Fat transfer breast augmentation surgery uses the patient’s own fat via liposuction to enhance and enlarge the breasts. The procedure uses fat grafting techniques and eliminates the need for implants to create a natural bust. If you’re self-conscious about your breast size or shape, breast augmentation can help increase self-confidence and improve the contours of the breast. 

What Is Breast Fat Transfer?

Breast fat transfer surgery increases the size of the breasts without using breast implants. Fat is harvested from another part of the body and injected into the breasts. This increases the size and modifies the shape of the breasts. 

The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and takes up to 3 hours. Your plastic surgeon carefully removes excess fat from unwanted areas like the thighs, stomach, or waist during the procedure. The fat is then transferred to the breasts to boost volume and improve the overall shape. The surgery has two phases: the liposuction phase and the fat injection phase. Your surgeon will use tiny injection sites to distribute the fat evenly into your breasts. 

You can also use fat grafting techniques to optimise breast shape during a breast implant procedure. If you have irregularities after breast implants, fat transfer can help fill in the irregularities and produce a smoother, more optimal shape. 

If you find that you have breast defects following a lumpectomy for breast cancer, fat grafting techniques can help to fill in these defects. Fat grafting may also be an option for total breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.

Breast Fat Transfer: Quick Overview

What are the Benefits of Breast Fat Transfer Surgery?

Breast augmentation using fat transfer is considered a more natural approach as you don’t have to put anything into your body. The benefits of fat transfer are:

  • Shorter recovery time than breast implants  
  • Little to no scarring 
  • No foreign materials are used 
  • Two-in-one surgery with liposuction 
  • No maintenance, unlike with breast implants 

Who Can Benefit From Breast Fat Transfer Surgery?

You may consider breast fat grafting if you:

  • Want to increase the volume of your breasts naturally
  • Want to correct an abnormality as a result of trauma or cancer
  • Optimise breast shape after breast reconstruction surgery
  • Improve your cleavage
  • Want better breast symmetry
  • Improve breast shape in case of congenital or developmental breast changes
  • Want to achieve breast fullness after a breast lift or breast reduction surgery

Who is a Suitable Candidate for Breast Fat Transfer Surgery?

A good candidate is physically healthy, has realistic expectations, and has a positive attitude. They have a steady and healthy weight and are within their ideal weight. They do not have serious medical illnesses or conditions. It’s important that you don’t smoke or have any circulation problems. 

Breast fat transfer
Breast fat transfer
Fat transfer breast augmentation before and after photo

How to Achieve the Best Breast Fat Transfer Results

If you want your breasts to look great after breast fat transfer, here are a few things that you can do. 


1. Keep All Your Post-Op Appointments

After the surgery, your surgeon will want to see you to assess your healing progress. 

Breast fat transfer takes less time than breast implants to heal because the incisions are smaller. There are however major changes that will be happening beneath the skin.

Your breasts will be swollen during your first visit but the changes from the fat transfer will be visible. 


2. Avoid Strenuous Activities

After such a procedure, some people feel okay to resume moderate activity after a few days. 

Avoid strenuous activities like sports and heavy lifting right after your procedure. The fat is still settling, and strenuous activities can interfere with the results. 


3. Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach

Lying on your stomach after breast surgery is a no. It’s not only painful, but it can distort the shape of your breasts.

Instead, sleep on your back supported by pillows to help maximise blood flow to the surgery areas. Some patients also use recliners, so you might want to consider renting one if you don’t have one. 


4. Don’t Wear Underwired Bras

After any breast surgery, you may want to show off your new breasts by wearing underwired bras. Try to avoid this as wearing very tight bras can affect the resulting shape of your breasts. Instead, you will need to wear a compression bra during your recovery to promote healing and reduce swelling. 


5. Get Enough Rest

Breast fat transfer is minimally invasive. You will still, however, need plenty of time to recover. The procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic, and you can go home the very same day. 

Some people experience soreness in the breast and areas where the fat was removed. It’s therefore recommended that you take a day or two before returning to moderate activity.


6. Take Your Prescribed Medications

Your breasts and the area where the fat was removed will be slightly sore after the procedure. 

Since the incisions are small, there is little discomfort. Your doctor will prescribe some pain medications that should ease your pain.

If you want great results after breast fat transfer, the best thing you can do is follow everything your surgeon says.

What is the Recovery Time of Fat Transfer for Breasts?

You will experience some bruising and swelling in the first week or 2. This will go down as you begin the healing process. In general, full recovery can take up to 6 weeks to return to regular exercise and day-to-day activities. 

Although recovery tends to be quicker than breast implants, it’s a good idea to have 1 to 2 weeks off work and reduce movement until the swelling subsides. You will have some mobility in the first 48 hours, but it’s essential that you take the time to rest and recover fully, so take it easy. You can expect to see the final result in 2 to 3 months. 

How Quickly Will You See Results?

You will see immediate results, but it will take 2-3 weeks for the swelling to subside. There will also be some fat graft loss. It’s normal for 50-70% of the new volume to remain. 

Is Breast Fat Transfer Permanent?

Yes, the results of breast fat transfer are permanent. 

Before and After Breast Fat Transfer Surgery

Before and after mummy makeover at the Harley Clinic
Before and after breast augmentation fat transfer 300mls to each side

How to Choose Between Breast Fat Transfer, Breast Lift, and Breast Implants?

No one procedure is better than the other. Instead, you must align your goals and wishes with the right procedure. If you’re looking for a significant increase in size, fat transfer surgery isn’t ideal. In this case, breast implants are a better choice. Whereas, if you were looking for a slight increase and a fuller bust, fat transfer surgery would be suitable. As you can see, the best choice comes down to you and what you’re looking to achieve. By consulting with an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon, they can guide you on your journey to make the right choice.

If you want more volume and perkiness, a fat transfer would be more suitable. Either way, the best way to know which procedure is best for you is to talk to your plastic surgeon. Breast augmentation through implants or fat transfer doesn’t correct drooping breast issues. A breast lift also doesn’t increase the size or improve the roundness in the upper portion of your breasts. 

If you want to lift your breasts, augmentation surgery might exaggerate the problem. At the same time, if your breasts are already well supported and perky, a breast lift won’t change anything. 

Vaser liposuction, full tummy tuck, breast fat transfer, and doughnut uplift
Vaser liposuction, full tummy tuck, fat transfer to the breast and doughnut uplift at the Harley Clinic

What Do Our Harley Street Cosmetic Surgery Clinic Patients Think?

What are the Risks and Side Effects of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Surgery?

As with any surgery, fat transfer breast augmentation comes with its own potential risks and side effects. You will notice you have small scars which will fade over time. 

There is a possibility that some of the fat cells will leave the breast. If this happens, you may require additional top-up appointments to achieve your desired results. Potential risks, complications, and side effects include:

  • Microcalcification (small calcium deposits) 
  • Cysts
  • Death of fat cells (necrosis) 
  • Sagging skin 
  • Dimples and ridges in the skin 
  • Fat embolism 
  • Infection 
  • Bleeding 
  • Hematoma
  • Anaesthesia risks 
  • Skin and or fat/necrosis 
  • Fluid accumulation 
  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Poor wound healing
  • Poor scarring 
  • Nerve injury 
  • Contour irregularity
  • Seroma
  • Over/under correction
  • Asymmetry
  • Damage to other structures
  • DVT
  • PE
  • Chest infection

Why Choose The Harley Clinic

Fat transfer surgery is a fantastic long-term solution for tackling fat in stubborn areas and enhancing the breasts in one treatment. Ageing, weight loss and pregnancy can all take its toll on the look and feel of your breasts. If you’re looking for a subtle, natural augmentation without using breast implants, fat transfer surgery can increase volume and improve shape.