Fat Transfer to Breast

By: Dr. Michael Pasquale

Fat transfer can be a great option to increase the size of your breasts or to merely improve the shape. Most people wanting bigger breasts go to a plastic surgeon and have breast implants done without realizing there are other alternatives depending on your goals or situation. Some patients may not want such visibly large breasts and only want to increase their breast by a cup size or less. These patients often already have a good amount of breast tissue and don’t want to have noticeable breast implants or want others to know they’ve had plastic surgery.

How Big Can Fat Transfer Make Your Breasts?

Most plastic surgeons agree that fat transfer to breast can increase your breast size by 1/2 to 1 full cup size after one procedure of fat injection. A 1/2 cup size increase can be counted on whereas a full cup size cannot be guaranteed for every patient. For those that just want a modest increase and change of shape, fat transfer can be a great option.

One single fat transfer procedure can increase your breast size on average by up to 1 cup size. Multiple fat transfer procedures can be performed to further increase the breast size.

Fat transfer to breast can be repeated 2 or even 3 times in order to make the breast even bigger. Multiple procedures of fat transfer to breast will of course increase the price. Breast implants are of course more predictable than fat transfer. The amount of fat you have is also a major factor. Some patients just do not have the fat available to reach the desired size, no matter how many fat transfer procedures are performed.

Where does the fat come from for fat transfer to breast?

Fat transfer or fat injection of the breast is an option for those women who want to avoid artificial material in the body, yet want to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. The procedure uses fat isolated generally from the buttocks, abdomen, upper arms or thighs.

Fat is most commonly harvested from either the abdomen, flanks, thighs, hips or buttocks for fat transfer (fat grafting).

An appropriate amount of fat is necessary to fill the breasts to maintain the desired shape and size, so not all body types will be ideal for this procedure. Liposuction in targeted areas is used for fat collection, and the fat is then processed to remove broken fat cells, red blood cells and other noncellular debris from the pristine fat cells.

How is fat transfer to breast done?

This procedure involves no incision and is done through multiple needle sticks or small holes. The fat is removed by a special type of liposuction which retains the most healthy fat. This fat is then treated and processed with centrifugation and readied for grafting.

Fat transfer syringes


A batch of syringes containing harvested, patient adipose fat intended for fat transfer surgery.

The broken cells, red blood cells and connective tissue are removed, leaving behind a buttery smooth collection of fat cells. These fat cells are loaded into a syringe in rows for injection. The surgeon starts by injecting a small bolus of fat deep into the breast tissue. Another small bolus is injected just above it and the whole process continues until the surface is reached. Then, in a grid-like pattern, more boluses are injected so that the shape of the breast is altered and enlarged with extra fat cells.

Eventually, the fat globules get circulation and begin to take hold in the breast and the swelling resolves. A fairly large portion of these patients need to be retreated because if the breast globule landed in an area of breast glandular tissue, there will be shrinkage and dimpling of that area. Another globule of fat needs to be replaced in the area in order to have smooth breasts that do not dimple and are of a larger size than before.

How much does fat transfer to breast cost?

Fat transfer to breast cost (national average) is around $6000.00. It can be as low as $3000.00 or as high as $10,000.00, depending on the surgical goals, purpose and patient. The price of fat transfer to breast is typically around the same cost as traditional breast augmentation with breast implants. Some patients may just need a small amount of fat for touching up misshapen breasts which may amount to a lower price.

The average cost for fat transfer to breast is $6000.00.

Other patients may desire to increase their breasts size as much as possible, deciding to undergo several fat graft procedures to maximize fat retention, thus increasing the overall cost. Also, some patients may not need general anesthesia (fully asleep), and can have the procedure done under local sedation (light anesthesia) thus reducing the cost.

Will My Breasts Lose the Fat and Where Does it Go?

Your breast will begin to shrink over the course of the first 6 months after the fat transfer procedure. Anywhere from 35-60% of the injected fat can be reabsorbed or lost, which is completely normal and expected. 100% of the fat cannot be retained so your expectations must be kept within reason. The liposuction, fat processing, the injection of the fat as well as the patients health & physiology all contribute to how much fat is lost. Weight loss can also unfortunately cause the area where the fat was placed to decrease.

Can I get fat transfer even though I have breast implants?

Fat transfer can be especially effective for those who already have breast implants and just want to improve the shape or symmetry. It can be used to fix deformities, fill dimples, improve rippling for those who have thinning tissue in the chest wall or used in conjunction with total breast reconstruction. In regards to breast reconstruction, fat transfer has been shown to be very effective in women who have had a mastectomy due to breast cancer or pain & risk reduction.

Find a breast enhancement specialist for fat transfer to breast

There are many doctors that do not believe in fat transfer to breast because they believe the risk of fat necrosis is too high, that the end result is not pretty and there is too much shrinkage of the breast after the procedure. Fat transfer to breast is a very complicated procedure in that the surgeon is essentially performing a special type of liposuction surgery which doesn’t damage the fat cells, he then painstakingly processes the fat and then performs another surgical procedure to graft the fat to the correct areas of the breast. Breast fat takes implanted fat much easier than does breast glandular tissue and it isn’t always easy to tell whether the fat is being injected into the breast gland or into the breast fat. This is why you must choose a surgeon who specializes in breast enhancement, as they have a tremendous amount of experience, skill and knowledge in the breast anatomy and the risks. It’s these breast specialists who have honed their techniques over decades and developed and learned dozens of little tricks and secrets which make an incredible difference to the surgical result.

All Natural Breast Augmentation

If you want to have a slight change in the shape and size of your breasts, consider fat transfer. Fat transfer is completely hypoallergenic because the fat used comes from somewhere else in your body. It can come from the abdomen, thighs, hips or buttocks and is removed via liposuction. This can be a welcome bonus for some patients that might also want to have a little bit of fat removed. Once the liposuction areas are nicely contoured, the doctor then processes the fat and injects the fat into your breasts. It doesn’t allow for huge changes in the breast but can alter the shape of the breast and increase the breast by perhaps a cup size.

Is fat transfer to breast less invasive or easier than breast augmentation?

Fat transfer to breast is much less invasive to the patient than breast implants in that they simply do not have an implant or foreign body inside them. Our bodies don’t like when something foreign is placed inside it for obvious reasons, and the body often rejects it. Modern plastic surgery has evolved to the point where we can now safely place implants in the body, but there are some patients whose bodies just do not react well.

Fat transfer doesn’t require as much cutting and carries less risk

In the case of breast enhancement, some patients often develop whats called capsular contracture, where the body develops a very aggressive sack around the implant which squeezes and causes pain, tightness and hard breasts. The sack around the implant itself is completely normal and serves a purpose, but in some patients, the sack tightens much more excessively causing adverse effects. With fat transfer, your implanting your own fat, so the risk of rejection is almost non-existent. There is no sack or capsule development therefore contracture cannot occur. Breast augmentation for the most part also requires incisions are made in which to insert the breast implant. Fat transfer is done via small holes. Breast augmentation also requires a significant amount of dissection or cutting within the breast in which to create a pocket for the implant. This causes a lot more pain and risk. Fat transfer requires no pocket be created, or any internal incisions within the breast.

What are the risks of fat transfer to breast?

There are few risks to this procedure with the exception of the possibility of a poor outcome due to fat necrosis. There is also the risk of infection at the injection sites but this is rare. Fat cells injected into actual breast (lactating) tissue will have a higher chance of failing to survive than if the fat boluses are injected into fatty tissue of the breasts. The fat tissue that does not survive will drain away from the injection site or can be absorbed by the body’s immune system. A fat bolus can also calcify, making it hard to the touch and difficult for doctors to tell the difference between a calcified fat bolus and breast cancer. A mammogram may not be able to tell the difference between the two types of tissue. This should be taken into consideration, especially if you or your family have a history of breast cancer.

Talk with your doctor about whether or not fat transfer to breast is the procedure for you. Fat transfer to breast may need more than one treatment as compared to breast implants that only require a single treatment in most cases. Fat transfer to breast can only be done in people who have enough fatty tissue from other body areas to share so very thin people are not good candidates. Important: Any message can be intercepted by hackers, so if this is a concern use the telephone or other more secure transmission. Infinity Life Center makes no claims of privacy by any electronic transmission as you know all can be compromised.

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