This Article Has Been Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D.

Home Breast Augmentation Top Questions About Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

January 27, 2022

When most women think of breast augmentation, they automatically think of silicone or saline implants. 

But there’s another option available today that’s not as well known — fat transfer breast augmentation.

Instead of deciding which implant type to use, plastic surgeons can actually remove fat from other places of your body. The fat is then injected into the breasts to improve their size and appearance.

The benefit of this procedure is two-fold: larger, natural-looking breasts, and body contouring for the rest of the body.

The effects of a breast augmentation fat transfer are subtle and realistic. However, they offer a limited range of enhancement — fat transfers can only add about a full cup the size. It’s limited by the amount of body fat harvested from throughout the body.

If you’re considering breast augmentation but afraid of invasive surgery or implants, a fat transfer might be your best option.

How Does Breast Augmentation Through Fat Transfer Work?

A breast augmentation fat transfer, or fat graft, is a lesser-known, but viable alternative to breast implant augmentation.

Fat transfer uses liposuction to remove fat from other parts of the body (thighs, back, abdomen, buttocks, or flanks).

Once this body fat has been collected, it is melted down, purified, and then injected into the breasts. The fat adds a natural-looking and feeling volume.

Fat Transfer Vs. Breast Implants

Both fat transfer and breast implants will give you a great feeling and looking result. The procedures and methods, however, are entirely different.

With breast implants, surgical incisions will be required, which will leave scarring that will fade over time. 

While breast implants do last a very long time (about 10+ years) they will most likely require a revisional surgery later down the road. However, breast implants are said to be more predictable and hold up their shape well over time.

With fat transfer, there is no scarring, because there are no surgical incisions. Healing and recovery time is also a much shorter time of about 3 days, compared to 6 weeks with breast implants.

The fat transfer might be a better option for women with less breast tissue that may restrict their ability to receive breast implants.

However, neither breast implants or fat transfer can help with breast sagging issues. If this is a concern of yours, you may be interested in learning more about a breast lift + augmentation.

What is the Effect of Fat Transfer on Breasts?

We encounter a lot of women who want to increase their breast size, but do not want implants. A fat transfer is a great option to create fullness and improve volume.

However, fat transfer can only increase the cup size by a half cup to a full cup, so it’s best for achieving small, but noticeable changes in breast appearance. 

There is an added benefit of adding liposuction to this procedure, which can remove excess fat from fatty deposits found in the hips, thighs, abdomen, arms, and buttocks. 

This fat is then purified to ensure no cysts or hard lumps will negatively affect your breast enhancement goals.

Breasts that have been injected with body fat will have a different appearance and shape than implants that are said to be highly realistic and natural-looking. 

How Long Does Fat Transfer Last in Breasts?

Because the fat being injected into the breasts is a natural material, unlike silicone, some of it may be absorbed into the body immediately following the fat transfer procedure.

However, the majority of fat transfers stay in the breast tissue, and their results are said to be mostly permanent.

Fat transfer breast augmentation will still be subjected to the effects of aging and weight fluctuations, meaning if you gain weight, your breasts will get even larger, and if you lose weight, your breasts may lose volume. 

Breast sagging will also occur due to aging, however, breast sagging may be less dramatic than larger implant sizes that add more weight. Because fat transfers only add about a cup size, the sagging shouldn’t be as pronounced.

Weight changes caused by pregnancy can also fluctuate your breast’s size and appearance.

Unlike breast implants, which can be removed or updated to change the size, fat transfers are permanent and cannot be undone. 

It’s very common for fat transfer patients to schedule follow-up “touch-up” appointments that can add more fat into the breasts for longer-lasting results.

Are Breast Injections Safe?

A fat transfer breast augmentation procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that avoids the risks and complications of traditional breast implants.

Women may be concerned about scarring, capsular contracture (breast hardening), or loss of nipple sensation caused during a traditional breast implant surgery. Even then, these side effects are rare occurrences.

However, women looking to achieve a modest increase in cup size may opt to receive a fat transfer instead, especially if they’re looking to fix asymmetrical or lopsided breasts, or are undergoing breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Fat transfers are considered safe, but come with their own risks and complications, including:

  • Cysts
  • Infection
  • Fat cell death (necrosis)
  • Reabsorption and loss of fat cells
  • Possible interference during mammograms

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Emmett Today!

Dr. Jennifer Emmett M.D. is the owner and head plastic surgeon at Emmett Plastic Surgery located in Lone Tree, Colorado. Her practice serves the greater Denver and Centennial areas.

She and her staff specialize in breast augmentation, breast implants, breast reduction, fat transfers, body contouring, mommy makeovers, facelifts, Botox, dermal fillers, and more.

Dr. Emmett is a double board-certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience in cosmetic and enhancement surgery, including a 5-year general surgery residency at the University of Colorado. 

Are you interested in taking the next steps to achieve your breast enhancement goals? Contact us today to schedule your initial one-on-one consultation with Dr. Emmett.