How is breast fat transfer done? What is the downtime like?

How is breast fat transfer done? What is the downtime like? I do not want to get implants, my breasts are very small & I'm insecure about them, so I want to do it the fastest less damaging way. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 7

Fat Transfer to the Breast Procedure

Thank you for your question. Fat transfer breast augmentation involves a couple steps. First, harvesting and injecting procedures. The fat cells are gathered through a syringe using a liposuction technique, and are then processed for transplantation. This process involves eliminating lipids, anesthetics, and medical fluids from the fat so as to obtain healthy fat cells devoid of other tissue. This method reduces the likelihood of transfer of unwanted material with the fat, while increasing the likelihood of successful cell transfer because the purer the injected substances, the better the yield of fat cells. I Hope this was helpful, best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 
Double board certified
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Fat Grafting to Breasts

Fat grafting to the breasts requires first suctioning the fat, then processing the fat, then grafting the fat to the breast.  This is a good procedure for small amounts of augmentation.  There is some variability of results depending on percent of graft take.  Even though the surgery takes longer and is less reliable than augmentation the recovery is a little quicker.  

Gary Hall,MD

Gary Hall, MD (retired)
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast fat transfer

Thanks for the question, first we do liposuction from areas you would like reduces(typically belly and waist) than the fat is purified and re-injected slowly from deep inside the breast closer to the top, this will evenly distribute volume. About 60-70% of the volume will stay, it is an outpatient procedure meaning you walk in and walk out the same day. You will be sore for a few days and can resume all activities in 3 weeks

Ryan Neinstein, MD, FRCSC
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

How is Fat Transfer Done

A 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

How is breast fat transfer done? What is the downtime like?

   Fat can be taken from virtually any area.  It is definitely not the fastest approach.  The implant is more reliable.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

How is breast fat transfer done? What is the downtime like?

Fat is harvested or removed from an area where you have excess fat-usually the abdomen or hips. The fat is then specially treated to increase survival of the fat cells and then the fat is injected into the breasts. Recovery time can be less than with breast implants but you will wear special garments for the first week or two. Not all plastic surgeons do fat transfer so you need to ask specifically when calling for a consult if the plastic surgeon uses this technique.

Breast Fat Augmentation

Breast augmentation with fat is best suited for those patlients who desire shaping and more fullness obtained with their own tissues. It is a procedure that has been performed safely since the early 1990's. Mammographic micro-calcifications are distinguishable from malignant ones with modern mamogram technology. More than one procedure is required to obtain the results that most augmentation patients. Liposuction with fat transfer may be accomplished without general anesthesia with associated mild post-operative pain.  Recovery is only a matter of days.  In the long run it should not cost more than breast implant augmentation when we take into account that the fat lasts and does not have to be replaced in the future as implants do.
Please consult in person with an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon prior to making treatment decisions.

Luis A. Cenedese, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 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.