Recovery after Breast Augmentation with Fat transfer

Breast Augmentation with fat transfer is a cosmetic surgery procedure that enhances the shape and appearance of your breasts using your own excess body fat. Fat is extracted from various body parts using liposuction and after processing, is injected into your breasts. The fat injections can enhance your breast shape, improve your cleavage as well as making the breasts look fuller.  As this procedure doesn’t use silicone implants it is an excellent option for you if you want to increase the size of your breasts by a cup or two subtly and naturally. This procedure is not ideal for you if you are looking to make big changes in your breast size. Read more about The Benefits of Fat Transfer vs using Breast Implants. Dr Scott Turner is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and fat transfer expert in Newcastle and Sydney NSW.

Preparing for a Fat Transfer to Breast Surgery

You can best prepare for a fat transfer to the breast procedure by:

  • Researching about the procedure online
  • Finding a plastic surgeon skilled in fat transfer
  • Providing your detailed medical history to Dr Turner 
  • Choose and save the date – organise time off work
  • Stop smoking four weeks before the procedure
  • If you’re obese or overweight – lose some weight
  • Stop taking aspirin and blood-thinning medications
  • Prepare a room for recovery after surgery
  • Enlist the help of someone to transport you home and support you in the first few days

Recovery Timeline after Breast Augmentation by Fat Transfer

Day 1 

Right after the procedure, there will be swelling and soreness in the breast and donor site of the liposuction. Depending on the amount of fat suctioned out, you might have to stay a day at the hospital to monitor your health after surgery. If only a small amount of fat is extracted then you may be able to go home after a few hours of monitoring. You’ll have to enlist the help of someone to transport you home prior to the surgery and help support you for the first day. It is recommended that you sleep on your back or sit raising your upper body at about 30 degrees. This helps reduce swelling and facilitates wound healing during the first-week post-op. There should be minimal physical movement during this first day. 

A compression bra will be provided that you will need to wear for about two weeks, as it is known to help reduce swelling and accelerate wound healing. Apart from this, this garment will also keep your breasts in their new place. Pain medications will be prescribed to control the post-op pain. A day or two after the surgery, you may be able to perform some less intensive activities like gentle walking.

A week later

You should get plenty of rest and let your body heal during this first week. However, you should remember that you should not exert yourself physically as you’ll not be able to do a lot. Swelling and soreness will gradually lessen in over about a week, after which you can resume working comfortably. Breast massages should be avoided as they can dislodge the transferred fat from the breast. 

Two weeks later

As soreness and discomfort will be minimal after a fortnight you may be able to resume most of your daily activities, but you should still avoid stressful activities during the second week. Most patients will be able to return to work. If your work is more physically demanding you might have to wait a week more to return to work. 

You should still avoid smoking as it can result in poor wound healing as well as producing unsatisfactory results. You can now stop wearing the compression garment. However, it is recommended that you wear a sports bra. You should still not perform any type of breast massage. 

One month later

Some swelling may persist and can take a couple of months to be completely gone. During this period, you’ll be able to see the results of the procedure. However, the result will improve as the swelling continues to recede. You will be allowed to resume light physical exercise after the fourth week, but continue to avoid any heavy lifting and strenuous activity.

Two months and beyond

Expect to be cleared by Dr Turner to return to higher intensity physical exercises like swimming after the sixth week. The swelling will be gone completely a few months later and you’ll be able to appreciate the result of the procedure and your breasts will be in their optimal position. 

Best Tips for Better Recovery 

1. Get plenty of rest 

You must rest in a  stress-free relaxing environment for proper recovery. Depending on the physical demands of your job, you should take a week or two off of work and limit your daily activities.

2. Enlist the help of someone to assist you for the initial days

You’ll feel the effects of general anaesthesia and both your breasts and the fat donor sites will be swollen and sore following the completion of the procedure. You will need to arrange for someone to assist you for the first few days with daily activities.

3. Please Abstain from smoking

Smoking, vaping and passive smoke should be completely avoided during the recovery period as it is known to delay wound healing and may cause a poor outcome. 

4. Drink plenty of fluids

It is normal to feel dehydrated after liposuction. You will have to provide your body with plenty of fluid to keep your tissues hydrated which will further aid in your recovery. Drink water and low-calorie beverages and avoid drinking alcohol and high-calorie beverages for the first few weeks. 

5. Eat a nutritious and healthy diet

Consuming a healthy and nutritious diet will help speed up your recovery and give your transplanted fat cells the best chance of survival. You should consume proteins, healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that you lower the intake of salt during your recovery.

6. Use the compression garment

A compression garment keeps your breasts in their new place. It is known to reduce bruising and swelling. It should be worn for at least two weeks post-op to get an optimal result. 

7. Wear loose and comfortable clothes

You should wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes when you’re recovering and avoid tight-fitting clothes as doing so can lead to fat reabsorption causing below-par fat retention. 

8. Sleeping position

You should sleep while keeping your upper body at about 30 degrees as this can help reduce swelling as well as further facilitate wound healing during the first week post-op. Avoid sleeping on your stomach as this can put pressure on your breasts. Read the blog on How to Sleep Better after Breast Surgery.

9. Avoid high-intensity exercises

You should avoid high-intensity exercises for at least four or six weeks or until cleared by Dr Turner as this may hamper your recovery and increases the risk for injury or infection.

10. Follow Dr Turner’s guidelines

Follow the post-op recovery guidelines carefully that is given by Dr Turner as it can make your recovery a lot easier.

Do’s and Don’ts for recovery after Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer


  • Arrange someone to take you home after surgery
  • Get plenty of rest 
  • Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes
  • Wear the compression garment 
  • Lower salt intake
  • Sleep on your back while keeping your breasts at about 30 degree
  • Eat healthy and nutritious foods 
  • Drink plenty of fluids 
  • Take prescribed medications 
  • Follow Dr Turner’s instructions
  • Contact Dr Turner in case of emergencies


  • Sleep on your stomach or side
  • Smoke
  • Consume alcohol 
  • Attempt any high-intensity exercises 
  • Wear tight-fitting clothes
  • Wear an underwire bra for at least three weeks
  • Ignore signs of emergencies

When to seek help during Recovery after Surgery

If you have any of these symptoms please seek medical help immediately:

  • Sudden chest pain 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excruciating pain 
  • Signs of infection – pus, pain or oozing
  • High fever

Breast Fat Transfer FAQs – Questions

breast augmentation with fat transfer breasts FAQ - Dr Scott Turner Sydney

How long does it take to recover from fat transfer to the breast?

  • You may recover enough to perform most daily activities from a fat transfer to the breast after about a fortnight. You will be able to resume higher intensity exercises like swimming after about four to six weeks. You’ll completely recover only after the residual swelling is gone, which can take around three to six months. 

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

  • No, you shouldn’t wear a normal bra right after a breast fat transfer you’ll be given a compression garment that you’ll have to wear for at least a fortnight. After two weeks, you should wear a sports bra for the next three months for optimal support. 

How long does it take for breast fat transfer to settle?

  • It can take around six months before the fat transfer settles on your breast. 

What to eat after fat transfer to the breast?

  • Following completion of the procedure, you will need to supply your body with extra calories to provide the new fat cells with blood supply and to assist in the recovery.  You should eat nutritious foods that will provide your body with various vitamins and minerals. On top of this, you should increase the intake of healthy fats in your diet like avocados, salmon, butter, olive and coconut oil, and various nuts.

How much fat survives after fat transfer to the breast?

  • The amount of fat that survives the transfer varies from person to person, transfer method and your surgeons’ level of expertise. Generally, 50-60% of the fat survives – although the range is more like 30 to 80%..

Does fat transfer last forever?

  • No, fat transfer results do not last forever. They can last for several years, but the amount of time the fat will last will differ from individual to individual. Any major weight gain or pregnancy can alter the outcome of the procedure. 

How do you keep fat after fat transfer?

Here are some tips to help fat survive after a fat transfer:

  • Consume nutritious and healthy foods especially more healthy fats (Avoid dieting after surgery)
  • Wear loose and comfortable garments
  • Sleeping on your back while keeping your breasts elevated
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Stay hydrated

How should I sleep after breast fat transfer?

  • You should sleep on your back while keeping your breasts elevated at about 30 degrees. You can achieve this position through either the use of a recliner or some extra pillows. 

What should I wear after breast fat transfer?

  • On top of the compression garment, you should wear loose and comfortable clothes. Wearing tight-fitting clothes can lead to fat re-absorption which can results in inferior results due to low-fat retention.

How long after breast fat transfer can I exercise?

  • You may be able to resume light to moderate physical activities two weeks post-op, while physically demanding exercises should be resumed four to six weeks or only after Dr Turner suggests you do so. 

When can I start sleeping on my side after breast fat transfer surgery?

  • You can start sleeping on your side two weeks after the procedure. But, you should not sleep on your stomach after two weeks, you should wait for further two weeks. 

What happens if you gain weight after fat grafting to breast?

  • If you gain a considerable amount of weight after fat grafting to breast, your results from the procedure will be compromised.  Your new fat cells may swell up.

Should I lose weight before fat transfer?

  • You should be at a stable weight before the procedure. So it is recommended that you lose weight before a fat transfer to the breast as this will help achieve a more accurate size of your new breasts. 

Is breast fat transfer painful?

  • No, fat transfer to the breast procedure itself is minimally invasive and on top of that, you’ll be anaesthetized during the procedure to ensure that you feel minimal pain during the procedure. Pain medications will be prescribed to control post-op discomfort.

Should I massage my breast after fat transfer?

  • No, you should not massage your breast for a few weeks following a fat grafting to breast as it can dislodge the transferred fats from the breast. 

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Enquire to find out more about your surgery
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
  • 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
  • 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?

How to Book Your Consultation

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


  • To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2

Contact us or call on  1300 437 758  to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

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