Fat Grafting to Breasts FAQs – Questions about Fat Transfer to Breasts

Fat Transfer to Breast is also called Autologous Fat Transfer, Lipo injections or Fat Injections. It is a very popular alternative to breast enhancement using breast implants. Dr Scott Turner is a specialist plastic surgeon in Newcastle and Sydney NSW and an expert in fat grafting to breasts. Here are his Fat Grafting to Breasts FAQs.

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Fat Grafting to Breasts FAQs about Results

How much can you increase breast size with fat transfer?

How many cup sizes can you gain with fat transfer?

  • On average, you can achieve an increase of around 1 cup size. Some patients can achieve an increase in breast size of 1 ½ cup size but this will depend on the following factors:
  1. The amount of fat harvested from your body: An adequate amount of fat is necessary to achieve a well-proportioned breast.
  2. The quality of your harvested fat: Not all the fat tissues injected into your breast will survive so good quality fat is needed to achieve a higher survival rate.
  3. Your skin’s ability to stretch: A Smaller amount of fat can be injected into a breast with really tight skin while more fat can be injected into a breast with more skin laxity. (some surgeons may use a special device to stretch skin)

Do breasts with transferred fat feel natural to touch?

  • Yes, they feel very natural to touch since the procedure makes use of your own body fat.

Does Health insurance cover fat graft for breast cancer reconstruction?

  • Fat grafting for breast cancer reconstruction may be covered by medical insurance since it is medically necessary and a new medicare code is being introduced.

How long does it take for a fat transfer to look good?

  • You should achieve a well-defined breast contour after 6 months or when the swelling has completely subsided. However, it is important to keep in mind that every patient is unique. The results may vary depending on your body type, lifestyle, and desired results.

Does fat grafting leave scars?

  • You may see a small scar in the area where the fat was harvested. Over time, this will lighten and become less noticeable. Your surgeon will create the incisions in the natural folds of your skin or in hidden areas to reduce the visibility of scars. Any scars left after the surgery can be easily concealed with clothing.

Can the transferred fat be removed?

  • Yes, just like other fat in your body, the transferred fat can still be removed through liposuction. However, there are body areas in which removal of the transferred fat is more difficult. Surgeons can usually reduce excess fat if the location of the fat is accessible.
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Fat Grafting to Breasts Procedure FAQs

How is breast fat grafting performed?

  • The surgery involves removing excess fat from the donor site through liposuction. The excess fat is usually harvested from your abdomen, buttocks, or thighs. Once harvested, the fat is processed in theatre in order to reduce impurities such as blood, oils, and tissue fluid. This process lowers the risk of oil cyst formation and ensures that the amount of fat being injected into your breasts is measurable. Once processed, the fat will be injected into your breasts to add volume and fullness.

Can you move fat from your stomach to your breast?

  • Yes, the stomach and thighs are the common donors for fat transfer. However, it is important that the area should contain adequate amounts of fat to achieve a good clinical outcome and aesthetic result.

How long does a fat transfer take?

  • The procedure commonly takes around 3 to 4 hours to complete. This will depend on several factors such as the size of the body area where fat will be harvested, the breast size you want to achieve, and the skills of your surgeon.

How much fat would I need for breast fat grafting?

  • You may need approximately 200 to 400 cc of fat per breast. However, you may need a second procedure to achieve your desired breast size. Your surgeon will determine the amount of fat you will need during your consultation.
  • A surgeons “rule of thumb” is harvesting twice as much as is needed for injecting and around half of the fat injected will survive or “take”.

Where can you get fat for the procedure?

  • The fat is usually harvested from different body areas with excess fat such as: Abdomen , Buttocks, Thighs, back of knees or Flanks

Fat Grafting to Breasts Recovery FAQs

How long does fat grafting take to heal?

  • The recovery time may vary from patient to patient. In general, you can expect a full recovery after 4-6 weeks.

How long will the recovery period be?

  • Once breast augmentation with fat transfer is complete, your initial recovery time will be approximately 1-3 days. Over the next few weeks, any swelling and soreness will resolve. The healing process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. See Recovery after Breast Augmentation with Fat transfer.

How long does swelling last after fat grafting?

  • The majority of swelling will settle between the first and second week. Swelling will continue to improve up to two months after the procedure. How long will breast swelling last will depend on your lifestyle and how you care for your new breasts after the procedure.

Should I wear a bra after fat transfer to the breast?

  • Yes, it is highly recommended that you wear a sports bra day and night for several weeks after the procedure. This provides support to your breasts and allows them to adjust to their new size and shape.

How should I sleep after fat transfer to the breast?

  • After a breast fat transfer, you should sleep on your back. This position prevents placing extra pressure on your new breasts and allows them to heal.

When can I sleep on my side after breast fat transfer?

  • After 2 weeks, you will be cleared to sleep on your side. However, this will depend on your ability to heal.

Can I sleep on my side after fat transfer to the breast?

  • You should wait for at least 2 weeks first before you sleep on your side. This can put extra pressure on the healing wounds and can alter the shape of your breasts.

Should I massage my breast after fat transfer?

  • Gently massaging your breasts will help ease some pain and reduce the swelling. Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on how to properly massage your new breasts before you get discharged from the medical facility.

How long after fat transfer can I exercise?

  • You should wait for 2 months before engaging in vigorous activities. This will give the transferred fat cells plenty of time to settle.

Fat Grafting to Breasts FAQs about Common Concerns

Does fat transfer last?

  • Your body will naturally absorb some of the transferred fat cells for the first six weeks after the procedure. After this, all the remaining fat cells stay in their location. Once the injected fat cells have established themselves with new blood vessels, they will likely survive and the results will become noticeable and permanent. However, the size of the fat cells can change if you gain or lose a significant amount of weight. For this reason, it is recommended that you should undergo the procedure if you already reached a stable weight and you are finished having children.

What are the risks of Fat Transfer to Breasts?

Fat transfer to the breast has the following risks and potential complications:

  • Blockage within a blood vessel can occur caused by a piece of fat (fat embolism)
  • Collection of blood or fluid underneath the skin (hematoma or seroma)
  • Formation of Oil Cysts or Granuloma
  • Death of fat tissue (fat necrosis)
  • Deposition of calcium salts (microcalcification)
  • An Infection
  • The possibility that some of the injected fat cells will leave the breast area

What are the side effects of Fat Grafting to Breasts?

  • Some fat transfer side effects include Bruising , Loss of the injected fat, Small scars, Swelling and Temporary numbness

Is breast fat transfer safe?

Is fat transfer painful?

  • Discomfort after breast fat transfer is usually related to the liposuction areas. The procedure itself is not painful since it makes use of anaesthetic. Any discomfort you may feel after the procedure can be managed with pain relief.

How long does fat transfer last in breasts?

  • The results of breast fat transfer are regarded as permanent and long-lasting. This is because the injected fat cells develop their own blood vessels to provide themselves with adequate amounts of blood and essential nutrients. However, it is important to keep in mind that only 50-70% of the injected fat may survive.

How do you keep more of the grafted fat after fat transfer?

  • To increase the survival rate of the injected fat and achieve optimal results:
    • Avoid lifting or straining for 3 weeks.
    • Do not put any pressure on the treated area.
    • Don’t smoke.
    • Drink plenty of water.
    • Eat healthy foods – high in fat – avoiding dieting and fasting.
    • Exercise gently
    • Follow all your surgeon’s post-op instructions.
    • Maintain a stable weight or gain a bit weight.
    • Sleep with your head higher than your chest.
    • Wear loose clothing.

Can fat transfer cause lumps?

  • There are some cases where fat transfers cause fat necrosis, granulomas and oil cysts. These conditions can cause lumps in the breast.

What happens if you lose weight after fat transfer?

  • Your transferred fat cells will behave the same as the non-transferred fat cells in your body. Thus, any weight loss will affect the results of your fat transfer by decreasing your breast size.

What is breast fat necrosis?

  • Fat necrosis is a non-cancerous breast condition that occurs when an area of breast fatty tissue is damaged. This may result in either oil cysts or hardened lumps in your breasts.

What does fat necrosis look like?

  • A breast with fat necrosis has single or multiple lumps. The skin around these lumps may look red, bruised, or dimpled. This breast condition is a possible complication of fat transfer to the breasts.

Does massage help reduce fat necrosis?

  • Fat necrosis and oil cysts almost always don’t need to be treated. However, massaging the area can address and reduce some of the firmness.

How do you get rid of fat necrosis?

  • Fat necrosis usually goes away on its own. If it doesn’t improve for several weeks, it can be removed through surgery. The surgery involves inserting a thin, hollow needle into the affected breast area to drain the oily contents.

Do you need multiple fat transfer sessions?

  • Not all the transferred fat cells will survive so you might need to undergo additional sessions to achieve your desired outcome. There is no limit to how many times fat grafting can be done. Each session is commonly spaced by 6-12 weeks.

Is fat grafting covered by medicare and health insurance?

  • It may be covered by medicare and medical insurance if proven that it is medically necessary for breast reconstruction. A new medicare code is being introduced in Nov 2021 and some or all of the cost may be covered by your insurance provider. Before the procedure, it is recommended that you talk to your insurance provider to clarify whether fat grafting to the breasts is covered. See Will Medicare Cover My Surgery?

Fat Grafting to Breasts FAQs – Other Options

Can you remove implants and replace them with fat?

  • Yes, this procedure is becoming very popular. It is designed to provide fat into the space over the implants using your own fat cells. The area will be then reshaped to achieve a better breast contour. Some patients also have a breast lift surgery too.

Are fat transfers safer than implants?

  • Yes, your body fat is the best filling material because it is less likely to cause any allergic reactions or complications. Also, your breasts will look and feel more natural compared to silicon implants. You will also avoid any future implant replacement surgery.

Which is better, fat transfer or implants?

  • If you are looking for a small increase in your breast size, fat transfer is a great option for you. On the other hand, if you desire a larger breast size of more than an extra 1 cup then breast implants are probably more suitable for you. With regards to safety, fat transfer to the breasts has an edge over breast implants since they use your own body fat.

Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

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Dr Scott J Turner has spent a lifetime acquiring the qualifications, education, training, and hands-on surgical experience to perform superior cosmetic plastic surgery to give you natural, beautiful results and the improved sense of well-being you want. He is one of the top Specialist Plastic Surgeons with a Breast and Body Surgery focus in New South Wales.

Achieving this personal goal requires not only in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and refined surgical techniques but an ongoing commitment to learning the latest procedures around the world. This is why Dr Turner regularly attends both local and international surgeon meetings – discussing these advances with the leaders around the world in order to offer you the most natural, effective and safest surgical procedures.

Dr Turner and his highly trained staff will do everything to ensure that you are fully informed, while providing exceptional, world-class cosmetic plastic surgery, in a personal and caring environment.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Scott
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

  • Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
  • Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us

How to Book Your Consultation with Dr Turner

  • You can book your initial consultation with Dr Turner by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

Contact us or call on  1300 641 199  to arrange your consultation in Sydney or Newcastle.

Email us for more information:  [email protected]