Breast Fat Transfer

I had my first fat transfer to the breasts 2 weeks ago. Is it normal for the breasts to feel tight and lumpy at this point. Do the breasts eventually feel softer and move more natural? I am also wearing the brava bra postoperatively for increased circulation to the new fat.

Doctor Answers 7

Fat transfer to the breasts.

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Based on the fact you are using the Brava system, I'm assuming you underwent a large volume of fat transfer for breast augmentation. In small volume scenarios, lumpiness is rare because the fat is distributed in very small channels and eveness is the goal. In larger volumes, lumpiness is almost unavoidable. Although the Brava bra can stimulate (according to it's proponents) increased blood flow, this flow increase would be limited to areas of existing blood vessels. Lumpiness is usually due to an uneven distribution of the fat within an area of the breast. This can be concerning due to fat necrosis, oil cysts, or persitent firmness in the breast over time. Careful follow up is necessary to identify these issues and caution is advised when seeking out these types of surgeries. Multiple grafting procedures over a long period of time are typically necessary to limit complications by not trying to transfer as much fat as possible in 1 surgery. Although "settling down" of lumpy areas occurs, this is probably more likely due to the fat in that area lysing and being absorbed than it revascularizing and flattening out.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fat transfer

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i guess i am in the minority, but i agree with dr tholen. i worry about the long term consequences of fat transfer as the breast.  lumps , bumps and calcifications all do occur. when the risk of breast cancer is1 out of 8 now, why do anything that may confuse the picture in the future.

Jonathan Saunders, MD
Newark Plastic Surgeon

Lumpy breasts post fat transfer

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Yes if you are only 2 weeks post fat transfer this is totally within the range of normal.This lumpness can take several months to go down so don't fret.i

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Lumps and firmness after breast fat transfer. This (unfortunately) is normal.

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I have been doing fat grafting procedures for over 25 years, and was a presenter at an American College of Surgeons panel on fat grafting in 1987, and another "experts" research panel in San Diego in the late 1980's. I do fat grafting in my practice frequently, where appropriate, and can tell you that technique and careful handling of the delicate fat cells is critical to obtaining healthy, living, fat tissue after transfer.

But, I am not a fan of breast augmentation with fat transfer, and I am personally dismayed by the number of doctors who don't seem to have a clue about proper technique, don't care about the potential downsides of fat grafting for breast augmentation, and end up causing problems for their patients that often cannot be corrected! Now, we even have "stem-cell-enhanced" fat transfer for breast augmentation ("stem cell breast augmentation" or "natural" breast augmentation) which IN MOST CASES (not all) is bogus marketing hype to allow unscrupulous doctors to charge even more for a series of fat grafts to the breasts.

Even if a portion of properly-grafted fat survives in the breast, there is always a potion that does NOT survive, and this dead clump of fat turns into scar tissue, and can also calcify, causing difficulty with mammographic detection of breast cancer. And the dead part can cause permanent lumps, firmness, nodules, oil cysts (from the dead fat cells), and can leave the breasts only slightly larger, but substantially lumpier, more difficult to examine, and certainly less soft and natural.

So, at this point you have already made your choice and started the process. I would advise waiting to see how things soften up over 6 months or longer before going any further, and decide if this is really the path you want to follow. What you are feeling now is normal--let's just hope it's not permanent!

There truly is a good reason the vast majority of ABPS-certified plastic surgeons who guard their reputations and their patient's safety utilize saline or silicone breast implants for breast augmentation!

(And it's NOT because we're "out of touch" or not "up-to-date" with the "latest and the greatest!")

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Breast fat transfer

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Fat transfer to the brest can feel foirm and lumpy during the first few weeks. It usually settles down, Follow closely with yoru doctor.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat TRansfer to Breast

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what you are experiencing to this point sounds normal -just keep your foillow-up appts to make sure you are on the right track

Edward J. Bednar, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Fat transfer to breasts

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It is quite normal to feel tight at two weeks after fat transfer. The more the fat transfered the tighter they feel. Lumpiness may be some concern although it is only two weeks and hopefully they will settle down. Wearing BRAVA cup will help. Be ptient and talk to your surgeon.

Raj Chowdary, MD (retired)
Allentown Plastic Surgeon

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.