Fat Grafting to Breasts or Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation is a surgical procedure that increases your breast volume by grafting your own fat (from another part of the body) into the breast tissue.
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This complete guide to fat transfer to breast surgery covers everything you need to know about this procedure, including:
- Your surgery explained
- How to assess if you are a good candidate.
- Planning for your surgery
- Answers to most frequently asked questions.
- Before and after gallery
- Visit the Fat Transfer to Breast Information page.
What Is Fat Grafting to Breasts FAQs
What is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or fat injection, is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess fat from one area of your body, typically through liposuction, and then injecting that fat into another area, in this case, the breasts. The goal of fat grafting to the breasts is to increase their size or reshape their shape using your body’s fat.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation – what is it?
- Fat Transfer breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that takes fat from one part of the body and injects it into your breasts.
- During the procedure, a surgeon carefully extracts fat cells from areas like the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, purifies the fat, and then injects it into the breasts.
What is Breast Lipomodelling?
Breast Lipomodelling is essentially the same as fat transfer to the breasts. These terms are often used interchangeably in the field of plastic surgery.
Both procedures involve the removal of fat from one part of the body, typically through liposuction, and the transfer of that fat to the breasts to alter their size and shape.
The primary goal is to achieve breast augmentation or change in breast appearance using the patient’s own fat. So, whether you refer to it as breast lipomodelling or fat transfer to the breasts, it typically describes the same surgical technique.
How much can you increase breast size with fat transfer?
The amount by which you can increase breast size with fat transfer can vary from person to person. However, in general, you can expect a modest increase in breast size with this procedure.
Typically, you can expect an increase of about half to one cup size. This procedure is not designed for those seeking a dramatic increase in breast size, as it relies on the availability of donor fat from other areas of your body, which is often limited.
The amount of fat that can be transferred and the final increase in breast size depend on factors like the amount of donor fat available, the patient’s body type, and the specific goals of the procedure. It’s crucial to have a detailed consultation with your plastic surgeon to discuss your expectations and understand what is realistically achievable in your case.
If you experience breast asymmetry, you can also opt for a unilateral fat grafting breast augmentation. This is where your surgeon increase the size of one breast to make your breasts more symmetrical.
Do breasts with transferred fat feel natural to touch?
Breasts that have undergone fat transfer can feel quite natural to the touch. This is one of the advantages of this procedure, as the fat injected into the breasts can mimic the feel of natural breast tissue. However, it’s important to note that they may feel slightly firmer or have subtle variations in texture.
Your plastic surgeon can provide more detailed information about what you can expect in terms of the look and feel of your breasts after a fat transfer procedure.
Can you remove implants and replace with fat?
- Yes, you can remove breast implants and replace them with fat.
- To do this, we recommend removing the implants and then proceeding with a fat grafting procedure 6 to 12 months later.
- This is in order to allow the fat transfer the best opportunity to succeed.
Which is more suitable, fat transfer or implants?
Whether fat transfer or implants are more suitable depends on your individual goals, body type, and preferences.
- Safety: Both fat transfer and implants come with their own set of potential complications and risks. It’s crucial to discuss these with your surgeon.
- Aesthetics: The choice between fat transfer and implants depends on your desired aesthetic outcome. If you want a significant increase in breast size, implants may be more suitable.
- Availability of Donor Fat: Fat transfer requires a sufficient amount of donor fat for transfer. If you have limited fat in donor areas, implants might be a more suitable option.
- Body Type: Your overall body type and shape can influence which option is more appropriate.
Ultimately, the choice between fat transfer and implants should be made in consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate your individual circumstances and provide recommendations based on your goals and medical history. It’s important to discuss the potential suitability, limitations, and risks of each option to make an informed decision.
Am I The Right Candidate / Fat Transfer to Breast Prerequisites FAQs
Am I the right candidate for Fat Grafting Breast Augmentation?
- You may be a suitable candidate for a fat grafting breast augmentation if you:
- Are not a smoker or are willing to quit for six weeks before and after breast augmentation using fat transfer,
- Have some fat deposits on your body from which your surgeon can take fat from,
- Are not pregnant,
- Have realistic expectations on what a fat transfer to breast procedure can achieve.
What size cup can you expect after fat grafting?
The increase in cup size you can expect after fat grafting for breast augmentation varies from person to person. It’s important to understand that fat transfer to the breasts typically provides a more subtle increase in size compared to breast implants. The amount of fat that can be transferred and the extent of the increase in cup size depend on factors like:
- Available Donor Fat
- The procedure relies on having enough donor fat from other areas of your body, such as the abdomen or thighs.
- The more donor fat available, the more significant the potential increase.
- Recipient Site Capacity
- Your breast tissue can only accommodate a certain amount of fat.
- There are limits to how much fat can be transferred in a single procedure.
- Patient Goals
- Your desired cup size and aesthetic goals play a role.
- Some patients seek a small increase, while others may aim for a more noticeable change.
- Surgeon’s Experience
- A skilled plastic surgeon can optimize the fat transfer process to achieve optimal results.
As a rough estimate, many patients might achieve an increase of half to one cup size or slightly more. However, this can vary widely. It’s essential to have a thorough consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can assess your unique situation and provide a more accurate idea of the expected results based on your specific goals and available donor fat. Keep in mind that multiple sessions of fat transfer might be necessary to achieve the desired size.
What is the desired BMI for Fat Grafting Breast Augmentation?
- The desirable BMI for Fat grafting breast augmentation is at least 22.
- You should generally speak with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for a more accurate assessment since BMI alone cannot predict whether you have enough fat or not, especially if you are a very athletic person.
- In these cases, your surgeon will consider your body fat percentage (excluding your visceral fats) for fat transfer breast augmentation.
Can I have Fat Transfer Breast augmentation if I breastfed before?
- Yes, you can have a fat transfer breast augmentation if you’ve breastfed before.
- Breastfeeding does not interfere with your ability to receive a fat graft. However, in some cases, breastfeeding can cause breast ptosis.
- If you suffer from severe breast ptosis, your specialized plastic surgeon may suggest having breast lift surgery first.
Do I have enough fat for Fat Transfer to the Breast?
- Whether you have enough fat for a fat transfer to the breasts depends on your overall state, body fat content and how much fat you want to place in your breasts.
- You may want to schedule an appointment with your specialized plastic surgeon and get an estimation of whether you have enough fat in your body or not.
Can I have Fat Transfer breast augmentation if I am a smoker?
- No, you cannot have a fat transfer breast augmentation if you are a smoker.
- Smoking compromises the surgery results, increases the chances for risks and complications and prolongs the recovery time.
- You should quit smoking at least six weeks before fat grafting procedure.
- Furthermore you should not smoke for at least six weeks after the procedure.
- This ensures optimal recovery and reduces chances for complications and undesirable results.
Can I have Fat Transfer breast augmentation if I have implants?
- Yes, you can have a fat transfer breast augmentation if you have implants.
- In general, if your body can support the additional weight and you’re healthy with no history of breast augmentation complications, you may receive fat grafting to improve your breast augmentation with implants results.
Fat Grafting to Breasts Preparation FAQs
Can I drive myself to Fat grafting breast augmentation?
- No. You will not be able to drive after surgery
- We recommend having someone drop you off and pick you up after surgery.
- In fact, it’s a good idea to have someone stay with you for the first 2 to 3 days while the effects of general anaesthetic wear off and while you recover during the initial days.
What do I need to wear for a fat transfer Breast augmentation?
- You should wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes to your fat transfer breast augmentation.
- You will have to change both before and after the procedure, so you should wear clothes that are easy to take off and put back on.
Before your procedure – What do I need to buy for fat transfer breast augmentation?
- You should ensure that you run all your errands, have a stocked up pantry and fridge and any medication you may be regularly taking.
- Furthermore, you should buy any gauze, cold packs and ice packs, as well as antibacterial soap, wound dressing and wound and scar treatment creams and gels your surgeon may suggest.
- At Coco Ruby, most of these items are provided for you.
What do I need to prepare for after the breast augmentation procedure?
- You will need to prepare several things for after the fat transfer breast augmentation procedure:
- Run all your errands,
- Ensure that your recovery space is clean and tidy
- Make sure everything you will need is within easy reach
- Make sure that somebody will take care of your children or pets while you are recovering from fat transfer breast augmentation,
- Make sure there is somebody to help you out in the first few days,
- Ensure you have all the supplies you need for the aftercare.
- This includes any prescriptions your Specialist Plastic Surgeon has given you, pain medication, gauzes and cold packs.
- Arrange someone to take you to your 1st follow up appointment after surgery.
Fat Transfer to Breast Procedure FAQs
Can you move fat from your stomach to your breast?/Can you move fat from your thighs to your breast?
Yes, it’s possible to move fat from your stomach or thighs (or other areas with excess fat) to your breasts through a fat transfer procedure. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Harvesting Fat: Excess fat is removed from the donor area (such as the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks) using liposuction.
- Processing Fat: The harvested fat is processed to separate the viable fat cells from blood and other substances.
- Injection: The purified fat cells are then carefully injected into the breasts to alter their size and shape.
It’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this procedure and to discuss your goals and expectations. Your surgeon can assess the amount of fat that can be transferred to your breasts and create a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs.
How much fat can be grafted to the breasts?
The amount of fat that can be grafted to the breasts during a fat transfer procedure depends on several factors, including the patient’s anatomy, the quality of the available donor fat, and the patient’s desired outcome. On average, breast fat transfer procedures can range from about 200 to 400 milliliters (approximately 7 to 14 fluid ounces) of fat per breast. However, the specific amount can vary.
The amount of fat that can be appropriately transferred will be determined by your plastic surgeon during a consultation. They will consider factors like your current breast size, body proportions, and the availability of donor fat from areas like the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Excessive fat transfer can potentially reduce fat cell survival and compromise the results.
Your surgeon will work with you to establish realistic expectations and create a personalised treatment plan that aligns with your goals. The volume of fat transfer will be discussed as part of this planning process.
Can you move fat from your calves to your breast?
- We do not recommend moving fat from your calves to your breasts.
- Using Liposuction on the fat around your calves or ankles can be quite dangerous.
How long does fat transfer take?
- In general, a fat transfer procedure will take anywhere between two and four hours depending on the amount of work required.
- The length of the procedure can be estimated by your Specialist Plastic Surgeon, who will make an educated estimation based on your current breast size and the desired breast size.
- You should understand that this is a complex procedure that may take a longer time to perform since the fat tissue has to be extracted, purified and then implanted.
Is fat transfer to the breast a major surgical procedure?
- Any surgery performed under a general anaesthetic is a major surgical procedure.
- It still involves certain risks and complications, just like any other surgery.
What is Autologous Fat Grafting (AFG)?
- Autologous Fat Grafting or (AFG) is a cosmetic surgical procedure that takes fat from a donor site on your body and transfers it to another part of the body.
Fat Grafting to Breasts Recovery FAQs
How long does fat grafting take to heal?
- Fat grafting, in general, takes one to two weeks for the initial healing.
- You will develop some bruising and swelling during this period, which will slowly subside during the initial 10-14 days post-op.
- The remaining bruising and swelling will be gone by the six-week mark.
- You will be able to see final results approximately 6-9 months after the procedure.
How should I sleep after fat transfer to breast?
- After fat transfer breast augmentation, you should sleep in a reclined position and on your back.
- Sleeping at a 30-degree angle will ensure that the body slowly reabsorbs all the liquid accumulation due to swelling.
- This position will also promote healing.
- You should wear your compression garment 24/7 in the initial three to six weeks post-op as guided by your plastic surgeon, even while you’re sleeping.
When can I sleep on my side after breast fat transfer?
- You should be able to sleep on your side around 4-6 weeks after a fat grafting breast augmentation.
- In some cases, such as when there are post-op complications, your specialist plastic surgeon will suggest sleeping on your back for a while longer.
- Always follow your surgeon’s advice and use common sense: if a sleeping position causes you discomfort, you should not sleep in that position.
- You will find it more comfortable to sleep on your side as the bruising subsides.
Should I wear a bra after fat transfer to the breast?
- Yes, you should wear a supportive bra with no underwire after a fat transfer to the breasts.
- Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will provide you with a compression garment that you should wear 24/7 in the initial few weeks following the fat grafting breast augmentation.
- This compression garment will provide your breasts with enough support so that they can heal faster and retain the desired shape.
Fat Transfer to Breast Longer-Term Results FAQs
Does fat transfer breast augmentation leave scars?
- Yes, fat transfer breast augmentation leaves small scars.
- In lipo injection breast augmentation, the fat is implanted into the breast through very small incisions.
- once these incisions heal they will leave a small scar that will fade over several months.
How to reduce scarring after fat transfer breast augmentation?
- After a fat injection breast augmentation, you will be left with small scars at the place where the surgeon took the fat from and the breasts, where the fat was implanted.
- You should care for these scars, just like any other scars. Keep them moist and apply generous amounts of a silicone-based cream.
- You should also apply SPF to the spots whenever you go out.
- Avoiding strenuous activities and maintaining a healthy eating regime will ensure optimal recovery and minimise the chances of hypertrophic scars (wide scars) and keloid formation.
How to keep the shape of breasts after fat transfer breast augmentation?
- To keep shape after a fat transfer breast augmentation, you should wear your compression garment for six weeks.
- This may be even longer if your experienced plastic surgeon suggests so.
- You should also avoid weight fluctuations, especially weight loss since weight reduction will reduce the volume of your breasts as the fat tissue shrinks.
Fat Transfer to Breast Risks And Complications FAQs
What are common risks with fat grafting breast augmentation?
- There are some common risks associated with fat grafting breast augmentation including:
- Excessive bleeding and hematoma formation,
- Fluid build-up or seratoma formation,
- Fat tissue necrosis,
- Breast asymmetry,
- Ensure you fully understand the risks and complications associated with fat grafting breast augmentation before opting for surgery.
- Understand that by preparing properly for the surgical procedure and taking good care of your body post-op, you will minimise the chances of common fat transfer breast augmentation complications.
Will I get cysts from fat transfer breast augmentation?
- Cysts after a fat transfer breast augmentation are a rare complication that happens together with fat necrosis.
- You should always choose the best plastic surgeon. One who can operate on you in a proper surgical theatre with a great support team and years of experience behind it them.
Will I get an infection during the fat grafting breast augmentation procedure?
- Your surgeon will take all necessary measures to counteract any possibilities of infection both during and after the procedure. However, to minimise infection risks, follow your surgeon’s advice on aftercare.
- You should also ensure that only Specialist Plastic Surgeons who are board-certified operate on you.
- Any plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery you opt for is done in a proper surgical theatre to reduce any chances of infection.
What is fat necrosis?
- Fat necrosis is the death of the fat tissue.
- In some instances, such as when an inexperienced surgeon or any doctor who has not been certified as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon does fat transfer, they may transfer too much fat that the body cannot supply with enough blood to keep it alive.
- Also, it is possible that the surgeon cannot clean the fat properly. In this case, an infection could compromise the fat that was transferred.
How common is fat necrosis in fat transfer?
- Fat necrosis after a fat transfer breast augmentation is not very common. However, depending on the amount of fat transferred and how well patients care for themselves after a breast augmentation, it may go as high as 10%.
- If this is the case and you experience low-level fat necrosis (which is most often the case), your breasts will get a little smaller by the volume of the fat tissue that the fat necrosis has impacted.
Can I lose my feeling from fat transfer breast augmentation?
- You will not lose your feeling from fat transfer breast augmentation.
- Immediately after the procedure and in the upcoming several weeks, you will temporarily lose your feeling or breast sensitivity. This feeling will typically return over several weeks or even months.
Fat Grafting to Breasts Financing FAQs
Does insurance cover fat grafting for breast reconstruction?
- Your insurance may cover a part of the full cost of fat grafting breast augmentation if it is done to reduce very prominent breast asymmetry.
- However, when the breast augmentation with fat transfer is done as a cosmetic procedure, you will not receive any coverage.
Does Medicare cover fat transfer breast augmentation?
- Medicare may cover some costs of fat transfer breast augmentation if it is deemed a medical necessity.
- Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will be able to provide you with more details on the procedure and the nature of your needs for surgery.
- In cases such as breast restoration after a complete mastectomy or breast asymmetry correction, fat grafting may be partially covered by Medicare.
Our Fat Transfer Surgeons
Mr Gary Kode Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964
MBCHB(Hons) – Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (honours)
FRCS(SA) – Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons
FRACS(Plast) Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Mr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.
With over 33 years of experience in Plastic Surgery, he has performed approximately 25,000 procedures, spanning various areas of the body.
If you want to find out more about a procedure book a consultation.
Dr Broughton Snell Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne.
Bachelor of Science (BSc)(Honours)
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)Honours)
Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
If you want to find out more about a procedure book a consultation.
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