Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

Fat transfer breast augmentation, also known as autologous fat grafting to the breasts, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that involves using a person’s own body fat to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. The procedure consists of two main steps: liposuction to harvest fat from one part of the body and then injecting that harvested fat into the breasts.

Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Consultation: The first step is a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During this consultation, the surgeon will assess your goals, examine your body, and discuss your medical history to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure.
  2. Liposuction: In this step, the surgeon will use liposuction techniques to remove excess fat from areas of your body where you have sufficient fat to spare, such as the abdomen, thighs, or hips. The removed fat is carefully processed and purified to separate the viable fat cells from other materials.
  3. Fat Processing: The harvested fat is then processed to remove impurities, excess fluids, and damaged cells. The goal is to obtain a concentrated amount of healthy fat cells that can survive when injected into the breasts.
  4. Fat Injection: The purified fat is injected into various layers of the breast tissue using small, specialized needles. The surgeon strategically places the fat cells to achieve the desired volume and shape. The injections are typically done through multiple small incisions.
  5. Healing and Recovery: After the procedure, patients may experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in both the liposuctioned areas and the breasts. Recovery time can vary, but patients usually need to avoid strenuous activities and wear a supportive bra for a few weeks to ensure proper healing.
  6. Results: It’s important to note that not all of the transferred fat may survive in its new location. Some fat cells might be reabsorbed by the body over time. Therefore, surgeons may slightly overcorrect during the initial injection, knowing that some volume loss is expected. The final results become more apparent as the body heals and the swelling subsides.

Benefits of fat transfer breast augmentation include using your own natural tissue, minimal scarring, and the potential for subtle and natural-looking results. However, there are also limitations to how much volume can be added in a single session, and the final outcome can vary based on factors such as your body’s response to the procedure and the surgeon’s expertise.

It’s essential to choose a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who specializes in this procedure and to have realistic expectations about the potential results. Always consult with a medical professional before making any decisions about cosmetic surgery.

Does fat transfer to breasts last?

The longevity of fat transfer to the breasts can vary from person to person. While some of the transferred fat can establish a blood supply and survive in its new location, not all of the transferred fat cells will necessarily survive over the long term. Some factors that can influence the longevity of the results include:

  1. Individual Variation: The survival of transferred fat can vary widely between individuals. Some people may experience a higher rate of fat cell survival, while others may have more significant reabsorption by the body.
  2. Technique and Expertise: The skill and experience of the plastic surgeon performing the procedure can significantly impact the success of fat grafting. A skilled surgeon knows how to properly harvest, process, and inject fat cells to maximize their survival.
  3. Blood Supply and Healing: The success of fat grafting depends on the establishment of a blood supply to the transferred fat cells. If a sufficient blood supply doesn’t develop, the fat cells may not survive. Factors like healing, blood circulation, and tissue quality in the recipient site play a role in this process.
  4. Post-Operative Care: Following post-operative instructions, including proper care of the surgical sites and adhering to the recommended recovery protocols, can contribute to better results and long-term fat survival.
  5. Weight Fluctuations: Significant weight fluctuations can impact the appearance of the augmented breasts. Gaining or losing weight after the procedure can affect the distribution of the transferred fat cells, potentially leading to changes in breast size and shape.
  6. Age and Hormones: Factors such as hormonal changes and the aging process can also influence the longevity of fat transfer results. Hormonal shifts might impact fat cell survival and the overall appearance of the breasts over time.
  7. Subsequent Procedures: If you undergo additional surgical procedures or treatments in the same area, they could potentially impact the transferred fat and its survival.

It’s important to have realistic expectations about the long-term outcomes of fat transfer to the breasts. While some fat may be reabsorbed by the body, a skilled surgeon will often take this into account during the initial procedure, slightly overcorrecting for volume to compensate for the expected loss. If you’re considering fat transfer breast augmentation, it’s crucial to have a thorough consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon who can assess your individual situation and provide you with a clear understanding of the potential results and limitations.

How much does fat transfer breast augmentation cost?

The cost of fat transfer breast augmentation can vary widely depending on several factors, including the geographic location of the surgical facility, the experience and reputation of the plastic surgeon, the complexity of the procedure, the extent of liposuction required for fat harvesting, and the specific facilities and equipment used during the surgery. Other potential costs may include anesthesia fees, facility fees, pre-operative tests, post-operative garments, and follow-up appointments.

On average, fat transfer breast augmentation tends to be more expensive than traditional breast augmentation with implants, primarily due to the complexity of the procedure and the additional steps involved in harvesting and processing the fat. The cost can range from a few thousand dollars to several thousand dollars or more.

To get an accurate estimate of the cost for your specific case, it’s best to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeon will evaluate your individual needs and provide you with a detailed cost breakdown based on your goals and the complexity of the procedure. Keep in mind that cost should not be the only consideration when choosing a surgeon; the surgeon’s experience, qualifications, and reputation are also crucial factors to consider for a safe and successful outcome.

What are the pros and cons of fat transfer breast augmentation?

Fat transfer breast augmentation offers both advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional breast augmentation with implants. Here are some of the pros and cons of fat transfer breast augmentation:


  1. Natural Look and Feel: The results of fat transfer can look and feel very natural, as the augmentation is achieved using your body’s own tissue.
  2. No Foreign Material: Unlike breast implants, fat transfer does not involve placing foreign objects in the body, which can be appealing to individuals concerned about implants.
  3. Dual Benefit: In addition to breast enhancement, liposuction is performed to harvest fat from areas with excess fat, resulting in body contouring at the donor site.
  4. Minimal Scarring: The incisions used for fat transfer are small and typically result in minimal scarring.
  5. Reduced Risks of Implant-Related Issues: Since fat transfer doesn’t involve implants, there is no risk of implant rupture, leakage, or capsular contracture.
  6. Long-Term Improvements: Fat transfer results can be long-lasting if a portion of the transferred fat establishes a blood supply and survives in the breasts.


  1. Limited Increase in Size: The amount of fat that can be transferred in a single session is typically limited. This means that fat transfer may not achieve the same degree of volume increase that implants can provide.
  2. Variable Survival of Fat: Not all of the transferred fat cells survive in their new location. Some fat may be reabsorbed by the body, leading to potential volume loss over time.
  3. Multiple Procedures: Achieving the desired volume increase may require multiple sessions of fat transfer, which can increase both the cost and recovery time.
  4. Size Predictability: Achieving predictable and consistent size results can be more challenging with fat transfer compared to implant-based augmentation.
  5. Less Predictable Results: The outcome of fat transfer can be influenced by factors such as the surgeon’s technique, blood supply to the transferred fat, and individual variation in fat survival.
  6. Need for Adequate Donor Fat: To perform fat transfer, you need to have sufficient donor fat in other areas of your body, which might limit its feasibility for individuals with very low body fat.
  7. Initial Overcorrection: Surgeons may need to slightly overcorrect during the initial procedure, knowing that some fat will be reabsorbed, which can lead to a temporary period of looking overly augmented before settling into the final result.
  8. Possible Unevenness or Lumpiness: There is a risk of uneven fat distribution, leading to contour irregularities or lumpiness in the breasts.

Ultimately, the decision between fat transfer breast augmentation and traditional implant-based augmentation should be based on your individual goals, body type, and the recommendations of a board-certified plastic surgeon. It’s important to have a thorough consultation to discuss your options, understand the potential outcomes, and make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and expectations.

Written by Clara Lee