Great, bye.
If you’d like to find out more about fat transfer to the breasts or rhinoplasty, check out these blogs: