Fat Grafting In Place of Breast Implants?

If you want bigger breasts but don’t want breast implants you may have heard about fat grafting.

Fat grafting

A Fat Grafting breast augmentation procedure involves using a patient’s own tissue (i.e. fat) to augment (change the size of) the breast by moving it from one area of the body to the breasts.

Sounds interesting, right?!

Fat grafting

Fat Grafting is a relatively new option in cosmetic breast surgery.

You’ll have likely heard about liposuction (removing excess fat from the body), but only recently have surgeons been then using a patient’s removed fat to enhance other areas of the body.

The process of a fat grafting breast augmentation involves:

  • Removing excess fat from one or more areas of the body (usually the butt, stomach and thigh areas) via liposuction

  • Filtering the fat cells (in the operating room while the patient is under anesthetic)

  • The filtered fat cells are then injected into multiple (hundreds - thousands!) of locations inside the breast

Fat grafting can be used in cosmetic breast surgery in a couple of ways:

  • When an implant is used fat grafting can be used in specific areas of the breast to cover over visible implant edges

  • Used in place of an implant where a patient has enough fatty tissue to augment the breast and wants to increase breast size

The second may be an option for you if the idea of getting implants isn’t the way you want to achieve a bigger bust.


This all sounds rather wonderful if you ask me! The idea of moving fat to your breasts from other areas of the body. There are, however, a couple of things to bear in mind about a fat grafting breast augmentation:

  1. Fat cells are a living part of your body. For the fat to ‘stay alive’ once it’s moved from one area of your body to your breasts it needs space. So, you can’t move a lot of fat in one surgery. This means a fat grafting boob job is often not a one off surgery.

  2. It’s harder with fat grafting alone to get instant ‘shape’ to the breast the way an implant would give the breast an instantly plumped-up shape.

  3. As well as the recovery and risks of multiple surgeries there’s the cost. Multiple surgeries with liposuction and fat grafting may come in more expensive than a breast augmentation with implants. And… recovery is about the same (each time) as it is from a surgery with implants.

  4. Results are not permanent. Your body will naturally lose about 20-30% of the fat grafted to the breasts so you can expect your bust size to shrink over time and usually the loss is in the first year after surgery.

Although fat grafting is an option to increase breast size not many women choose to have a total fat grafting breast augmentation procedure.

If your goal is to increase breast size, fat grafting may still be a good option.

If your goal is to change the shape (and size) or your breasts then fat grafting is still an option but would work best in conjunction with an implant (because that’s the best way to change breast shape).

Fat grafting has a great deal of potential as a more ‘natural’ way of changing breast size. We’re probably not quite there yet in terms of cost and practicality for this to be an option for as many women who choose to get breast implants but it’s always worth discussing all your options with your Board Certified plastic surgeon.