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A fat transfer breast augmentation procedure is an option for people who are looking to increase the size of their breasts.

Rather than using implants like traditional breast augmentation, this procedure involves taking fat from another area of your body and injecting it into your breasts.

The procedure is minimally invasive and is proven to be very safe overall. However, there are some risks to know about if you’re considering this procedure.

Risks include fat necrosis, infection, and fat reabsorption. Read on to learn more about the risks of this procedure.

Fat transfer breast augmentation is a surgical procedure in which a surgeon takes fat from one part of your body and uses it to make your breasts bigger. The surgeon will remove the fat using liposuction and then inject it into your breasts.

The increase in breast size created by a fat transfer breast augmentation is generally less than the amount people typically associate with breast augmentation.

However, the results are considered very natural-looking and are an appealing option for some people.

A fat transfer breast augmentation is considered to be an overall safe procedure. However, like all types of surgery, it comes with some risks.

The three primary risks of fat transfer breast augmentation include:

Fat necrosis

Fat necrosis is the death of fat cells. It is the primary risk of fat transfer breast augmentation and other types of fat grafting surgeries.

It happens when the fat doesn’t get enough oxygenated blood during the transfer process, which causes fat cells to die. Dead fat cells can form bubbles and lumps in your breast tissue.

This can lead to multiple unpleasant symptoms, such as:

  • painful lumps
  • oily cystic lumps
  • hard calcification lumps
  • a mix of cystic and calcification lumps
  • redness around the lumps
  • bruising around the lumps
  • scar tissue
  • pain in the surrounding tissue
  • skin discoloration
  • uneven skin
  • changes to breast shape and appearance

The lumps from fat necrosis can resemble breast cancer lumps, so your doctor will likely want to examine them. You can discuss a treatment plan with your doctor once they are certain the lumps are not cancerous.

Sometimes, lumps from fat necrosis resolve on their own. If the lumps aren’t painful or causing symptoms, you might monitor them but not receive any treatment.

On the other hand, lumps that are causing pain or causing any issues may need to be removed. A surgeon will remove fat necrosis lumps if necessary.

The surgeon will numb the area with a local anesthetic and use an ultrasound to find each lump. They’ll then use a needle to dissolve and remove the lumps. It can take several weeks to recover from this procedure.

Infection

The risk of infection from a fat transfer breast augment is relatively low.

The procedure is considered minimally invasive. The incisions to inject the fat are very small. Additionally, the fat being used is from your own body, reducing any risk of rejection or an adverse reaction.

However, all procedures do carry some risk of infection.

It’s a good idea to talk with a doctor before the procedure, especially if you:

  • have a weakened immune system
  • smoke
  • are concerned about the risk of infection

You might want to talk with both the plastic surgeon who will be performing the procedure and your primary care physician, if you have one, to ensure the procedure will be safe for you.

Fat reabsorption

Fat is a natural substance your body uses to operate. Your body will treat the fat transferred to your breasts the same as other bodily fat.

This means your body can reabsorb the fat used in a fat transfer breast augmentation procedure. In fact, it is thought that up to 50 percent of the injected fat is absorbed by your body.

This can make it difficult to get the results you’d like, especially over time. The immediate result after surgery is likely to be much fuller than the long-term outcome of the transfer, which can mean you might not see as much of a size increase as you’d expected.

You can have additional fat transfer breast augmentation procedures for more of an increase, but this may also put you at higher risk for fat necrosis.

Additional risks

Your fat transfer breast augmentation procedure can have some additional risks.

For example, this procedure will likely be done using local anesthesia. For most people, local anesthesia is very low risk and considered very safe.

However, it’s possible to have side effects such as:

  • blurry vision
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness

It’s best to talk with the plastic surgeon before the procedure and make sure you have a clear understanding of every step. Let them know about your medical history and any concerns you have.

You might be able to take some steps to minimize your personal risk before your procedure, such as stopping a certain medication, like blood thinners, aspirin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs), for 1 or 2 weeks before surgery.

Although it is not as well known as traditional breast augmentation, there are many reasons a fat transfer breast augmentation is a popular procedure.

Some reasons people have this procedure are:

  • They’d like a natural look and feel.
  • The procedure is considered safe overall.
  • The procedures uses a person’s own fat tissue.
  • The procedure is slimming, due to the removal of fat to use for the augmentation.
  • There is minimal scaring compared with other augmentation procedures.
  • There is a reduced risk of rippling or thinning.

A fat transfer breast augmentation is meant to be a permanent procedure. You might want to have additional enhancements made later, but your initial results should last without any maintenance or further surgeries.

However, keep in mind that a fat transfer breast augmentation uses your own fat. This fat will behave like any other fat on your body. This means that any major weight loss or gain will impact the results of your procedure.

Sometimes, additional injections can help keep your new breast shape if fat reabsorption occurs, but it might not be possible to keep those results after large shifts in weight.

A fat transfer breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that removes fat from one area of your body and injects it into your breast for a fuller look.

This procedure is considered safe and low risk. However, you should know about a few key risks.

Fat necrosis is the primary risk of fat transfer breast augmentations. It can lead to lumps of dead fat cells forming in your breast tissue that can cause pain and changes in the appearance of your breasts.

Other risks include infection and fat reabsorption.