Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation vs Implants: Which Should You Choose?

Woman in bra (model) after a breast enhancement surgery in Austin, TX

The idea of taking a patient’s unwanted fat from one area of her body and using it to increase the size of the breasts has a definite “best of both worlds” effect. And, for the right patient, fat transfer breast augmentation can be an excellent alternative to breast implants.

Breast augmentation with fat transfer, however, does have some limitations, and choosing between breast fat transfer vs implants isn’t necessarily a black-and-white decision. In some cases, we also recommend combining fat transfer with breast implants.

We understand that your options can be overwhelming, which is why we’re sharing the benefits and limitations of fat transfer breast augmentation as an alternative—or complement—to breast implants. Ready to learn more?

Benefits of Fat Transfer

Sometimes referred to as natural breast augmentation, fat transfer appeals to women who may feel uneasy about having implants in their bodies. We respect that choice at Synergy, and we are dedicated to helping patients reach their aesthetic goals in whatever way best aligns with their comfort, safety, and needs.

Other key benefits of using your own fat for breast augmentation include:

  • Body contouring: Fat transfer procedures use liposuction to harvest unwanted fat from another area of the body. The target fat donor areas are usually the flanks, abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Improved contour in the midsection, thighs, or derrière can enhance your breast augmentation results and your overall physique.
  • No breast incisions: After your surgeon extracts fat using liposuction, it is washed in saline and seperated from blood, fluid, and cell debris. It is then injected into the breasts using a specialized syringe. The incisions needed for inserting implants aren’t part of the procedure. This contributes to a quicker recovery window.

Limitations of Fat Grafting for Breast Augmentation

While breast fat transfer presents a less invasive and more natural alternative for women, it is not an ideal approach for all breast augmentation patients. Women who want to pursue fat transfer need enough excess fat to make it a viable option.

Another drawback for women considering natural-looking breast augmentation is that the procedure is only appropriate for patients who want a modest increase in breast size. Usually, the technique can produce an increase of between 1 and 2 bra cup sizes at most.

Other limitations to consider include:

  • Unpredictable outcomes: Not all fat transferred to the breasts will “take” or survive after the procedure. The percentage of transferred fat that can establish a blood supply and survive the process varies, although many estimate it to be between 40% and 70%. Some plastic surgeons may compensate for this fact by injecting more fat than needed to create the desired results.
  • Liposuction recovery: The fat transfer technique involves 2 recovery sites—the breasts and the liposuction site. Even though the recovery is very manageable, patients should consider this fact when weighing their options.
  • Additional cost: Adding liposuction to breast enhancement extends the time needed for surgery and makes the procedure cost more.

Combining Fat Transfer With Breast Implants

Combining breast fat transfer with implants can be very effective, especially for patients who have implants placed above the pectoral muscles or who have very little natural breast tissue. Fat softens results and camouflages the implants. This minimizes the risk of visible rippling, a concern for above-the-muscle placement.

Our Perfect Synergy approach “perfects” this procedure, combining saline, silicone, or gummy bear implants with fat transfer for highly customized and natural-looking results. When artfully paired with breast implants, fat transfer creates a smoother upper breast transition while enhancing body contours. During your consultation, we will help you choose the breast implants that best complement your frame while assessing your candidacy for fat grafting. For patients with drooping and sagging breasts, we may also suggest adding a breast lift for optimal results.

Breast Fat Transfer vs Implants—The Takeaway

Natural breast augmentation can be an ideal alternative to breast implants for women seeking a less invasive and more natural approach. However, this technique accomplishes only a subtle increase in breast size. Women who want more visibly dramatic breast enhancement are usually better candidates for breast augmentation with implants. Additionally, combining fat transfer with breast implants allows us to take a highly customized approach to breast augmentation—we’re able to noticeably increase breast size with implants and then refine and soften your results with fat transfer.

Schedule Your Consult!

Regardless of the approach we pursue, women who choose Synergy for breast augmentation enjoy beautiful results, as you can see for yourself in our gallery of before-and-after photos. If you want to learn more about your breast augmentation options at our Round Rock or Austin locations, you can request a consultation using the online form or call us at (512) 244-1439.

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