The Pros and Cons of Fat Grafting for Breast Argumentation?

Can someone please lay out all of the pros and cons of using fat grafting for breast augmentation? I cannot seem to get a good handle on how to get all of the right information in one spot. To me the best information is going to come straight from the doctor. 


F, 33, Pennsylvania

Tags:woman age 25-34 breasts breasts too small fat graft fat transfer

Fat transfer breast augmentation is a great option for women who want to augment their breasts without implants.  Fat is harvested using liposuction of the abdomen, flanks, and thighs which has the added benefit of slimming and shaping your body.  The fat is specially purified before reinjection to the breasts.  After swelling resolves, about 70%(in my practice) of the fat survives.  The result is very natural.

Fat transfer for breast augmentation is a great alternative for women wanting augmentation without an implant.  Fat is usually harvested with liposuction of the abdomen, flanks, and thighs.  This fat is specially processed and then injected into the breast to the desired endpoint.  After swelling resolve, about 70% (in my practice) of the fat remains permanently.

Fat grafting as a means of breast augmentation is still very new and is limited in its ability to provide predictable results.  It is also limited in how much it can augment a breast - usually only by one cup size.  One should expect that half of the fat grafted will be absorbed.  Breast augmentation with implants - either silicone or saline - is still the most reliable way of achieving predictable aesthetic results to desired sizes.  If you are against having breast implants, fat grafting may be an alternative for you, so long as you understand the limitations.

Autologous fat transfer can be used to augment the breasts. Although it is a relatively new method of natural breast enhancement, it is subject to ongoing research and improved techniques to support it. It is also used to enhance the results of breast reconstruction, to correct asymmetry and make breasts with implants appear more natural.


One unique benefit is that fat transfer breast enlargement allows for the sculpting of the body in addition to increasing breast size, because excess fat is taken from donor areas for the fat grafting procedure. Fat can be harvested from places on the body where it is abundant or where contouring is desired.

In addition, the procedure uses the patient's own fat cells to enhance the breasts. This means there is no risk of an allergic reaction because they come from the patient's own body. Silicone and saline implants can sometimes be treated as foreign material by the body and cause certain complications such as capsular contracture.

One disadvantage of fat transfer is the quantity of fat that is required to enhance the breasts. Fat cells must be over-injected to compensate for cell death that may occur. On average, 50% of cells do not survive because they do not establish a blood supply. More than one procedure is sometimes required for noticeable breast enhancement. A personal consultation with a surgeon is necessary to gauge whether you have sufficient fat to harvest for breast augmentation.

In addition, the fat cells that survive will fluctuate with weight loss and weight gain. Women who undergo fat grafts need to maintain their weight in order to maintain their chest size. There is currently a lack of knowledge regarding if fat grafts to the breasts can obscure mammogram readings. However, all breast augmentation procedures can pose potential problems for cancer detection.

Consider making an appointment to see a board certified surgeon to find out if fat transfer breast augmentation is suitable for you. A board certified surgeon can help further outline the benefits and disadvantages of the procedure and identify if it is the most effective way to achieve your aesthetic goals.

If you are seeking a mild to moderate increase in breast size, fat transfer breast augmentation offers an alternative to artificial breast implants. Fat grafting can increase the breast size by 1/2 cup to 1 cup. If you have sufficient fat on your body that can be harvested for fat transfer, or are happy to gain several pounds, then this variation on breast augmentation is worth considering.

Fat transfer has several advantages over traditional breast augmentation. It is 100% natural as it uses the body's own tissue to increase the size of the breasts. The results feel very soft and natural. Using the body's own tissue also means there is no chance of an adverse reaction. Silicone implants carry small but real risks such as implant malposition, rupture and capsular contracture.

Another advantage of fat transfer to the breasts is the body contouring that happens as a result of fat grafting. Fat is harvested using liposuction from areas on the body with an abundance of fat cells. Surgery therefore results in larger breasts and a more sculpted silhouette.

Fat transfer breast augmentation is also almost scarless. No large incisions are necessary: fat is harvested from donor sites and injected into the body through small incisions.

However, fat transfer also has some disadvantages. If you would like a more significant increase in cup size, breast implants offer a more reliable and consistent outcome. The extent of augmentation from fat grafting is limited to one cup size.

Fat may also be reabsorbed by the body. Board certified plastic surgeons can transfer the fat carefully to maximize the volume that is transferred, but on average, 50% of the fat will be reabsorbed. Multiple treatments may therefore be needed to produce a desirable outcome.

Fat injections cannot lift the breasts or reshape them. Sagging breasts will not be corrected or re-shaped as a result of the procedure. Also, fat transfer to the breasts is more expensive than breast augmentation surgery using implants because it is two procedures performed simultaneously: liposuction and breast augmentation.

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for fat transfer breast augmentation. To learn more about the procedure and determine if it is right for you, make a consultation to speak to a board certified plastic surgeon.