Breast augmentation by fat transfer; likelihood of deformation?

I am thinking of breast augmentation using fat transfer as I hate the idea of implants and don't care about very big breasts. I was told that it is very unpredictable and there is a possibility of formation of fat lumps and cyst that might cause deformities . How likely is that ? Does it depend on the plastic surgeon skills or not necissarily ?

Doctor Answers 8

Fat grafting to the breast

The procedure of fat grafting to the breast has become more commonplace over the last decade. Though it can be very reliable with low complication risks, it is not identical to breast augmentation with an implant. Unless special devices are used, it will typically result in only a half to full cup increase in size. Unfortunately the amount of fat that is retained in the breast is somewhat unpredictable. Studies have demonstrated that 30-70% may be absorbed over the next several months following surgery. There are many ongoing studies looking at which factors appear to enhance the amount of retained fat. Similarly there are other complications as with any surgery. The risks, however, are very low and this procedure typically gives a very nice result without deformity. Thanks for your question.

Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Fat Transfer to the Breast

I have a lot of experience with this procedure and have found it to be very rewarding and associated with a very low complication risk. In experience hands, this won't leave you deformed.  It's typically a subtle and noticeable change with an increase of a 1/2 to full cup increase. It can also be performed under local anesthesia. Check out the before and after photos. 

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Breast Augmentation Options


yes, breast fat-grafting can be quite unpredictable and only small, subtle changes are typically possible, requiring multiple treatments. I would recommend that you select a board certified Plastic Surgeon with a lot of experience in this area if you'd like to go this route.

All the best 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Breast augmentation by fat transfer; likelihood of deformation?

Fat grafting to the breasts for cosmetic reasons is a newer procedure and is not something that a lot of seasoned plastic surgeons do routinely in their practice. Over the last few years it has gained popularity and the "old school" thought of abnormal mammograms after this procedures is not as strong of a deterrence. We now believe that it is safe as long as you have no personal or strong family history of breast cancer or breast disease. The thought in the past was that if you have this done, it changes the way the images look on your MMG which will lead to increased biopsies or more imaging with benign findings. Now the thought is that you just make sure you have your imaging taken and read at a facility/center that is experienced with the findings seen after fat transfer. 

Erika Sato, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Breast augmentation by fat transfer; likelihood of deformation?

Yes, risk of complications with fat transfer does depend on surgeon skills and technique.  That is what makes fat transfer somewhat unpredictable.  Nice results can be obtained for small augmentations with fat transfer but sometimes secondary procedures are necessary to add some more volume.  Breast implants will give a more predictable result and implants are very safe devices.  Meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to get more information.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Fat grafting

Fat grafting is still an emerging technique and the jury is not out on its reliability or safety in breasts long term. Implants remain the gold standard internationally with silicon implants far more commonly used than saline

Augmentation by Fat Transfer

A basic description of this process:

#Natural Breast Enhancement (#fat transfer breast augmentation) – We offer augmentation using your own fat to add volume and improve breast shape. This procedure can also sometimes be done under local anesthesia vs. general anesthesia and requires less recovery time.

There is also the fact that breasts are often asymmetric. They can be lifted differently.  One side can be reduced or the breasts can have different size implants or different amounts of fat added to improve symmetry.

The insertion of an implant as well, may be advisable to restore superior fullness, which is lost with aging and after pregnancy despite the rest of the breast being overly large.  Fat grafting can be used instead of implants to improve the contours of the breast. This is the #NaturalBreastLIft or #CaliforniaBreastLift.

#AugmentationMastopexy involves placing a small implant at the time of the #mastopexy to add volume or contour the upper breast.   Another option is the #NaturalBreastLift  or #CaliforniaBreastLift  which places fat in the upper breast instead of an implant to help the shape of the breast.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews


yes it depends on the surgeon and technique. In my opinion,  you would be happier with implants.  Fat can be metabolized and dissolve.  Not as predictable as implants. Some of my colleagues may disagree with me here but I can only tell you what I see and hear from patients.  The implants are much more predictable.  Go to a board certified plastic surgeon. 

Andrew T. Cohen, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

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.