Can Fat Be Sucked from Stomach and Injected into Breasts?

Doctor Answers 17

Fat transfer breast augmentation

Breast augmentation by fat transfer is not the same as breast augmentation with implants and should not be considered an alternative to it.

Breast augmentation with implants produces a variety of shapes, virtually all defined by rounder, fuller and more projecting results that are different from the outcomes that can be achieved with fat transfer.

Fat transfer can be used to increase breast size, correct breast defects, aid in correcting implant problems, and completely or partially reconstruct breasts that have been removed or reduced by surgery or trauma.

In 2009 the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reviewed the issue and found no objective data denying the benefits of fat transfer.  Radiology literature (see Dr. Eva Rubin, Chief of Breast Radiology of U of Alabama) confirms the radically different nature of the changes observed in mammograms after fat transfer versus tumors, and in recent article published in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Journal, the procedure that leads to most "questionable" mammograms in the years following the surgery is breast reduction and lift, causing vastly more biopsies and additional tests than fat transfer.

Any doctor that has removed an old breast implant with hard capsule can honestly say that those findings are vastly more obscuring to breast tissue and interfere with mammogram more than any other surgery.  Fat necrosis, which is the culprit of the discussion about fat transfer causing calcium deposits and cysts and other mammographic problems, may be present in any surgery and it is the hallmark of breast reduction and lift procedures.

There are multiple centers in the US where fat transfer to the breast is performed safely, effectively, and in controlled settings.  For women who prefer to avoid breast implants and wish for a natural increase in breast size fat transfer  is a viable and effective alternative to breast implant when performed in centers with appropriate expertise and adequate follow up.


Plano Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Stomach fat can be suctioned and injected into breasts

As you see there are very different view about this procedure. The recent position of the plastic surgery socirty has changed and advises to do this with CAUTION. I do not think that this should be done by every plastic surgeon at this time. I have done this for the last 4 years under a protocol with NIH.

I have more than 150 patients and most of the patients are implant failure patients . This group of patients have failled implat breast augmentation and I have removed the implants and performed fat injections. The other doctors that you can check for more information are Dr. Khouri in Miami and Dr. Coleman in NY.

Please do not let a non-qualified doctor to do fat injections.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Fat Grafting to The Breast: Not Time Yet

I am in agreement with the caution expressed by every doctor here. I'm not sure if the answer is going to change least in the near future.

The answers we need on the effects of fat grafting on mammography are going to require hundreds of patients being followed over a period of years.

On the bright side, radiologists are developing newer techniques to detect cancer besides mammography, and stem cell research will eventually yeild a better way to transfer your own tissue to the breast.

Until then, I think that doing anything to interfere with cancer detection in a cancer-prone organ for cosmetic purposes is irrepsonsible.

John LoMonaco, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 261 reviews

Fat injections into the breasts carries risks you should know

Despite the fact thousands of breast augmentation procedures are performed very successfully with implants each year there has been an allure of fat grafting into the breast for natural breast augmentation. There are several series of patients from which we can draw that clearly show the risk of fat grafting or injection into the breast. Fat can be difficult to harvest without damage to the fat cells, and the 'take' or survival and success of the injected material has been unpredictable. The danger lies in the fact that the fat injected which does not survive will form cysts and lumps in the breast, and can form calcifications which make breast self examination and mammograms ineffective. These are our first lines of defense in the detection and early treatment of breast cancer. Once the fat injections are done, and the cysts or lumps develop there is no going back. Someday we may have better techniques to transfer the fat tissue into the breast, however at present considering the modest enhancement afforded by fat, and the risk of unreadable mammograms, implants are the clear winner in breast augmentation.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Breast augmentation with fat

This is a really good question and a technique that is starting to gain some popularity: using a patient's own fat for a breast augmentation. While I think you can achieve a very nice cosmetic result with this technique, the problem that we have at the moment is that this technique may interfere with routine mammography, so that it is possible that it would be more difficult to catch breast cancers. As surgeons we need to take into account that 1 out of every 7 women will have breast cancer at some point in their lives, and we know that catching the cancer early improves our chance of a cure-- what I don't think we have yet are any large studies that prove that this technique does not interfere with the reading of the mammograms-- until we do, I would be very cautious with offering this procedure to patients.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

Fat grafting breast augmentation

This technique has gained recent popularity for obvious reason; you don't use an implant. The other upside is that you can do this in the office and unlike implants you can better sculpt the volume to the areas of the breast that need it snd oviously you get liposutiong done at the same time. The downsides are you may need more than one or two sessions, the volume increase is modest, not all the fat stays, some may die off resulting in lumps, calcium deposits and oil cysts. This may result in more biopsies. If you decide to do it try to find a board certified plastic surgeon who has a study underway.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Fat can be injected into breasts

Yes this can be done but the most increase in size is only 250 cc's per breast. Again as Dr A has stated it is very controversial topic. You will be signing off label use consent because it is not fully accepted here in US. More recently we are offering Stem Cell Enhanced Fat Grafts for Breast Enhancement. Fees start from $8000. Research and try and find someone who is doing this. Regards.

Fat grafting to breasts remains controversial

The idea of removing some fat from an area where you don't want it and putting into the breasts has been around for a long time. Because any fat that doesn't survive can leave calcuim specks and lumps, the procedure was actually condemned by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The ban has recently been lifted due to improved techniques, but it remains somewhat experimental.

One big issue is that the volume of fat required to acheive the same enlargement as an implant is quite a lot, and so multiple sessions may be required. Another is that although fat graft techniques are better than they used to be, there are still no uniformly practiced standards that guarantee complete survival of the grafted fat. This is something you need to think about carefully before making a decision.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Fat grafting to the breasts for augmentation or enlargement

Dr. Aldea has reviewed the critical issues here. The primary concern is that fat grafts to the breast may interfere with mammographic evaluation of the breast.

A select number of surgeons in France and Belgium have about 10 years experience with relatively good results whereas two surgeons in the US (one in Manhattan and the other in Miami) are currently evaluating this technique with promising preliminary results. Most plastic surgeons are awaiting the reports of these pioneers early surgical procedures.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Fat Grafting to the Breasts

It is really NOT a question of CAN it be done but rather one of SHOULD it be done and more importantly, SHOULD YOU have it done.

Fat grafting to the breasts is a controversial procedure. Although through the efforts of one surgeon in Florida it is slowly becoming more accepted, the vast majority of Plastic surgeons are not doing it.

The odds that a woman will have breast cancer in her lifetime is over 1 in 11 women. In other words 1 in 10 women will have it. The problem with fat grafting is that regardless of "the best" handling, a major portion of the fat transferred dies and can result in scarring and calcifications which COULD be confusing to radiologists and surgeons when looking for possible cancer.

With breast augmentation surgery being so common, I would be reluctant to recommend fat transfer.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 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.