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Fat transfer to breasts

Fat transfer is the only alternative to breast implants. 

It is suitable for women who do not want surgery or a full cleavage and those that are willing to accept a one cup size increase at best.

Fat transfer or fat grafting, is a minimally-invasive procedure where your own fat is removed from one part of the body using a liposuction technique and then re-injected into the breast. The process usually requires some form of preparation process which ‘purifies’ the fat to allow the healthiest fat cells to be extracted for grafting. There is a limit to the amount of fat that can be transferred to the breast and a limit to the increase in cup size. Usually only a one cup size increase can be achieved and this can often take two to three fat transfer operations.

Fat transfer to the breast is also frequently requested by women who are primarily undergoing liposuction. Rather than discarding the fat, it can simply be injected into the breast at the same time to enhance cup size.

The fat trasnfer to breasts surgery

Fat transfer to breasts is usually carried out as a day case procedure under general anaesthetic.

Fat is removed by carrying out liposuction from another part of the body where the benefit of fat removal will be seen. The area of fat harvest can be discussed before surgery but commonly involves performing liposuction fat harvest from the abdomen or thighs. The fat is then prepared using a 'purification' system and then transferred to syringes ready for injection.  The fat is injected in multiple tunnels very evenly within each breast.


What can I do to help?

The best thing any patient can do, is to be as healthy as possible going into an operation. Keep up with regular excercise, eat well and make sure you get enough sleep. If you are concerned about your weight, set out on a plan to reduce it and get it under control. If you smoke, stop at least six weeks prior to surgery, as this will help limit post-operative complications.

The recovery after the fat transfer to breasts surgery

Discomfort after surgery is usually very minor and easily controlled with painkillers prescribed by Mr Chana. Aspirin or aspirin-like medication (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory tablets) must not be taken.

General recovery is only a few days but there may be some bruising which can last between 2 to 3 weeks both in the breast and the area where the fat is taken from. A support garment is worn for 3 to 6 weeks after surgery and during this time it is important to refrain from heavy exercise. The small scars heal to become almost unnoticeable.

It takes time for the fat to fully integrate and heal after injection into the breast, so the final results will only be seen after 3 to 6 months.


The risks associates to fat transfer to breasts surgery

The main risk following surgery is a failure of the fat to heal in its new site after injection, which unfortunately can be an unpredictable feature of this technique. Infection after surgery is also a slight possiblity but can easily by treated by antibiotics prescribed by Mr Chana.

Occasionally, some firmness and thickening can occur in the fat grafted area of the breast. Although these thickenings will mostly subside, rarely minor irregularities may persist, called ‘fat necrosis’.

It can take approximately 3 to 6 months to see the final result of a fat transfer procedure. A repeat procedure is usually required for breast enlargement since the large amounts of fat often fail to survive completely.

Asymmetry is also a possibility if more fat survives in one breast compared to the other. If this is very apparent it may require a secondary surgical procedure to transfer further fat to the smaller breast. 


Is fat transfer to the breasts right for me ?

Fat transfer is suitable if you want to avoid breast implants and can accept a minimal increase of breast size. It does not provide as much fullness and increased projection as a breast implant.

What degree of breast enlargement can be achieved with fat transfer ?

At the most a one cup size may be achieved. Usually a repeat procedure of fat transfer is required after 6 months in order to achieve a one cup increase.

Is fat transfer painful ?

Since fat is being harvested from one part of the body and injected in another there may be discomfort in two body sites. However, the discomfort is not severe and can be controlled with mild painkillers

Surgery time
2 hours
Hospital stay
Day case
Time off work
1 week
Full recovery
2 to 4 weeks
Best results
3 to 6 months
Price from
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