Can post fat transfer fat cells relocate in the body to new areas, causing weight gain where the body formerly did not?

I want to have breast augmentation surgery via fat grafting, but my concern is that since 100% of the fat does not remain in the breast, that it redistribute to a foreign area of the body where weight gain was not formerly typical. For example, if I have fat harvested from my thighs, I am worried that the fat cells that leave my breasts after augmentation travel to my belly or arms rather than going back to my thighs where it is accustomed to being. Should I be at all concerned with this?

Doctor Answers 6

Fat grafting to breasts

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There is very little data on what happens to the fat once grafted to the breasts, and make sure you understand completely all of the risk of fat grafting to your breasts before having the procedure.

Natural breast augmentation with fat transfer will not cause fat to go too other body areas

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Thank you for your question.  If you gain weight the fat that is transferred to your breasts may enlarge an increase the size of your breasts.

However fat that is transplanted to your breast will not move to other areas of the body

Complications of Fat Transfer to the Breast

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Fortunately, fat cells transplanted to one area do not travel elsewhere.  The only way you would get more bulk in a particular area after fat transfer to the breast is if you gain weight.
(The living fat cells in your breast will get bigger too if that happens, just like in someone who had the fat naturally in their breasts).
The reason your breast doesn't maintain the exact size that it is after surgery is that some of the fat cells die. (Fat transfer is a true transplantation of tissue, just like a skin graft, and some of the cells don't grow a blood supply in time to survive. Those cells that don't survive get reabsorbed by your body and excreted or metabolized).
Sometimes the cells die and just the liquid fat part of the fat cell remains, leaving behind an  "oil cyst".  As far as we know, these don't cause any particular problem.

I hope this helps you understand better how fat transfer to the breast works.  Good luck with your research and I hope you get the outcome you are looking for!

Deborah Ekstrom, MD
Worcester Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews


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Transplanted fat does not travel from your body from one area to another but weight gain can cause areas of your body to enlarge where formally the weight might have gone to your thighs - your breasts too might disproportionately get larger

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Can post fat transfer fat cells relocate in the body to new areas, causing weight gain where the body formerly did not?

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  I think there are many other valid concerns about fat grafting to the breasts.  This would not be one on my list.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Fat transfer

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Thank you for the question.

Fat cells do not travel to any parts of the body, fat cells multiply by gaining weight. The absorption process is not gaining weight.

Jaime Campos Leon, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 257 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.