How long is recovery for fat transfer breast augmentation?

When can someone return to a normal life after fat transfer breast augmentation, such as wearing a sports bra or bra that squeezes the breast, sleeping on side or stomach, sex, those types of things? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 14

Recovery time in fat transfer to the breast

The recovery time from fat transfer to the breast is more related to the liposuction than it is to the breast. The areas where fat is removed will require compression garments and decreased activity. I restrict physical activity for 2 weeks, this includes sexual activity. Post operative compression garments will be necessary on the liposuction sites and sports bras are used for 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Although you will be able to resume your activity the final results of fat grafting are not evaluated until 3-6 months.
Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon to evaluate you and inform you about what can be accomplished with your own fat.
good luck and I hope this was helpful

Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Recovery after breast aug fat transfer

Aside from soreness associated with liposuction to harvest the fat, you can bounce back as quickly as you like. "If it hurts, stop doing it; if it doesn't hurt, you can do whatever you like." We provide a bra after your procedure but you can partake in the other activities you mentioned. 

Jonathan Kaplan, MD, MPH
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Recovery after autologous fat breast augmentation

Hi, thank you for your question on RealSelf.

Fat transfer for breast augmentation has been a "hot topic" in the news recently. Many women want larger breasts but are afraid of implanting a foreign body like a silicone or saline implants. This newer technology of transferring one's fat is an alternative to implant augmentation by using one's own body fat. It is a technique that is not broadly offered among plastic surgeons. The reason is the results are extremely variable and somewhat inconsistent in most surgeons hands. The fat being transferred is a graft. Not all of it will live after the transfer. Additionally, some of the fat can die and result in small pockets of "fat necrosis" or dead fat cells. If these pockets are large enough, they need to be excised. Also, it is recommended to use a Brava device preoperatively. This is a large suction device that "sucks" the breasts for usually 12-14 hours per day for a couple weeks prior to the surgery.

Recovery after fat grafting is approximately 4-6 weeks. Sports bra at 2-3 weeks, squeezing the breast at 4 weeks, stomach sleeping at 4-5 weeks, sex anytime (avoiding breast manipulation). 

Thanks for your question. I hope this helps.

- Dr. Bryson G. Richards, MD

Bryson G. Richards, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 282 reviews

How long is recovery for fat transfer breast augmentation?

Recovery from a fat transfer  breast augmentation is usually relatively quick.  I would suggest avoiding heavy lifting, sports, sex. or lying on your stomach for the first two to three weeks.   You can wear a sports bra immediately following the surgery.  Best wishes, Dr Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Recovery after breast fat transfer similar to liposuction

The recovery time after fat transfer to the breast generally parallels the recovery from the liposuction performed to harvest the fat. Generally patients can be back at work in 5-7, and begin light to moderate exercise at 7-10 days. After this time it is really a matter of avoiding any trauma to the breast area to minimize disturbing the transferred fat. Probably careful sexual activity at about 2 weeks. I usually recommend the use of BRAVA alternating with a sports bra for 2-3 weeks, and after 3-4 weeks a regular bra can be worn.

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Fat transfer

person’s own fat may be used to improve the appearance of his or her body by moving it from an area of excess (or where it is less desired, such as the thighs, hips or abdomen) to an area that has lost tissue volume due to aging, trauma, surgery, certain diseases, birth defects, or other causes.
Ideal candidates are in good health, and have excess fat in some parts of the body and too little in other regions. Fat grafting is most often used for the face, breasts and buttocks. Typically, the transferred fat results in a significant increase in volume of the body site being treated.
Fat for lipoinjection, also called fat transfer, is removed from unwanted areas of the body by a narrow blunt tip surgical instrument with side holes, called a cannula, through a small incision. The fat is then cleaned with sterile saline solution before being restored to the body. The fat is then injected into the desired area using either a smaller cannula or needle, or it may be placed directly through an incision. Since some of the fat that is transferred does not remain over time, your surgeon may inject more than is ultimately needed to achieve the desired end result. Over a few weeks, the amount of transferred fat will decrease.
There is a limit of how much fat can be safely injected into one area. The amount of fat that remains over time is variable from patient to patient. For some patients, more fat or other fillers may need to be transferred in a subsequent surgery to maintain or supplement the desired results.

Fat transfer to the breast involves a relatively short recovery - just a few weeks.


Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Breast swelling after fat grafting

Thank you for your question. During the post-operative period the breast are swollen, and the breast appears fuller and firmer. Over time they settle and soften. It may take several months for this to happen and can be encouraged with breast massage and compression. After the swelling goes down the breasts will appear smaller. I would recommend that you don't sleep on them for a couple weeks so they don't have any pressure and refrain from strenuous activities for ~4 weeks.  I would follow up with your plastic surgeon who can guide you on their specific post-operative care instructions.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Recovery After Fat Transfer to Breast

I love this procedure because it is comfortably performed under local anesthesia with light sedation. The donor areas are usually the tummy, love handles, and flanks but can also be the arms, thighs, and knees. It's a couple of days of feeling sore so patients usually take 2-3 days off of work. I like to have my patients stay away from vigorous exercise for 2 weeks and then gradually return to a full gym routine. A soft bra is recommended for around 4 weeks. I recommend at least 2 weeks of sleeping on your back to avoid pressure on the transfered fat. Sex is ok at any point but usually it takes 2-3 days before you're feeling up to it. 

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Breast Fat Graft Recovery

Recovery from fat grafting to the breast will vary from one person to another, but generally, it is not long.  The bruising will last 1-3 weeks, and the over all appearance should be complete by 2-3 months.  Usually, the liposuctioned areas have the most discomfort.

Shahin Javaheri, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Recovery after fat grafting to breasts

Returning to activities of daily living including work and driving is much faster than with conventional breast augmentation--days not weeks.  Resolution of bruising and swelling is slow however a few weeks usually. If you are using the BRAVA system we recommend continuing the vacuum for an additional three weeks after surgery to stabilize the grafts and encourage blood supply.

R. Laurence Berkowitz, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 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.