Breast Augmentation Fat Grafting

Breast augmentation is performed by harvesting and preparing the patient's own adipose tissue, commonly from the abdomen, thighs and back. This is then injected into the breast to replace volume, producing a naturally soft and enhanced breast.


What is it?

Breast fat grafting can be a primary mean of increasing the volume of your breast. It is a natural way of breast enhancement using your own fat cells from another part of your body. It feels and looks more natural when compared to breast augmentation using implants. Furthermore, the scars for extracting the fat cells and injecting the fat cells into your breast are so tiny, they are barely visible once healed. It also has the additional advantage of removing fat from areas like your abdomen and thighs.


Who is suitable?

Most people are suitable for this fat grafting procedure as there will be sufficient fats from other areas of your body to harvest the fat from. This procedure will increase the volume of your breast, however, should there be severe droopy nipples or the areolar, you may require an additional breast lift (mastopexy) to address it. We will advise you during the consultation.

This procedure can also be used together with breast implant augmentation to disguise the edges of the implant and improve the cleavage areas. It can also be used to fill breast contour irregularities from other breast surgeries like breast reconstruction after cancer surgery, breast radiation damage, previous lumpectomy defect and more.

What happens during the consultation and planning stages?

An in-depth discussion will be done at the initial consultation, to understand about your general health, desired breast goals and sizes, together with a thorough examination and evaluation. During this visit, a 3D pictures using Quantificare 3D camera will be taken to aid with the evaluation and discussion. Potential areas for fat graft harvest will be identified together with you.

It would be helpful to bring along any previous mammogram or ultrasound reports.

How is the breast fat transfer surgery done?

The procedure is generally done under sedation or general anaesthesia in a day surgery setting. It will take about 2 hours depending on the areas of liposuction required. Tiny incisions less than 1cm will be used for extracting the fat and for injecting and transferring the fat into your breasts.

Are there any other methods available?

Other methods of breast enhancement would be breast augmentation using silicone implants.

What are the benefits of breast fat grafting?

Fat grafting allows a naturally soft breast to be curated for you. Fat can strategically be placed where the breast volume is most lacking, very often women are concerned about the cleavage area or the top portion of the breast. Fat grafting can also increase projection of your breasts.

At the same time, with the liposuction that is performed, you also achieve reduction in the amount of adiposity and the overall circumference of your abdomen, thighs or other areas involved. This is indeed a rob Peter to pay Paul situation.

Are there any limitations?

If you have very little fat available for harvest, this could be an issue. We may suggest for breast augmentation using an implant like Motiva® or Mentor® instead.

Each fat grafting procedure can increase your breast volume by about half to one cup size. Should you desire larger volumes, the procedure may need to be repeated again. This can be done as early as 3 months following the first surgery.

Breast fat grafting will not be able to correct severely droopy breast (breast ptosis). For some of these cases, a combination of breast lift (mastopexy) and breast fat transfer may be required at the same time. An assessment will be made during the consultation and management options provided where required.

What is the recovery for breast fat grafting like?

Following surgery, you will be placed into compressive garment to help reduce the bruising and swelling. You will be able to return home on the same day.

The areas where liposuction and fat harvesting have occurred will generally feel sore, and there will be swelling and bruising which will settle over the next two to three weeks. There is generally minimal downtime. You should be able to return to work after at least 3-5 days.

How should I prepare for the surgery?

With the procedure being performed under sedation or general anaesthesia, you will need to be fasted for 8 hours prior to surgery.

Following the surgery, it would be ideal for someone to take you home after the surgery and have someone to stay with you at least for the first night. We will provide you with the necessary medications to return home with to manage the discomfort and to aid with the recovery. Do prepare plenty of comfortable clothes to wear after the surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions about
Fat Grafting & Transfer Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions about Fat Grafting & Transfer Surgery

Fat grafting definitely looks and feels more natural than implant. The advantage of fat grafting is such that the volume of breast is increased without having a “done” appearance. It does not have the distinct outlines of breast implants. Furthermore, it also feels much softer than any type of breast implants.

It generally takes about 3 months for most of the swelling to settle down. By this period of time, we will also be able to assess for the final volume of fat graft that have taken in the breast pocket and the final size of your newly enhanced breast.

The most ideal areas of fat for harvesting are the abdomen as well as the inner thighs. These are two areas that have the most abundant stores of fat. Furthermore, the quality of fat from these regions are also the best to enhance survival of the fat graft.

Other areas that can be considered are the back, arms, calves and the banana roll areas. However, the quality and quantity of fat in these regions are often less ideal as a primary location.

The incision made for the fat harvest as well as the fat grafting as less than 1cm. Also, they are strategically placed in well-hidden areas like the umbilicus or groin for harvest from the abdomen, groin for harvest from the thighs and in the inframammary fold region for grafting into the breast. A combination of tiny scars and well-placed scars will make them barely visible.

Generally, no specific preparation is required. You do not need to purposely gain weight for the procedure. The fasting time for the procedure is 8 hours, if it is performed under sedation or general anaesthesia.

We will often ensure that a baseline mammogram of the breast or ultrasound of the breast is done before your surgery, this is to ensure that we have images that we can compare to in the future for reference.

Anyone who desires an increased breast volume or increase in volume in specific areas of the breast are suitable candidates for fat grafting. However, the volume increase is generally between half to one cup size.

Woman who desires an immediate increase in breast volume above one cup size should consider breast implant augmentation instead. Unless undergoing more rounds of fat grafting is acceptable to you.

Most woman have some stores of fat in the abdominal or thigh region, even in the people who exercise on a regular basis. However, it is best to have a formal evaluation of your suitability.

Breast fat grafting surgery involves 2 separate procedures. First is liposuction of the areas involved for harvesting of the fat graft. Second is preparing of the fat and grafting them into the breast. The duration of these 2 procedures generally takes around 2 hours.

Liposuction and fat grafting are best performed under either sedation or general anaesthesia as it involves a sizable area of your body and staying still and comfortable is important to ensure a smooth surgery. The anaesthetist will provide you with adequate analgesia throughout the procedure.

After surgery, you will also be provided with adequate amount of analgesia, anti-swelling medications and antibiotics to return home with.

A portion of the fat graft that does not survive may initially feel lumpy as it undergoes necrosis or cyst formation. However, over the next 3-6 months, these fat grafts will gradually be broken down by the body and resorbed. There is also a very low risk of infection of the fat graft. There may also be asymmetry of breast due to unpredictable fat graft survival.

Generally, about 60-70% of fat graft that is transferred to the breast will survive and remain permanently in your breast. The fat that is now permanently in your breast will still undergo metabolic changes of weight gain and loss.

You will initially feel sore and bruised after the procedure. This discomfort will improve over the next few days. There will also be swelling involved, and compression garment after the procedure will help limit the swelling and also relieve the discomfort.

You should avoid putting pressure over your breast region. Sporting activities or going to the gym should also be stopped for the next 4 weeks to allow the wounds to settle down.

The procedure is usually done as a day surgery procedure, and you are able to return home on the same day. You will feel sore for the first few days, but this should not limit your daily activities. It would be ideal to take at least one week off work if possible as this is the period when you will experience some swelling and discomfort. Significant amount of the swelling and bruising would have settled by about 6 weeks. Sporting activities or going to the gym should also be stopped for the next 4 weeks to allow the wounds to settle down.

With fat grafting to the breast, you can expect about half to one cup size increase in your breast depending on the amount of fat graft that has retained.