Patients who are interested in augmenting (increasing) the size of their breasts often hear about the fat transfer breast augmentation process and are intrigued.
This procedure, which takes fat cells from the stomach, arms, flanks, or legs, and relocates it into the breasts, to boost the size of the breasts, can achieve totally natural looking results without requiring implants. It’s a win-win on all fronts. Just take a look at some before and after fat transfer breast augmentation photos.
In addition to bigger, more attractive breasts, patients even get the added benefit of liposuction elsewhere — typically in “trouble spots” like the stomach.
Still, one question often lingers in patients’ minds: “Will I have fat transfer breast augmentation scars?”
Before we provide an answer to this pressing question in more detail, let’s first go over the fat transfer process as this will automatically shed some light on whether or not you’ll have scars.
What Is a Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?
Fat transfer breast augmentation — also known as autologous breast augmentation or fat grafting to the breast — is a cosmetic surgery technique that uses the patient’s own fat to enlarge the breasts.
Your plastic surgeon will use liposuction to remove fat cells from places like the flanks, stomach, upper back, arms, etc. They will then process the fat to purify it. Finally, the purified fat will be injected into the desired area of the breast.
Every patient is unique, so one woman’s fat transfer process will look different than another woman’s.
For example, one patient may have uneven breasts, so they’ll want to enlarge the smaller breast to make it look more like the other breast. Other patients simply want to enlarge both of their breasts unilaterally because they have naturally small breasts. Essentially, autologous breast augmentation can increase the size of your breasts by one-half cup to one full cup size. Any desired increase beyond this will require implants.
Does a Fat Transfer Leave Scars?
Yes, but they are typically very small.
The first thing to understand when it comes to whether or not you’ll have scars with fat grafting to the breast is that any procedure that involves making an incision will result in scars. There is no way to make an incision and not have at least a small scar.
The good thing about the fat transfer process is that the incisions necessary for the procedure are very small. With a tummy tuck, for example, the lateral incision across the lower abdomen tends to be at least three inches long — and sometimes, more like six. So, with that surgery, you’re going to have a more noticeable scar.
However, with the fat transfer procedure, the only incisions that need to be made are for liposuction and the injection process. The injection process uses needles, so those wounds are going to be almost invisible.
The liposuction portion of the procedure may have slightly larger scars because each incision must be able to fit a cannula (a thin metal tube). Still, “larger” only means about one-eighth to one-half of an inch per incision. Naturally, this means that even your liposuction scars will be barely noticeable.
As an added note, there are ways to minimize the appearance of any scarring you do have as well. We will discuss more about this later on below.
Ultimately, when you consider the benefits you’re getting with a breast augmentation fat transfer, the trade-off is usually acceptable for most patients.
It’s also worth noting that the highly successful fat transfer process is used in several mainstream plastic surgeries. For example, this is the technique that Brazilian butt lifts (BBLs) use, except that with BBLs, the fat is injected into the hips and butt area instead of into the breasts.
How Long Do Fat Transfer Breast Augmentations Take to Heal?
The healing stage of fat grafting varies from patient to patient. Most patients will be fully healed after two to four weeks. This is when bruising, swelling, soreness, and other symptoms will have dissipated. However, it may take up to six months after your surgery for you to see the full extent of your results.
Can I Minimize Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Scars?
Yes. Whether or not you have scars long-term after this procedure depends on several factors. Some are within your control and some are not in your control. For example, certain people have a genetic propensity to have poor scarring after surgery. Your skin type, age, and genetic predispositions will impact your scarring greatly.
On the other hand, there are three things that are within your control that you can do to improve the appearance of your scars long-term as well:
Don’t push yourself too hard during recovery.
Do not exercise, lift anything heavy, put pressure on your incision sites, or stretch or strain in awkward ways during your recovery. All of these things may negatively impact your scars.
Stay out of the sun.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun (UV rays) can make your scars darker in color and more raised. Staying out of the sun and using protective clothing and sunscreen will minimize the appearance of your scars long-term.
Utilize scar therapy techniques as soon as possible.
Always speak to your surgeon first, but do inquire about scar therapy techniques, which can be used near the end of your recovery to limit scar appearance. Silicone-based products are some of the best options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Fat Transfers
Is breast augmentation with fat transfer worth it?
Yes, according to the majority of breast fat transfer reviews, patients are extremely happy with the results they achieve with this procedure.
How long does fat transfer last in breasts?
You can think of the newly transferred fat that now lives in your breasts as permanent fat. It will act just like all of the other fat cells in your body and will last indefinitely.
What are the cons of fat transfer breast augmentation?
There are few drawbacks to the fat transfer breast augmentation process. Likely, the most notable con is that you can only go up about one-half to one full cup size with this technique.
What does a breast fat transfer after 5 years look like?
Most patients who undergo breast fat transfer procedures will maintain their results after five years. Your results are more likely to last if you maintain a steady body weight and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Breast fat transfer vs implants: What’s the difference?
Breast augmentation fat transfer involves relocating fat. With liposuction, fat cells are removed from unwanted places and injected into the breasts.
Breast implants are prosthetic implant devices that are inserted into each breast pocket to increase the breast size overall.
What are the fat transfer breast augmentation risks?
All of the normal surgery related potential complications that are risks with other surgeries are also risks with the fat transfer breast augmentation process. However, these risks (excessive bleeding, infection, etc.) are rare.
In addition, fats transfer techniques may be unsuccessful if the fat does not survive in the desired location because of either the death of fat cells (fat necrosis) or the absorption of the fat into your body (fat reabsorption). These problems are also rare.
Set up Your Consultation Appointment
Could you benefit from a fat transfer breast augmentation?
This procedure can provide a flattering increase in the size of your breasts while also reducing your waistline or helping you lose fat on other parts of your body. Of course, it should go without saying that your results can completely change your silhouette and give you a boost in confidence as well.
To learn more about this procedure and find out if you’re a candidate, contact Lahar Plastic Surgery today and schedule your appointment with Dr. Nicholas Lahar. We look forward to hearing from you!