Limitations of breast augmentation with fat transfer

Limitations of breast augmentation with fat transfer

11th Nov 2018

When it comes to improving the appearance of the breasts using plastic surgery, the breast lift and the breast reduction procedure are often performed. However, the most requested plastic surgery procedure performed on the breasts is still breast augmentation surgery.

It is a well-known fact that the appearance of the breasts can influence a woman’s self-esteem and play a part in major decisions that she makes throughout her life. Different life aspects (professional, personal and social) can be impacted by something as small as the self- awareness associated with having underdeveloped breasts.

Traditionally, breast implants have been used to create the desired augmentation. However, nowadays we have a different method available, one that presents smaller risks and is more and more requested by patients interested in improving the appearance of their breasts.

Fat transfer to the breasts

The fat transfer to the breasts is another procedure that the patient can choose for breast augmentation purposes. The procedure involves two important steps: fat collection and fat injection.

During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will harvest fat from one or multiple areas of the body. Usually, these are the abdominal area, the flanks, and the thighs. The fat goes through a complex purification process and is then reinjected into the breasts in different areas and different depths. Because the fat is collected from the patient, there is no rejection reaction as the body is already familiar with the fat cells, even if they come from different areas of the body. The procedure provides natural results; however, there are limitations to what you can achieve with this procedure.

Limitations of breast augmentation with fat transfer

The procedure can only be performed on patients who present an adipose layer elsewhere on the body. Fat from other donors can’t be used for breast augmentation. In case you lack excess fat, the plastic surgeon might recommend you to gain some weight to be eligible for the procedure.

The plastic surgeon will also avoid injecting more than 200 ml of fat in each breast in one session. This is an important limitation for women desiring to achieve a significant augmentation. If you want bigger breasts, chances are you will need to undergo repetitive procedures.

The fat transfer to the breast can also provide a minor elevation, but it can’t be a substitute for breast lift surgery. If you are confronted with sagginess and desire an augmentation, chances are you will need to undergo mastopexy and have the fat transfer performed after.

In terms of the results you can expect after the procedure, the final augmentation will only be visible after two months. The plastic surgeon injects a certain amount of fat into the breasts, but a percentage of this fat will be reabsorbed by the body during the first weeks following the procedure. This means it will be difficult to estimate exactly what the results will be in terms of breast size.

If you want to go from an A cup to a full C, you might need implants as fat transfer can’t provide an impressive augmentation in a single session. Even if the procedure entails certain advantages such as the lack of significant scarring, the results are also less visible in terms of the increase in breast size.

Another limitation is the durability of the results. When it comes to implants, their size will be the same permanently. When considering a fat transfer, the results are highly dependent on weight fluctuations. This means that if the patient loses a significant amount of weight after the procedure, the breasts will become smaller as well, just like the rest of the body. This doesn’t happen when implants are involved.

Recovery after fat transfer to the breasts

When it comes to the recovery and the complications that can be encountered, the period is much reduced when compared to breast implants. The patient might feel slight discomfort at the areas targeted with liposuction as well as the breasts, but the pain medication prescribed will be able to control it without any problems. Avoiding pressure on the breasts or sleeping on the tummy is essential to get good results, just like in the case of breast implant surgery.

The recovery period can be as short as one week. Afterwards the patient is allowed to resume work, depending on the plastic surgeon’s recommendation. All complications associated with using breast implants such as capsular contracture and deep tissue infection are completely eliminated when using fat transfer to the breasts.


The fat transfer to the breasts is an effective method to augment the breasts in a more natural way without the use of external prostheses. This means the patient can achieve a moderate increase in the size of the breasts by having fat injected.

However, there are certain limitations to the procedure, such as the need for the patient to have areas with excess fat to be eligible. Also, there are limitations in terms of the sustainability and durability of the results achieved. If in the case of breast implants they will maintain their size whatever changes the body might go through, the same is not valid for an augmentation achieved with fat transfer. If the patient loses a significant amount of weight, the breasts will become smaller as well.

Share this article: