Breast augmentation with autologous fat grafting Realself - tips for cosmetic surgery (2023)

The goal of this type of augmentation surgery is to achieve a natural effect that is proportional to the rest of the body. If you want bigger breasts but don't want them to look artificial or disproportionate to the rest of your body, then this is a good option for you.

This type of surgery is becoming increasingly popular among women with children because it offers an alternative to breast augmentation without the need to place implants under the surface of the skin, over time. Over time, the implants may become more visible due to weight gain. Pregnancy or other factors, such as eating habits that change over time, not just during pregnancy (such as comfort foods like ice cream). In this article we answer the quiz questions: Autologous fat for breast augmentation and autologous breast fat grafting one year later.

Autologous breast augmentation is a multi-stage surgical procedure that uses your own fat to augment your breasts. Your plastic surgeon uses liposuction to remove excess fat cells from one or more areas of the body, cleans the fat, and injects it into the breast using a cannula (thin tube) or small syringe to increase breast volume and contour.

Also known as natural breast augmentation, fat grafting, autologous fat grafting, or breast injections, this breast augmentation procedure is becoming increasingly popular among women who want minimal breast augmentation and a natural look without the potential risks and side effects of breast implants.

"Fat grafting is a great way to increase breast size by a cup or two or restore volume lost through a previous biopsy or mastectomy," explains Dr. Frederic Corbin, a plastic surgeon in Brea, CA.

The procedure also has the advantage of body contouring through liposuction. "Excess fat can be removed from the abdomen, hips or thighs and transferred to the breasts," explains Southfield, Michigan plastic surgeon Dr. Mariam Arwada. "Other places that tend to gain weight are the waist and the back."

What are the advantages and disadvantages of breast augmentation with autologous fat?

an advantage

  • The procedure uses fat taken from your own body for a smaller breast augmentation, reducing the risk of allergic reactions.
  • It also has a body contouring effect where excess fat is removed by liposuction.
  • The result can look and feel completely natural.
  • Results after three months are considered permanent.
  • Incisions and scarring are minimal - only small incisions (about four millimeters or one-eighth of an inch) are used to harvest fat through liposuction and tiny injection points.
  • You don't have to worry about the risks of complications with breast implants, including rupture or capsular contracture (when the tissue around the implant hardens and contracts).
  • The procedure can be combined with breast implants or as an additional procedure to fill shallow areas.
  • Most doctors consider this a safe treatment option with a short recovery time. "Overall, it's a low-risk procedure, especially compared to breast augmentation with implants," says plastic surgeon Dr. Justin Yovino of Beverly Hills, CA during a Q&A with RealSelf.


  • Since only about 50-70% of the cells survive the transfer, the outcome is less predictable than with implants.
  • Asymmetry can also occur if there is more fat on one side. "Implants guarantee dimensional results," says plastic surgeon Dr. John Burns of Dallas.
  • Patients who want a large augmentation (more than two cup sizes) may not get the results they want or may need more than one type of surgery.
  • Breast fat grafting is usually more expensive than breast augmentation with implants due to the additional cost of liposuction.
  • Changes in weight can cause fat cells to grow or shrink, so your breasts can change with changes in weight, says plastic surgeon Dr. Ashley Gordon from Austin.

How much does breast augmentation with autologous fat cost?

  • Average grade:
  • 9,300 dollars
  • territory:
  • 3,200–15,700 dollars

Your price will depend on the amount of fat transferred, your doctor's experience, and the location of his or her office.

Breast fat grafting is not cheaper than breast implants. In fact, it is often more expensive because it requires the additional step of liposuction, which can be performed on multiple areas of the body. In essence, you are paying for a combination of both programs.


If you have fat grafting for breast cancer reconstruction, your health insurance should cover at least part of the procedure (including the cost of liposuction) because it is considered medically necessary, not just cosmetic surgery.

Who is suitable for breast augmentation with autologous fat?

Ideal candidates for breast fat grafting are usually healthy. Your doctor will ask for your full medical history, including any past medical history. If you are a smoker, you must stop smoking for at least one month before and after the operation.

You need to have enough fat to get the results you want. Most procedures result in at least 1000 ml of pure fat. So if you're thin, you're probably not for this.

Realistic expectations are also important. For example, the procedure won't lift saggy breasts or improve tight, wrinkled skin, so patients need good tone and elasticity -- or they may need fat transfer combined with breast augmentation.

Breast fat grafting surgery is a good option for many women, but there are certain situations where it can be especially helpful, says Dr. to burn

"Women with breast changes due to weight loss or pregnancy are often excellent candidates for autologous breast augmentation, as it restores fullness to the breasts, increases their roundness and helps you grow to two cups," he says. "For women who don't want new breasts - they just want the breasts they had before X, Y or Z - breast fat grafting is perfect."

What happens with autologous fat breast augmentation?

Fat grafting takes two to six hours, depending on the amount of fat being transferred and the experience of the surgeon. It consists of three phases.

Fat tea:The liposuction portion of your procedure is performed under general anesthesia or local sedation at dusk. Your surgeon makes small incisions in the selected area and inserts a blunt cannula directly into the fat.

clean:"The fat is separated from the tumescent fluid used in liposuction and the blood, leaving clean fat for transfer," explains Dr. Opekline "The system used to remove fat varies from surgeon to surgeon. Today, most of us use gravity filtration systems, although some still use centrifuge-based techniques.” The fat is usually flushed out with an antibiotic solution. The cleaned cells are then transferred to a smaller cannula or syringe for injection.

transfer:This part of the procedure also uses a small cannula to reduce the risk of bruising at the injection site and allow for smooth insertion of the fat cells into the breast tissue. This involves multiple injections into the breast while your surgeon creates a symmetrical, natural breast shape. According to Dr. Rodger Shortt, a plastic surgeon in Oakville, Ontario: Adding a little fat to the superior (upper) and super medial (middle) areas of your breasts will give your upper breasts and décolleté a youthful, fuller appearance.

(Video) See Ciara's Amazing Transformation | Fat Transfer to Breast Augmentation | All Natural, No Implants!

After the operation, a bra and compression panties are placed on the patient at the liposuction site.

How long does it take to recover from breast fat grafting?

Most people return to work a week after fat grafting.

For the first few days, it is normal to feel a slight or even dull pain in the breasts and other parts of the body from which fat tissue has been removed by liposuction. Your surgeon may prescribe pain relievers or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers.

You may also experience swelling and bruising. Bruising from liposuction usually lasts a few weeks. Bruising on the breast should disappear within a month. "Breast bruising and swelling are worse than breast implants," says Dr. Spaliti

Moderate activities are fine the day after surgery. Avoid strenuous activities, including weight lifting and sports, for the first few weeks. After three weeks you can start with cardiovascular exercises (including sexual activity), and after six weeks with strength training and yoga.

Your surgeon may have you wear a compression bra for the first few days, then switch to a sports bra for the next month to provide gentle support while maintaining blood supply and reducing fat survival. Also, you need to sleep on your back or side to avoid pressure on your chest.

Self-reminder:"For three months, you avoid any manipulation of the breast tissue," says Dr. Edward Bednar, a plastic surgeon in Charlotte, NC, in a RealSelf Q&A. "You can be intimate, but until then try to protect your fat cells."

When will I see the results of autologous breast augmentation?

  • During your one-week follow-up visit, your surgeon will examine your breasts to make sure they are healing properly. They may appear larger than expected at this point, but this is partly due to swelling, which makes them feel very tight or even hard. Gentle massage helps relieve discomfort and reduce swelling.
  • In six weeks, the swelling at the liposuction site has reduced enough that you can see the results of your body contouring.
  • During the first trimester, up to half of the transferred fat cells died.
  • Six months after surgery, most of the swelling in the breast area will be gone and your breasts will be mostly normal.
  • After a year, your breasts will take on their final shape and size.

Multiple grafts may be required to achieve the desired end result. Complications are less likely when a smaller volume is injected, so the tissue is not compacted and compressed, and the chances of graft survival are maximized.

How long do the results last?

Although not all transferred fat survives, the transferred fat that remains three months after surgery is believed to be permanent. However, there are no large clinical trials with long-term follow-up of fat grafting for breast augmentation.

The biggest problem with breast fat grafting is that it is difficult to predict how much fat will be absorbed in the first trimester. Some surgeons anticipate this loss, while others transfer small amounts of fat during a series of procedures. Some people also use fat transfer in conjunction with breast implants rather than alone. "Closing" the implant with fat transfer can eliminate any contouring issues and provide a more natural look and feel.

(Video) Fat Grafting: Cleaning fat before injecting

When you achieve the desired results (which may require several sessions), the fat cells that have been successfully integrated into the breast tissue remain permanently.

Of course, your breasts naturally age along with the rest of your body, so they change with age and gravity. However, the transferred and fully implanted fat does not need to be removed or replaced as breast implants usually require. It's important to maintain your weight so that your breasts stay the same size as you age, notes Dr. Gordon. "Significant weight gain can cause breasts to enlarge, while excess weight can cause sagging."

Does Brava require breast implants?

The bra is a bra-like device that uses gentle vacuum pressure to gradually expand the breasts before transferring fat. Some surgeons recommend predilation, while others do not. A recent study in the journalPlastic and reconstructive surgeryBreast augmentation prior to injecting the patient's own fat is recommended as a safe and effective alternative to breast implants.

Patients wear the Brava device for three to five weeks before dilation. The suction procedure is designed to create additional space in the breast and create a "fibrovascular scaffold" for the transplanted fat cells. The lock also increases blood flow to the area, increasing the chances of cell survival and providing more reliable results.

Doctors on RealSelf report satisfactory results with and without Brava, and say it's not necessary, but it helps in some cases.

"If you have minimal donor sites and breast tissue to begin with, that may help because there may be increased [fat retention], at least based on current preliminary research," explains Dr. Larry Niece, a plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, CA, in RealSelf Q&A. "However, if you have enough fat to transfer, with time and possibly additional transfer procedures [compared to the hassle and cost of the Brava device], you could get the same results."

Is autologous fat breast augmentation safe? what is the risk?

"Fat transfer to the breasts is generally safe and can produce good results that are smooth and natural," says Dr. Short Real Q&A.

However, the risks of fat grafting surgery include lumps, nodules and cysts in the breast and indentations or irregularities at the donor site.

It is estimated that 30-50% of transferred adipocytes die. Usually, these dead cells are removed naturally through the lymphatic system, but symptoms of fat necrosis may also occur, including pain, cysts, dark blue or black skin, numbness, fever, and sores. Talk to your doctor about how to reduce this risk.

Fat injections also pose risks to breastfeeding, says Lafayette, CA plastic surgeon Dr. Authentic questions and answers from Elizabeth Slass Lein about herself.

(Video) Fat Transfer To Breast (2 Year Anniversary)

"Unlike implants, where all the work is done deep in the breast, fat grafting involves inserting a series of large needles into the breast tissue – with the risk of damaging the breast and milk ducts, of course, and affecting breastfeeding." Scientific research studies its effects on the female milk ducts and glands.

Fat injections can also affect mammography. Due to the amount of fat required for breast augmentation, this technique is prone to microcalcifications (when fat cells die but do not dissolve). They are not cancerous, but microcalcifications can interfere with mammography. "Most radiologists can easily spot fat necrosis caused by cancer, but let them know you had fat grafting at the time of your mammogram," advises Dr. Kratak.

Cysts are also possible, but very careful injection of fat drop by drop can prevent them from appearing, says Dr. Kratak. "Many surgeons don't have the patience to perform this procedure. So make sure your surgeon is interested in it for the greatest effect and least risk of cysts."

Regarding the safety of fat grafting surgery in breast reconstruction patients, some questions remain about its routine use, and physicians "cannot say at this time that autologous fat transfer is a safe technique," the authors of the 2019 review concluded. clinical evidence that fat grafting in breast reconstruction increases the risk of breast cancer, additional research is needed for more definitive results."

One concern is that the stem cells in the transplanted fat could increase the incidence of cancer, Dr. Kratak explained. "That doesn't seem to be the case in several major peer-reviewed journals, but it's still a topic of conversation with my patients."

Can injectable fillers be used instead of fat?

Yes, hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers are available. However, the doctors at RealSelf recommend using them only to fill in smaller blemishes.

"You can use hyaluronic acid in your breasts, but it can be expensive," says Dr. Justin Gusching, a general surgeon in Cartersville, Georgia. "It also depends on how much you need and what your goals are. If you have a small area/wrinkle/defect, then I think it makes perfect sense. Any larger defect, such as a lumpectomy dimpling, will benefit the most from fat grafting."

The main disadvantage of injectable fillers is that the effects are temporary. Therefore, you will need to carry out a series of maintenance treatments to maintain the results.

What are the other options for breast augmentation besides fat transfer?

Most often, traditional breast augmentation surgery is performed with implants. These flexible devices, filled with silicone or saline (sterile saline), are placed under or over the pectoral muscles. Silicone implants are used in 84 percent of breast augmentation procedures today, according to the latest data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Women also have different options for breast reconstruction - including "flap" reconstruction, which uses your own tissue (usually from the abdomen or buttocks).

(Video) Fat Transfer 101 | The Benefits of Autologous Fat Transfer with Dr. Kian

Autologous fat breast augmentation

Breast augmentation by fat infusion is a surgical procedure for breast augmentation for aesthetic reasons. Liposuction is a procedure that surgeons use to remove fat from areas such as the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, back and arms. After that, the stains will look cleaner. Your doctor injects the fat cells into the breast and they stay there permanently.

Fat tissue transplantation of the breast after 1 year

Fat grafting for breast augmentation is a non-invasive alternative to breast implants that offers many of the same benefits. Since your own fat is used, you can expect a full increase in cup size in just one session.


Do I have enough fat for fat transfer breast augmentation? ›

How much fat would I need for breast fat grafting? You may need approximately 200 to 400 cc of fat per breast. However, you may need a second procedure to achieve your desired breast size. Your surgeon will determine the amount of fat you will need during your consultation.

How to make sure maximum fat stays after breast fat grafting surgery? ›

How do you keep fat after fat transfer?
  1. Consume nutritious and healthy foods especially more healthy fats (Avoid dieting after surgery)
  2. Wear loose and comfortable garments.
  3. Sleeping on your back while keeping your breasts elevated.
  4. Get plenty of rest.
  5. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  6. Stay hydrated.
Sep 21, 2021

How many cup sizes can you increase with fat transfer? ›

In general, each surgery can increase your breasts by one cup size. Any enlargement beyond that would usually require additional procedures. Structural fat grafting can last longer than traditional implants, which may need replacement over time.

Can I increase 2 cup sizes with fat transfer? ›

Usually, at least a 1 cup size increase in breast volume is obtained with fat grafting. Occasionally 2 cup sizes (or even more) can be obtained but this depends on the amount of fat available and whether you are able to gain weight following the procedure.

How can I maximize my fat transfer? ›

While your body will naturally absorb some of the transferred fat, there are several things you can do to maximize the long-term results:
Apr 16, 2023

Why do I weigh more after fat transfer? ›

Patients often experience a rapid weight gain following the procedure as the body aims to recoup fat and the affected areas will fill with fluid that the body uses to heal.

How long does it take for fat to settle after fat transfer? ›

In most cases, it takes about 6 months for the newly transferred fat to settle, establish a blood supply, and take permanent hold.

How long until fat graft is stable? ›

Most of the transferred fat will merge with the surrounding tissues, but your body will naturally absorb some of the fat up to six weeks after your procedure. The absorption is natural and unavoidable. The fat that survives is permanent, just like the existing fatty tissues in your buttocks.

How long does it take for grafted fat to settle? ›

Results from fat transfer are permanent. However, not all fat cells survive the procedure, so you may not achieve the volume you want. It takes about six months for the injected fat cells to develop a new blood supply and to see final results.

How long does it take for breasts to soften after fat transfer? ›

Initially, the breast fat graft procedure does feel a little bit hard, it feels swollen, but over the next three to four weeks, it starts to soften up and feels incredibly natural. After seven to ten days, you probably will be able to go back to work and resume your normal activities.

What if you don't have enough fat for a fat transfer? ›

In the rare instance that a patient does not have enough excess fat available for facial fat grafting, Dr. Ho may recommend injectable dermal fillers, such as JUVÉDERM®, or another treatment to refresh the face.

What percent body fat do you need for fat transfer? ›

Liposuction Requirements

We require that patients are within 30% of their ideal weight before having liposuction as part of their fat transfer procedure. If you are greater than 30% over the ideal body weight, you will have to lose some weight before liposuction and the fat transfer procedure.

How long does it take for breasts to swell after fat transfer? ›

How long does swelling last after fat grafting? Swelling and bruising are normal around your treatment sites. Most patients are bruised and swollen for about 1 – 3 weeks. It's important that you avoid exercise during this time.

Why is my breast hard after fat transfer? ›

Hardened masses that appear post-fat grafting breast augmentation are typically caused by fat necrosis. Fat necrosis is a common complication that may result in either hardened lumps or oil cysts. Oil cysts occur when fat necrosis dissolves and forms a calcified cyst over liquid fat, which feels smooth and pliable.

What not to do after fat transfer to breast? ›

You should plan to take a week off from work and other physical activities. You may have pain, bruising, swelling and discomfort in your breasts and liposuctioned areas for up to three weeks. Swelling may persist for up to six months.

Can your body reject fat transfer? ›

Unfortunately fat can not be transferred between individuals as your body would "reject" the fat much like some patients receiving kidney and liver transplants can undergo similar process.

Why does my face look fat after fat transfer? ›

Immediately after your surgery, you may notice that your face looks fuller than you'd expected. This is a normal and temporary part of having a facial fat transfer. Some of the facial fullness is caused by swelling, which will subside after recovery.

Why are fat transfers bad? ›

A surgical fat transfer is generally a safe procedure, but it can occasionally result in: a collection of blood underneath the skin (haematoma) death of fat tissue (fat necrosis) a blockage in a blood vessel caused by a piece of fat (fat embolism)

How do you fix botched fat transfer? ›

Fat grafting revision surgery can improve a previous botched fat transfer procedure. Revision surgery works to correct any poorly-applied fat transfer or synthetic facial filler, and delivers a more natural, favorable result.

How many sessions of fat transfer? ›

It may require 4 to 6 individual sessions to get the best potential results. The injected fat may be reabsorbed by the body and you may lose some or all of the breast volume over time.

How painful is a fat transfer? ›

Additionally, it is a relatively pain-free procedure with minimal down time. The risks of fat transfer include the risk to the donor site (where fat is taken) and to the recipient site (where fat is placed). Typically, these include over or under removal/placement of fat.

What is the success rate of fat transfer to the breast? ›

When it comes to the success rate of fat grafting, approximately 55 to 80 percent of fat that is harvested from elsewhere on the body and transferred to the breast survives. In essence, this gives fat transfer breast augmentation an overall success rate of 55 to 80 percent when considering aesthetic outcomes.

Should you massage fat grafting? ›

We discourage deep massage for the first two months or more after surgery. The transplanted fat will usually have blood vessels growing into it by two weeks, but deep massage can disrupt the new vessels in the grafted fat. Touching the skin gently for washing and application of lotions, etc., is not a problem.

What BMI do you need for breast fat transfer? ›

A BMI between 25-30 is ideal for procedures that require harvesting fat from one part of the body to enhance another. These include Breast Fat Grafting and Brazilian Butt Lift.

Are breast fat transfers worth it? ›

Yes. When performed correctly, the use of body fat as an augmentation material for the breasts is highly effective and long-lasting. This is yet another benefit to breast fat transfer. Many surgeons go so far as to call the procedure permanent.

What are the restrictions after fat transfer? ›

You should avoid vigorous exercise or strenuous exertion such as lifting or straining for a minimum of 3 weeks following surgery. Plan on taking it easy. Do not massage, rub or place any tension on the incisions for a minimum of 4 weeks after your surgery.

Do you have to be a certain weight for fat transfer? ›

Generally, patients with a BMI of 22 or higher will have enough fat to achieve their desired results with fat transfer treatments. As long as you have a BMI of at least 22, and you are less than 30% over the ideal body weight, you will not need to do anything to prepare for your fat transfer treatment.

Do you need to be fat for a fat transfer? ›

Dr. Mang says that almost no patient is too slim for fat transfer. This is because we use techniques that allow us to evenly harvest a small amount of fat from a large surface area. It is very rare that women who have very little excess body fat may not be able to have a fat graft.


1. Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation | Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery
(Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery)
2. Fat Grafting: Why we need to wash the fat first
(Capizzi, M.D Cosmetic Surgery & Med Spa)
4. Liposuction + Fat Grafting to the Breasts | Dr. David Stoker | Los Angeles, CA
(Dr. David Stoker)
6. BBL with Autologous Flap- Butt Lift
(Aristocrat Plastic Surgery & MedAesthetics)


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