The Basics of Fat Grafting for Breast Augmentation

At one point of another, most of us have found ourselves standing in front of the mirror before, wishing we could move a little fat from down there to up there—if you know what I mean.

Believing it or not, there's actually a procedure for that called fat grafting breast augmentation, where a surgeon takes fat from one part of your body and moves it to your breasts.

The Basics of Fat Grafting

First, surgeon use liposuction to remove excess fat from some portion of the body... often the butt, stomach, or thighs. This fat will then be filtered and injected into the breasts.

Claudio DeLorenzi, a Toronto based plastic surgeon, says you can increase breast size by about 1 cup with a single fat grafting session. On average patients have about 250cc of natural fat added to their breast; however, over time women will naturally lose at least 20-30% of this injected fat. Bruising and swelling seems normal post-surgery, and he says that recovery times are on par with breast augmentation implants.

Since the results are not exactly guaranteed to keep your bust perky for life, you might be wondering if the costs are less. Since liposuction is also required, breast fat grafting can actually cost you more money than regular breast implants, ranging on average around $5,000 to $10,000.

The Brava – A Motorized Bra

If you start looking into fat grafting for breasts, you are quickly going to come across a product called Brava... which is really a bra with a motor. You will wear it just like any old bra, but with the push of a button Brava begins acting like a vacuum on your chest. Most women don't find it painful or anything, but this will allow breast tissue to expand and better absorb the injected fat cells. 

In one study, the participants that wore Brava prior to their surgery retained 230cc one year after their fat grafting breast augmentation. Participants who did NOT wear Brava before surgery only retained 130cc one-year post injections. Turns out, if you don’t wear Brava to pre-expand breast tissues, the injected fat only has a 55% chance of survival.

The Best Candidates For Fat Grafting Breast Augmentation

Around 70% of surgeons claim they have used fat grafting procedures on their patients, although the majority say it is typically for reconstructive purposes and not enlargement purposes. While many love the idea of bigger breasts that are truly "all-natural," it seems like the technology still needs some improvements before fat grafting is considered a better alternative to breast implants.

Thoughts from Dr. Glenn Davis

I agree with Jenny that fat grafting for breast augmentation has not gotten to the point yet that I would recommend it as a good option. There is a fair amount of inconvenience in wearing the Brava in preparation for surgery, and limitations on how much fat can be transferred, meaning that more than one procedure would likely be necessary.

Since the process and results are so reliable and consistent with implants for breast augmentation, it is still the best way to go.