I am seeking Fat Transfer to breasts. I have a few questions.

I am seeking fat transfer to breasts. I am 5'7" and 115lbs. I am heavier on the bottom (thighs and butt). Questions: (1) how large is realistic after cell death? Can I go up 2 cups or cup and half (2) estimated cost? (3) I am looking to increase exercise. Will I work them off?

Doctor Answers 6

Breast Augmentation with Fat

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Thank you for your questions. The most important thing to realize about fat transfer, especially your first transfer, is that fat is unpredictable at best. Some patients are able to obtain a rather substantial increase in bust size for a given amount of fat transfer others see little to no improvement. In the New England area the price is approximately 6500 but this can vary and you may need more than one procedure which will raise your costs. Lastly not only is fat unpredictable when you first place it, it is also unpredictable even after all has settled out. If you increase exercise you will likely lose breast volume. 

Fat transfer to the breasts is still an excellent option, but you must know and accept the unpredictability and be prepared for future procedures to provide increased size. 

Fat transfer to breasts

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Mahalo for your thoughtful questions.  Your body type, at 5',7" and 115lbs, may not be able to provide enough volume for even a one cup enhancement, but plan to discuss your preferences with your surgeon in consultation after an exam.  You will require a liposuction aspirate harvest to produce twice the volume desired, anticipating an average 30 to 50% volume loss over the first month after the procedure.  It is possible with pre-operative negative pressure tissue expansion and stromal vascular fractionation to reduce this to as low as a 10% loss of volume.  Because we are harvesting diet and exercise resistant fat pads, many of my fat transfer augmented patients will maintain breast volumes even after weight loss.  80% of my patients are happy with a single fat transfer procedure, the other 20% often choose subsequent staged procedures to achieve the larger augmentations desired as long as they have the fat volume to harvest.  Costs per session are comparable to our high end implant augmentation estimates.

Fat Transfer

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Thank you for posting your question. On average, half of the transferred fat is eventually reabsorbed by the body. An in-person evaluation will give a better estimate, but most people do not have enough fat from the areas you mentioned to achieve significant augmentation. The cost will really depend on many factors, including the number of site fat is removed from, the amount of fat transferred, your weight and health. I recommend meeting with an experienced, board certified physician for an in-person evaluation. Best of luck.

Fat transfers to breasts

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Hi, Holly.  Most plastic surgeons who have a lot of experience with fat transfers to the breasts agree that the average maximum cup size increase that can be achieved with each transfer procedure is about one cup size.  For more ideal candidates (patients who have a decent amount of breast tissue and normal breast shape to begin with, and who have a good amount of good quality fat to give), the potential cup size increase can be more than one cup size (but this is the exception and not the rule).  For not so good candidates, it may be difficult to achieve even a full cup size sometimes.  This procedure usually requires a lot more time and work than breast implants (because we are doing 2 procedures- body contouring with liposuction as well as breast enhancement) and thus is usually more expensive (but you will be getting improvement in multiple areas and not just your breast).  The costs will vary for each patient depending on how much fat needs to be transferred, how much fat needs to be harvested/ liposuctioned, how many areas need to be liposuctioned and where those areas are as all this will affect the total surgery time.  If you loose a lot of weight with your exercising, the fat volume will shrink.  If you gain weight again, the fat volume in your breasts will increase again.  In other words, the fat that is transplanted and survives will continue to act like the fat where you took it from.  

I would have to see you in person for a consultation and physical examination to be able to tell you how good of a candidate you are and how much the costs will be.  Below is some more information that is good to keep in mind:

The amount of fat that typically does not "take" can range anywhere between 20- 40% depending on how good a candidate a patient is and the surgeon's experience and technique.  On average I find patients lose around 30% of the transferred fat.  If they are a good candidate it's closer to 20%, and if not it can be closer to 40%.  You are a better candidate if you:
1) have a lot of fat to give (and if the majority of it is in a few easily accessible locations) and want body contouring as well as breast enlargement
2) have more breast tissue to start with 
3) have more ideal breast shape and tissue qualities to begin with (good symmetry, no sagginess, good skin elasticity)

On average patients gain about one cup size with each transfer session (maybe more if they are good candidates and less if they are not). That's the limitation of fat transfers.  You can have multiple transfer sessions to add to what you already had done, but obviously this can get expensive so it would be more worth it if you also doing it for overall body shaping (and not just breast).

The experience and technique of the plastic surgeon is also very very important (and probably 50% responsible for the success of the procedure) as it is not an easy procedure to master overnight.  I have been doing fat transfers to the face since 2002 (please see the facelift before and after pics in my photo gallery) and was the first plastic surgeon to do fat transfers to the breasts in Hawaii in 2011 and have been a big proponent of it in Hawaii.  It takes many years of experience in order to gain a good appreciation for it and to perfect it (something which I am still striving to do). 

The costs will vary depending on the 3 variables I layed out above.  Every patient is different so there is no set fee.  It is more expensive than breast implants because you are getting 2 procedures- liposuction for body contouring and breast enlargement, and takes twice as long to do.  It would be more worth it if  you are also doing it for body contouring. 

I will be happy to see you for a complementary consultation. Best wishes.

Fat Transfer Facts for Breast Augmentation

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This requires an in-person evaluation to give you definite answers, but you can expect to go up at least 1 cup size, if not more. Find a physician trained in 4D body contouring with expertise in the latest technologies for harvesting including the use of PRP to enhance the longevity of the fat. This will give you the best outcome. Cost will vary, but see an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Breast fat transfer

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It is not realistic to go up to cups after fat transfer.

Expect to add approximately one third of your current total breast volume.

Anyone who wants to go up to cups should consider breast implants.

Another option is to rounds of fat transfer.

The possible amount of increase in total volume is somewhat patient dependent on multiple factors.

Weight loss in the future will cost some decrease in breast size though the decrease will be also proportionate to the rest of your body so the overall balance or fat distribution will not be changed.


Mats Hagstrom M.D.

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.