How Successful is It to Have Fat Transferred to the Breasts? Does It Look Like Breast Implants but More Natural?

Thinking about getting a fat transfer done in the breasts. How successful is it, and does it end up looking like a more natural breast augmentation? Will the breasts shrink if weight is lost? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 7

Fat grafting is an excellent option for breast augmentation

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Fat grafting is an excellent option for breast augmentation, and is without doubt the most natural feeling material, as normal breasts are already composed largely of fat. Once the fat takes, it will survive just like it did before, but only in a different place, so it will behave like normal fat getting larger or smaller as you lose or gain weight. Normal breasts do this as well due to their fat content. However fat grafting is very technique sensitive, and surgeons who do not pay attention to each aspect of the process may not get consitent results. Every component of the procedure  from fat harvesting, to fat purification, to micrografting, and even preparing the bed of time with techniques like the Brava device, can make a difference. With careful attention to every step, anywhere from 70-90% take of the injected fat can be expected to survive. Whether or not you will require more than one procedure will depend on how large you are to start, and how large you would like to be. It has been shown that approximately 250-350cc enlargement can be expected with a single procedure if all the above details are paid attention to. We have installed the first Liquid Gold mini fat bank in the US, and with just one liposuction procedure we are able to successfully store fat, which allows us to save as much fat as needed for one or more procedures.

Fat grafting would work if done properly

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Fat grafting to the breast does work and can achieve very natural looking breast. The limitations of the fat grafting is the patients donor site and the amount of fat that can be grafted safely in one session. The goals of the fat grafting to the breast is to enhance breast shape,cleavage and size. You need to make sure that your plastic surgeon is qualified to do the fat grafting. There are many non-qualified doctors that offer fat grafting without roper training. I been doing fat grafting to the breast for the last 5 years and have formed Fat Grafting Forum for educating other plastic surgeons.You can check my web site for fat grafting pictures.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation.

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Fat grafting for breast augmentation is an area of significant interest in plastic surgery presently.  This procedure may still be considered controversial.  This is especially true with regard to the survival of the transferred fat  and cancer surveillance with mammograms.  Fat cells that have not survived can lead to micro calcification and this is what may be looked for on mammograms to detect cancer, leading to some confusion.  It continues to be an area of considerable research.  You may want to refer to position statements from the ASAPS and ASPS.  

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Fat Transfer

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Usually a cup size is optimistic, but if you have the fat, perhaps more is possible. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Fat Grafts to Breasts

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There is lot of talk and controversy about fat injections or fat grafts to breasts these days.  This certainly is a sure way to get unpredictable operation with lumpy breasts and possibly long term interference with breast exams.  Some fat can calcify and cause confusion with cancer on mammograms. Do not follow intrigue and hype.   If you want larger breasts, get breast implants.  Don't play games with your body. 

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Fat transfer to breast

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I do not perform fat transfers to the breast as an alternative to breast augmentation . I perform fat transfer to the breast to augment selective areas of the breast in conjunction with  augmentation.

Free fat grafting to the breasts

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As much as 50% or more of grafted fat does not survive hence the need to over augment at each session & the possible need for more more than one session. The inject fat is devoid of blood supply & some of it dies while new blood vessels are growing into the graft. Graft survival is improved by injecting only viable intact cells in thin lines or rows in areas of good blood supply such as into a muscle or in the deeper layers of the face. Whatever fat is still present at 6 months has likely taken & will be permanent. When fat is transferred from one area to another it retains the properties it had at the original site. The body preferentially stores fat in specific areas such as hips or lower abdomen. If one gains weight as commonly occurs with the metabolic changes of aging or pregnancy & the storage area grows in size any fat harvested from those areas & placed elsewhere will also grow in size. If you lose weight the graft that has survived will decrease in size. With respect to fat grafts to the breast they can increase breast size but going from an A cup to a D cup is unreasonable.

Aside from survival the other problem with fat grafting is obtaining a smooth end result without a lumpy appearance. This can be technically very difficult depending on the type of fat grafted & where it is injected. Injected grafts to the lower eyelid area have a high incidence of forming lumps. If very large clumps of fat are injected the central core is guaranteed to not survive. And if this core is very large it will have to be removed using a syringe and needle or by surgery.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles 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.