Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Fat transfer breast augmentation is also known as natural breast enhancement with fat grafting. This procedure can add fullness and volume to the breast after body changes such as weight loss or pregnancy or can be used to increase the overall size of smaller breasts.

Fat transfer gives a more natural result and a quicker recovery with minimal scarring when compared to implants. It requires a few steps, which start from harvesting the fat from other body areas, purifying it and then injecting it into the breasts to add volume. This surgery is usually recommended for women who wish to have a more subtle increase in size. While breast implants come with risks such as rupture, shifting, and collapsing, fat transfer can create fuller breasts without those complications. 

The Fat transfer breast augmentation procedure can take 2 to 6 hours. The length of the process depends on the volume of fat transferred. The procedure is usually an outpatient surgery. Patients can go home once the surgery is completed. In some cases, patients need to undergo tissue expansion before surgery for effective results.

The augmentation requires three stages, with fat grafting being the first. This will be performed under general anesthetic or local anesthetic together with sedation. Surgeons harvest the fat from other areas of the body such as the thighs, love handles, abdomen or flanks, which helps shape the body simultaneously. They make tiny incisions to insert a cannula into the fat tissue to extract the fat cells.

The second stage is purification. The extraneous tissue and blood remains are filtered out using a gravity-filtration or centrifugation system leaving just the purified, harvested fat which is then transferred into a cannula or syringes.

The last stage is transferring the fat into the breasts. They do this with a blunt cannula that reduces bruising or through multiple injection points using syringes. 

Patients will have to wear a compression bra after surgery for added support. The usual recovery time is about a week or less. Patients will be able to continue their daily activities. Bruising and swelling in the chest are common and doctors can prescribe pain medication for soreness at the liposuction sites.

Risks include pain, infection, and inadequate correct or size increase as some fat may resorb over time, requiring additional procedures.
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
1 week

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