Breast enlargement with fat is a cosmetic procedure that harvests fat from other parts of your body, typically the abdomen, hips, thighs, or buttocks and transfers it into the breast area where it can be used to increase the size and shape of the natural breast.
This method of breast augmentation does not use any artificial implants, but instead uses autologous fat from your own body. This procedure is therefore also called fat grafting, autologous fat transfer, and lipofilling to the breast.
The procedure involves the initial harvesting of the fat cells using liposuction from the donor area(s); the suctioned fat is then processed to extract only the yellow fat cells into a syringe ready for re-injection, (this removes any other liquid or blood gathered as part of the liposuction procedure). The second procedure places the fat into the breast, the recipient area, through re-injection.
The aim of the procedure is to naturally enhance the breast shape and augment the size, but without the need to place a silicone breast implant. Some women prefer the concept of a more natural result, using their own fat, which is a 100% natural product, rather than inserting an artificial implant.
Unlike with an implant, the resulting size of the breast augmentation cannot be guaranteed because the transplanted fat must settle and develop a blood supply to survive in its new location. Inevitably, a proportion of the cells will perish and be reabsorbed by the body (metabolised) as part of the process, (this is expected and usually the quantity transferred it a little more than required to account for a percentage loss in fat cells). You may often be advised to have a repeat procedure to build up the augmentation, allowing each fat transfer to integrate, or if the resultant breast size is not as desired.
The benefit of fat grafting is that there are fewer risks from complications that effect implant-based augmentation such as capsular contracture, rejection of the implant, or future rupture. By using autologous fat, a cellular material that can develop, change, and perish over time, the results achieved are more natural, but they may not be as long lasting as an implant.
Improving the overall size and shape of the breast can have positive effects on self-esteem, confidence, and perceptions of attractiveness. The use of fat allows for direct placement of the material in the areas need to add volume and definition to the breast to achieve the desired shape, size, and curvature of the chest area. It is also an ideal option for women who are not ready to consider breast implant surgery.
Treatment costPrice From
* After consultation the doctor will confirm the cost.
Treatment Summary at a glance
Up to 4 hours
Local or General
Pain, swelling, bruising and tightness to the chest.
Increase in size and shape of the breast.
After 2 weeks
How does it work?
Fat is first harvested from your donor area(s) using liposuction; these are usually the stomach, hips, thighs, or buttocks. The liquid extracted from liposuction includes the fat cells, blood, and tumescent anaesthetic fluid which is used to make it easier to flush out the fat using a cannula. This is filtered, and the fat cells essentially washed to ensure only pure, yellow fat cells are transferred into the breast, ready to establish a new home in another area of the body. The fat is grafted into the breast tissue via injection and can be placed exactly where needed to augment, define, and correct the breast as desired and discussed during your consultation.
This level of bespoke augmentation, (which can only be attempted with different sizes or shapes of implants in conventional breast augmentation surgery) also allows for the delicate correction of asymmetries and other breast malformations, or reconstruction following trauma such as lumpectomies or mastectomies for breast cancer.
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Your suitability for fat transfer to the breast will be assessed by our surgeon who will decide if you are the correct candidate for the procedure. A full medical history will also be taken to make sure that there are no contraindications for you to have the procedure, such as any medication that you may be taking, your wound healing history, or past breast surgeries.
In general, most patients are suitable for breast enlargement with fat, if they are in good health, and there is adequate fat in the donor areas for harvesting.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women are not suitable for surgical procedures nor anyone under the age of 18.
The liposuction and fat transfer for breast enlargement surgery will be performed using general or local anaesthesia so you will not feel the procedures.
As the procedure involves two distinct operations – the liposuction and fat transfer to the breast – the whole operation takes a little long. It can take 2-4 hours to perform depending on the extent of each part and the amount of fat being grafted.
Due to the nature of this procedure, which includes intervention in two areas of the body, you can expect bruising, swelling, pain (tenderness and soreness) in both the donor area where fat was harvested and in the recipient area in the chest where the fat was grafted. Swelling can last for several weeks. Any pain and discomfort post-surgery can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication or medicines prescribed by our surgeon.
You will be required to wear post-surgery garments to support both areas to aid healing, reduce swelling, and in the case of your breast to assist with settling and integration of the newly placed fat cells. Swelling in the breast can last up to 6 weeks so can be deceptive in relation to the result. Once swelling has subsided, you will get a better idea of the amount of fat (permanently) remaining and the final size and shape of your new breast. At this point, you and your surgeon can decide if future grafting may be required once completely healed.
You should expect to take at least 1-2 weeks off work, but some people prefer to take up to a month, especially if large volumes of fat were transferred.
You will be advised to avoid strenuous exercise, sexual intercourse, or swimming for a minimum of 6 weeks, and driving for 1-2 weeks due to the medical implications, after which you must access your own comfort in performing manoeuvres such as an emergency stop as this may invalidate your vehicle insurance.
Full recovery is expected in 1-2 months.
The final appearance of the breast can take 4-6 months as the body needs time to remodel the tissue, establish a healthy blood supply to the fat, and for it all to settle into place. It is important to follow aftercare advice (including support clothing and sleeping positions) to optimise the remodelling of your breast and to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The results of the procedure are regarded as permanent, due to the transfer of your own fat cells. Thus, it should last a lifetime (unlike breast implants which may require replacement after 10-20 years). However, this permanency cannot be guaranteed as fat cells can grow and shrink so the result is reliant on your body weight, thus the enhancement could fade if you go on to lose a significant amount of weight or perform exercises that have an adverse effect on your chest tissue. Ageing also influences the size and shape of breast tissue. You may therefore decide to have another surgery in future.
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