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Fat Transfer To Breast

Fat transfer also known as fat grafting, autologous fat transfer, lipofilling or lipo-injection—is the ultimate in recycling your own tissues. Fat is removed from areas of excess and transplanting to other areas such as the breasts. It is the ultimate in Upcycling!

It involves multiple steps to suction excess fat cells from one or more areas of the body, purified, wash and filter them then inject the live cells into the breasts so that they can take up a blood supply and grow in the new area. It is the number of viable fat cells at the time of transfer which is the critical  determinant of long term graft volume

Fat harvest is superficially similar to a liposuction procedure, however fat survival and care is paramount so different fluid mix and different suction techniques are used. Small fat aliquots for facial transfer may be centrifuged (spun to separate components) but that larger fat volumes required for breast transfer are usually washed and filtered in special closed system bags.

The procedure can increase breast volume by only 1-2 cup sizes or restore volume deficit after breast surgery eg after a cancer treating lumpectomy

Rozina often describes fat as ‘liquid gold’ or the ‘elixir of youth’ since it is the richest adult tissue source of stem cells. It is also the ultimate procedure in surgical recycling. The technologies and expertise in fat transfer continue to develop rapidly and in the right hands, it is a very useful aesthetic tool in most breast reconstruction, breast aesthetics and facial and body rejuvenation procedures,

Unfortunately fat transfer is often misunderstood as a procedure with no limitiations, no scars and no downside. This is not the case and outcome is very dependent on the limited fat sources available, fat survival and the surface area of the breasts into which the fat is grafted since that determines the blood supply available for autologous fat transfer.

Fat transfer can achieve a moderate (but very welcome) 1-2 cup size breast volume increase and this is often especially useful in cases of breast asymmetry or specific areas that are looking to be augmented eg.  upper pole deflation following pregnancy.

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Fat Transfer To Breast

At a glance


Frequently asked questions

Using your own autologous tissues. Taking fat from areas of excess or where less fat is desired is an additional silver lining of the procedure.

The autologous tissue (from your own body) is unlikely to case an allergic reaction or be rejected. Te tissues will feel and behave naturally.

The enhanced breasts will therefore look and feel completely natural and results are permanent, if dependent on maintain your weight.

Incisions and scars are minimal—just the 4-5mm incisions for fat harvest and multiple tiny injection points.

A short recovery time.

Fat availability can be the limiting factor. If you are too slim, you may not have enough readily available superficial fat (under the skin) to harvest, prepare and use.

The fat that is harvested and prepared may not survive re-injection into a different area. Fat survival is dependent on the gentle handling of the fat cells and the blood supply they can take-up in the new site. Fat transfer is still not entirely predictable with approximately 50–70% of cells surviving transfer.

Should fat fail to survive, there is usually no signs other than a decrease in the initial breast volume enhancement. Infrequently, symptoms of fat necrosis include lumpiness, calcification on mammogram and/or x-ray, breast asymmetry and only very rarely pain and fever.

Multiple fat transfers may be required to achieve the outcome sought and so breast fat transfer is likely to more expensive than breast augmentation with a fixed size and dimension of implants.

You should be good overall health, a non-smoker and not overweight. Clients with good skin tone and elasticity are likely to have a more favourable aesthetic outcome.

In order to have the surgery, you need to have enough available fat to achieve your desired results. Most procedures harvest at least 500 mls  of purified fat, so if you’re too lean, this may not be an option. 

Having realistic expectations of the procedure is important. Fat viability cannot be guaranteed. Also fat transfer cannot address other breast issues ie it can’t  lift sagging breasts or improve the appearance of stretched, crepey skin

Combining Breast fat transfer with a breast lift procedure is  a very sophisticated yet ‘natural’  way to achieve youthful breasts and Rozina has coined the term lipolifting for this combined procedure at which she is very expert.

You can expect to experience mild soreness in the breasts, some swelling and bruising, usually at the fat harvest site. You will be advised to wear a supportive compression bra which will help with pain relief and reducing swelling.  The majority of discomfort is incurred at the site of fat harvest (liposuction) It’s usually treated with mild prescription or over-the-counter pain medications.

Bruising from the liposuction will typically last a couple of weeks; bruising on the breasts should subside within a month. Breast bruising and swelling may be more marked  than implant-based breast augmentation.  

Most people return to work within a week. Moderate activity is fine the day after the procedure, but you must avoid strenuous exercise, including heavy lifting and sports. You’ll be able to ramp up to cardiovascular exercise (including sexual activity) after three weeks and weight training and yoga at six weeks.

Rozina recommends a specialist ‘lipofilling’ bra that allows for swelling and does not compress the fat cells, yet still supports the breasts and offers pain relief. The bra is designed to provide gentle support while preserving blood flow and maximizing fat survival.

Rozina’s practice offers a surgical prep list to get you ready for the post-op experience with appropriate garments, pillows & support and of course treats! As much as possible, we try to make this elective surgical experience worthwhile and pleasant.


Your breasts may look larger than expected in the initial week or two due to swelling, which may also cause them to feel firm. Gentle massage can help ease any discomfort and reduce swelling. Rozina recommends manual lymphatic drainage (MLD)  to speed up healing.  By six months post-op, most of the swelling in the breast area will be gone and breast volume may only be moderately enhanced due to quiescent fat cells, your breasts will therefore feel more normal. By the one-year mark, the fat cells would have successfully ‘taken’ and grown and your breasts will have settled into their final shape and size. 

Multiple fat grafting sessions may be necessary, to achieve your desired final result. Complications such as fat necrosis are less likely when smaller volumes are injected so the tissue isn’t overfilled.

Rozina’s practice can offer a fat transfer package, to make multiple fat grafting more affordable, this obviously depends on the amount of fat you have to harvest and  the breast enlargement you wish to achieve.

The biggest concern with breast fat transfer is that it’s difficult to predict how much of the fat will be resorbed and how much will stay in the injected area. During the first three months, an estimated 30-50% of those fat cells will die. The fat that remains at 6 months is likely to be permanent. The mechanism of autologous fat survival is still being elucidated and rather than revascularisation of intact fat cells, there may be  amore important role for the pluripotent stem cells transferred across as part of the Stroma rich fraction (SVF) contributing to new adipocyte generation and growth which is signalled as the transferred adipocytes die.

Essentially, the final result may not be apparent until 9-12 months and it may be that multiple fat transfer sessions are required to achieve your desired result. Once the volume is stablished, the fat cells that have been successfully incorporated into the breast tissue will remain permanently. Breast size will obviously fluctuate with weight gain andreduction since the fat cells will be as prone as any to change in size. Also  your breasts will continue to age naturally and may therefore change due to the effects of age and gravity. However, the fat that was transferred and fully incorporated won’t need to be removed or replaced  in the future. It can be treated entirely as your own.


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