Can I have your opinion on whether a fat graft to one breast or implants in both would be more ideal for someone with asymmetry?

I have been mulling over a breast augmentation for years to fix assymetric breasts. There is roughly a 1.5-2 cup size difference. I do worry about repeat surgeries in the future with having implants but also worry about the success of a fat graft since many times women lose most of it and I also work out and lift. Can you tell me which, in your opinion, would be more ideal for my situation? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 8

Fat transfer vs implants for breast asymmetry

An examination is necessary to determine what exactly is the best options for significant asymmetry.  Generally fat transfer by itself nor implants will not correct major asymmetries.   Simply adding volume with either implants or fat will not correct differences in the inframammary crease, amount of skin, drooping.  The best way to achieve symmetry in significantly differing breasts is to make achieve similar looking breasts and then place similar sized implants or same volume of fat transfer to both breasts.  This may require a breast lift or reduction in either or both breasts.  A consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon will be fruitful.  Best of luck.  Dr. Michael Omidi

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breast Asymmetry

I believe that fat grafting can be used to treat minimal asymmetry or contour defects, especially in the breast cancer reconstruction population.  With the amount of asymmetry you are talking about, you are much more likely to have a lasting and successful volume equalizing procedure if implants are used.

John Dean, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Tough situation

Congratulations on doing your homework.  The fact that you recognize that implants means having future surgeries down the road, means that you have thought about this more than most.  I will say what you describe sounds like a tough problem if you truly have an almost 2 cup size difference between your breasts.

There are a couple factors to consider.  One is how much fat you have to donate.  Someone who is very slim to begin with, might struggle in terms of getting enough fat for augmentation.  Another question would be are you satisfied with the larger breast and just want the smaller breast to "catch up" in size to larger one?  If so, then fat grafting would be a good option as long as there is enough donor fat.  It will probably require 2-3 sessions of fat grafting as well since a fat grafting session typically only can increase breast size 0.5-1 cup size at a time. would avoid the need for implants.  

Now if you were not satisfied with the larger breast and wanted it bigger, or maybe it needs a lift.  Then a composite operation might be more advantageous.  This would involve trying to get in the right ballpark in terms of size with implants, and then using fat to contour, shape, and camouflage  the breast implant and get it just right.  

Most data has shown there is about a 60% retention of fat in breast fat transfer, but this depends on several factors.  What does survive, typically lasts forever unless there are drastic changes in weight.  

A Plastic Surgeon can help you navigate these decisions with a consultation.  Good Luck and please keep asking questions!

Brian Arslanian, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Implants are predictable and fat is not

You should consider implants.  Fat grafts will not succeed.  Not only that, fat grafts can leave permanent mammographic artifacts.   

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Fat transfer to breasts

With that much asymmetry in size its best, in my opinion, to get the breast volumes the same then put implants of the same size in each. A hybid procedure combining fat grafting with implants sometimes is an option as well. If you can get the volume of breast tissue and fat the same on both sides, then as the breast ages and changes in size, the symmetry is more likely to be close. With a large implant on one side and a smaller one in the other, any change in intrinsic breast volume (ie weight loss or pregnancy) will cause asymmetry to recur. Discuss with board certified plastic surgeon with experience with these types of cases. Good luck

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Fat transfer to breast

With a 1.5-2 cup size difference, I think you will get much better symmetry with implants.  But sometimes, a combination of implants and fat transfer is an option as well.  Discuss both with your plastic surgeon and good luck.

Dean Fardo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Fat graft to one breast or implants in both

Size asymmetries can be very challenging. The BRAVO fat grafting system for fat grafting to breasts has been very effective in capable hands that have done many cases. For physicians that don't do this regularly, their patients may be better served by asymmetric implants. See a board certified plastic surgeon and ask them directly what their BRAVO experience if any has been. If it is none, consider implants or find someone experienced in BRAVO. Good luck.

Robert Graper, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews


With this degree of asymmetry it is more likely would obtain a good correction with implants rather than with fat grafting.  Fat grafting results can be subtle and may need to be repeated multiple times for a significant result.  

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 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.