Can Fat Transfer Fill Hollow Breast Areas After a Lift?

I had a breast lift which did not come out well. I have excess wrinkled skin along the top of the breasts (above the nipple/areola). It's like the top half of the breast has been scooped out hollow. Can I safely have fat liposuctioned from my body and transplant it to the breasts to fill them out? I do not want any implants. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 8

Fat transfer to the breasts

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The answer to your question is "yes, it can be done".  However, it's not clear whether this would be the best option for you - perhaps you need a re-do of the breast lift.  

There are two methods of fat grafting that seem to work, although the studies are preliminary.  One involves adding additional stem cells to the liposuctioned fat, the other method involves pre-treatment of the breast with the BRAVA system.  It's not clear which one is the better of the two.  Also, it's key to have a clean mammogram and be a non-smoker if you are considering this option.  Because it's a lengthy surgery, it can also be quite expensive....


Hope that helps - all the best,

Fat transfer for hollow breast areas after a lift

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This is THE HOT TOPIC in Plastic Surgery. Since one in 11 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, as surgeons we have to be very careful not to increase the likelihood of the disease but also not to make its diagnosis more difficult.

The problem with fat grafts is that a good portion of the injected fat does not live and goes on to die forming scar tissue and calcifications. In the breast, such calcifications MAY look similar to those seen with early cancers. While we are assured by some radiologists that the better ones among them can tell the difference between graft graft calcifications and "suspicious" calcifications - many of us are reluctant to transform our patients into "radiological IQ tests".

If you insist on going the route of breast fat grafting, you MUST fully understand the life long implications of doing so.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Fat injections to the breast have only recently been considered an option

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This has only recently been considered a treatment option that has yet to gain widespread acceptability. In the past the use of fat injections to the breast was considered highly controversial due to the potential interference with mammograms.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Fat transfer to breasts

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The answer is yes, but a physical exam is imperative. In addition, fat transfer in large amounts has a high revision rate since this is a very inexact method of volume enhancement. The much more predictable way is to use an implant. I recommend going in for a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is familiar with fat transfer as well as breast surgery. Good luck!

Dr. Singer

Elan B. Singer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fat grafting can be an excellent option to add fullness to the upper pole of the breasts

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Fat grafting can be an excellent option to add fullness to the upper pole of the breasts, without implants or even over the top of implants.

However fat grafting is very technique sensitive, and surgeons who do not pay attention to each aspect of the process may not get consitent results. Every component of the procedure  from fat harvesting, to fat purification, to micrografting, and even preparing the bed of time with techniques like the Brava device, can make a difference. With careful attention to every step, anywhere from 70-90% take of the injected fat can be expected to survive. 

We have installed the first Liquid Gold mini fat bank in the US, and with just one liposuction procedure we are able to successfully store fat, which allows us to save as much fat as needed for one or more procedures.


Fat Transfer

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Absolutely. We often perform fat transfer to the breast for a variety of reasons including patients who do not want breast implants. Be sure your surgeon discusses with you the results you can attain with this technique and be sure this is the result you want.  The result will not be the same as a woman who has a breast implant.

Marc Schneider, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fat injections have been done to the breasts

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Breast fat injections are done but as this has evolved over the last decade and with controversy you should consult with a plastic surgeon who has the equivalence of board certification if not in the U.S. And discuss the issue of radiologist interpretation of mammograms of breasts treated with fat.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Fat injection to breasts

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This is such a controversial topic right now. Fat injection can be done to the breasts, but there is some concern among plastic surgeons that the fat might become calcified in the future, which would make your mammograms more difficult to interpret. In addition, the volume of fat that you might need over the long term is unpredictable, as there is a certain resorption rate with injected fat. I would advise you to see a plastic surgeon to discuss this option and determine how much fill you want. Another option if you really want to avoid implants is to explore the Brava device, which uses a device to gradually enlarge the breasts. This will not provide more than a half cup size of enlargement. Good luck, /nsn.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.