Does 20-50% of fat retention to breasts after fat transfer sound too little and perhaps due to bad technique?

After reading a lot about fat transfer to the breasts here on Realself and surgeon's answers to questions about fat transfer, it seems that i am reading 50-70% of fat is retained generally which depends on surgeon's expertise, experience and technique.. my surgeon has said 20-50% is generally retained in his practice.. is he being very realistic or should i be getting a second opinion as he may not be very good at it?? it just seems very low

Doctor Answers 4

Fat retention

Thank you for your question.  Generally speaking, 50-70 percent is the average in my practice, however, we have seen patients even above that.  Retention depends on many variables, aside from technique, viable fat harvesting sites, experience, prior surgeries..  Patients have to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and over exercising within the first three months after surgery.  When our patients visit us for follow ups, we typically measure their retention through a 3-D imaging system that shows the retention percentage.  In some cases, such as correcting asymmetries or significant breast tissue constriction, more than one surgery may be required. 

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Does 20-50% of fat retention to breasts after fat transfer sound too little and perhaps due to bad technique?

Some of the retention rate will depend upon the amount of fat transferred, as smaller volumes will likely have a higher survival.

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

Fat transfer to breast

Generally, 50-70% of fat grafted usually stays, however, in some patients, they may retain less for some reason. Personally, I only place smaller volumes of fat and socially prepare it for best results. If very large volumes, like 400cc, are desired, implants may be a better, more dependable option. Very large fat grafts have higher risk for non take, fat necrosis, infection, etc.

I like to use fat grafting for more upper breast fullness +/- lift. I utilize Vaser ultrasound liposuction for harvesting and centrifuge. As long as risks are understood, fat grafting works well in the right patient.

An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon who performs these procedures is recommended to confirm you are a candidate as well as discuss your options and expectations. 

Harry T. Haramis, MD, FACS
Montclair Plastic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast Fat transfer/ Breast Augmentation/Breast Implants/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision

Thank you for your question. About 60-70% of the grafted fat survives.  At 6 months you will have a good idea of your results. Some women have a second or third procedure which continues to increase your volume safely. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon #RealSelf100Surgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 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.