What Is a Fat Transfer to the Breasts?

Often, women feel self-conscious about the appearance of their breasts. At DFW Center for Aesthetics and Cosmetic Surgery in Southlake, TX, we proudly offer fat transfer to the breasts to help our clients achieve their ideal aesthetic.

18 FAQs About Fat Transfer to the Breasts

1. What Is a Fat Transfer to the Breasts?

Fat transfer to the breasts is a revolutionary breast augmentation technique. It is ideal for women who want a subtle increase in breast volume and natural-looking, natural-feeling results. This procedure is also perfect for women who wish to enhance the appearance of their breasts but are allergic to silicone.

2. How Does This Procedure Work?

This procedure works by using tumescent liposuction to remove excess fat from another part of your body, such as your hips, bra line, or upper abdomen. Once the fat is harvested, it is processed in a centrifuge. Once the whole fat cells are separated from the damaged fat cells and liquid, they are cleaned and prepared for transfer. Finally, the whole, healthy fat cells are injected into strategic locations.

3. Where Can I Have Fat Harvested From?

You can have fat harvested from virtually any part of your body. For instance, liposuction technology is now so advanced that fat can be removed from areas as small as your chin, neck, and underarms. During your initial consultation, we will review your aesthetic goals and body fat distribution to help you determine where the best places are to remove fat. Common areas include the:

  • Lower abdomen
  • Upper abdomen
  • Upper back
  • Middle back
  • Lower back
  • Sides
  • Hips
  • Buttocks
  • Back of the knees
  • Inner thighs
  • Outer thighs
  • Upper arms
  • Underarms
  • Chin


4. What Can I Expect During This Procedure?

Depending on the extent of the fat volume that needs to be harvested, you may be put under general anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation. The procedure is completely comfortable and rarely takes longer than two to four hours. Again, this depends on the volume of fat that needs to be removed and the volume of fat that needs to be transferred to the breasts.

5. What Can I Expect After the Procedure?

After the procedure, you should wear a sports bra or compression bandage to support you during your recovery. Most clients return to work and recreational activities within three days post-op. However, if your body needs more time to rest, listen to it. If you work a physical job, you may need five to 10 days to rest after your procedure.

It is important to not elevate your blood pressure for two weeks post-op as your body heals. This includes avoiding triggers such as vigorous exercise, tobacco products, smoking cessation products, alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine pills.

6. How Can I Make My Recovery Process Smooth?

To make your recovery process as smooth as possible, it is important to prepare as much as possible before your procedure. Fill prescription antibiotics and analgesics and have them readily available in your recovery room. Your recovery room should have plenty of pillows, water, and entertainment. We also recommend that you prepare meals in advance of your procedure.

You will not be able to drive within 24 hours of being put under general anesthesia. This means you will need someone to drive you to and from our office in Colleyville or the surgical center in Plano. Make sure you have someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours post-op to ensure you are comfortable and can focus fully on resting.

7. When Will I See the Results of the Procedure?

You will see the results of the procedure immediately. However, the final results of the procedure will not be visible until around six months post-op. You will immediately notice an increase in breast volume, but it takes time for the healthy fat cells transferred to the breasts to connect. It also takes time for your breasts to settle into their final shape.

8. How Much Volume Increase Can I Expect?

In the past, the volume increase you could expect from a fat grafting breast augmentation was limited to 80 ml. Due to the limited space within the breast, a large number of transferred fat cells would cause excess pressure. New technology allows for breast pre-expansion.

Combined with the “micro-ribbon” technique of injecting fat cells, the potential viable volume increase is trebled. When the fat cells are implanted close to the localized blood supply, an enlargement of 240 milliliters may be possible.

9. How Does That Translate to Cup Size?

During your initial consultation, we will review your excess body fat and the aesthetic you wish to achieve. From there, we can give you a good idea of what results in you can realistically expect. On average, our clients increase breast volume by a cup size or two. However, if it is combined with a breast lift and excess skin removal, they may only go up between 0.5 and 1.5 cup sizes.

For instance, depending on the bandwidth of your bra, you may need between 130 and 150 milliliters of fat to increase a cup size. With today’s advanced techniques, this is very realistic. However, if you have excess skin removed during a breast lift, you may have 150 milliliters of fat transferred to your breasts but only go up half a cup size due to less tissue overall.

10. How Should I Prepare for This Procedure?

To prepare for fat grafting to the breasts, stop smoking for six weeks pre-op. You should also avoid consuming alcohol for at least two weeks pre-op. Alcohol and nicotine elevate your blood pressure. It is also important to be adequately hydrated before your procedure. You should drink between half a gallon and a full gallon of water per day for two weeks pre-op.

Moreover, it is important to stop taking certain medications that may thin your blood. For instance, you should not take NSAIDs, MAOIs, or vitamin E supplements in the two weeks leading up to your procedure. During your initial consultation, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything you need to do to prepare.

11. Are the Results of This Procedure Permanent?

Whether the results of this procedure are permanent or not is up to you. Because the augmentation is being provided by fat, if you lose a significant amount of weight in the future, there is a chance that you will lose breast volume.

For the best results, we strongly recommend that you wait to have this procedure until you are within 10 pounds of your goal weight. If you need to lose 30 pounds or more after this procedure, there is a strong chance that you will lose fat volume from your breasts.

12. What Are the Benefits of This Procedure?

There are numerous benefits associated with using fat transfer to augment the breasts. One of the most compelling benefits of this method is body contouring. Not only are the shape and size of the breasts enhanced, but your body becomes more proportionate due to the excess fat removed from the middle or lower portion of the body.

Another benefit of this procedure is that it enhances symmetry. Whether your breasts appear asymmetrical due to nursing, scoliosis, genetics or something else, this procedure can make your breasts symmetrical. Moreover, you avoid all the risks and headaches associated with implants.

13. Am I a Good Candidate for This Procedure?

If you are between the ages of 18 and 64 and wish to enhance the size and shape of your breasts, there is a good chance that you are a good candidate for this procedure. If you are under the age of 18, you must undergo a rigorous psychological examination to ensure you are mentally mature enough to decide this is the procedure for you.

Moreover, if you are over the age of 65, you must be in very good health to be a candidate for this procedure. Because it is often performed under general anesthesia, your heart and lungs will need to be healthy. Get a physical examination from your physician to assess your current health. This will help us determine if this procedure is right for you.

14. Will This Procedure Tighten My Skin?

This procedure is not designed specifically to tighten breast skin. You may find that your skin appears tighter because there is more volume to fill out the breasts. However, if you have loose, sagging, or excess skin, you may benefit from a breast lift in addition to the fat grafting augmentation.

15. What Does a Breast Lift Entail?

A breast lift is a procedure designed to remove excess skin and tighten the remaining skin and breast tissue. This reshapes the breasts to provide a more youthful appearance, as well as supports and lifts the breasts.

16. What Other Procedures Pair Well With Autologous Fat Transfer to the Breasts?

Besides a breast lift, we often perform a tummy tuck or butt augmentation in conjunction with autologous fat grafting for breasts. Often, these procedures are performed on the same day as the autologous breast fat transfer.

17. What Is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure performed to tighten abdominal skin and muscles and remove excess skin and fat. There are three variations of this procedure, known as a mini-tuck, full tuck, and extended tuck. A mini-tuck affects only the skin and fat beneath the navel. A full tuck tightens the abdominal muscles and skin above and below the navel.

An extended tummy tuck is ideal for women who wish to address concerns below and above the navel as well as address concerns with their sides and lower back. To determine which procedure, if any, is right for you, call us at DFW Center for Aesthetics and Cosmetic Surgery in Southlake, TX.

18. What Does a Butt Augmentation Entail?

Butt augmentation via implants involves just a couple of small incisions so the implants can be inserted. This augmentation method is ideal for women who want dramatic, long-lasting results.

If you want a subtler, more natural look and feel, a Brazilian butt lift would suit you better. This procedure involves harvesting fat from a part of your body with excess fat. The fat is processed, cleaned and injected into the buttocks to subtly enhance volume.

Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today

Are you concerned about the size, symmetry or shape of your breasts? Do you crave an enhanced, yet natural aesthetic? If so, contact us today at DFW Center for Aesthetics and Cosmetic Surgery in Southlake, TX to schedule your initial consultation.

Dr. Jon Ver Halen, MD, FACS is more than happy to answer all the questions you have regarding fat transfer to the breasts to help you determine if it can help you achieve your ideal aesthetic.



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