Breast Fat Transfer vs. Implants: What You Need To Know

A woman wearing a bra and posing (model)

Breast implants and fat transfer are 2 effective options to improve the size and shape of your breasts and make them more symmetrical. While breast implants are the more traditional option for increasing breast size, women are increasingly turning to fat transfer breast augmentation to enhance their breasts with their own unwanted excess fat.

Breast implants offer a tried-and-true breast augmentation method, giving you predictable and customizable results. Fat transfer, on the other hand, allows you to capitalize on your body’s extra fat to increase your breast size. Each option has its benefits and limitations, so here are some things you should know before you choose between them.

How Does Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Work?

Fat transfer, also known as natural breast augmentation, requires liposuction to harvest unwanted fat from your thighs, abdomen, or another area with excess fat. The collected fat is then purified and injected into the breasts. In all, the procedure takes around 3 to 5 hours.

Although fat is commonly extracted from the thighs, arms, buttocks, or abdomen, you can remove fat cells from nearly any area of your body with sufficient fat. As an added advantage, removing this excess fat for the transfer allows you to sculpt your body further, often enhancing the appearance of your augmented breasts.

How Do Breast Implants Work?

Breast implants are made of a silicone shell and filled with either saline (sterile saltwater) or a cohesive silicone gel. Their size, shape, and profile add to the volume of the breast, increasing its fullness.

During the procedure, Dr. Wright creates an incision in the crease underneath the breast, called an inframammary incision. He then makes a pocket in the breast tissue for the implant and places the implant either in front of or behind the chest muscle. This procedure typically takes around 1 to 3 hours.

Most patients can return to work 1 week after the procedure, but complete healing usually takes a few weeks.

Benefits of Fat Transfer Over Implants

Results from fat transfer feel very natural because it uses your own natural tissue. The procedure is less invasive than implant-based breast augmentation, so recovery is usually easier, and you can return to your regular routine sooner.

Patients who prefer to avoid the potential risks of implants often prefer natural breast augmentation. There’s no risk of reaction to implant materials, no worry of capsular contracture or leak ruptures, and no need to replace the implants down the road. Fat transfer is also a good option for patients who have removed their implants for medical reasons.  

Benefits of Breast Implants Over Fat Transfer

Breast implants offer greater control of your final breast augmentation results, allowing you to customize your procedure by choosing the implant’s profile, material, and shape. They’re versatile, too, allowing patients to subtly increase their breast size for natural-looking enhancement or add significantly more volume to their breasts for a sexy silhouette. With breast implants, you also don’t have to worry about having enough excess fat to perform the augmentation.

In contrast, fat transfer can’t provide a significant size increase. In most cases, women usually go up only about a cup size after fat transfer and may need multiple procedures to achieve their desired results.

Which Costs More: Fat Transfer or Breast Implants?

While the cost for breast implants or fat transfer depends on the individual, fat transfer involves several procedures and steps that can increase your overall cost. As we discussed earlier, fat transfer uses liposuction to harvest the fat cells, which need to be cleaned, processed, and prepared for grafting. Additionally, you may need several fat transfer procedures to get the results you want versus breast implants, where you can achieve results with a single surgery.

Keep in mind that neither fat transfer nor breast implants can improve significant breast sagging, and you may want to add a breast lift to address that aspect. Adding a breast lift to your breast augmentation or fat transfer can also increase the cost of your surgery.

Fat Transfer vs. Implants: Which Offers Better Results?

Your body composition, current breast shape and size, lifestyle, and a variety of other considerations will determine whether breast implants or fat transfer will provide you with better results. You can browse through our photo gallery to get an idea of the possible results with each. These fat transfer before and after photos show our patients who achieved soft, subtle results, and these pictures of patients with breast implants demonstrate the versatility of results.

Your plastic surgeon will help you consider each procedure’s pros and cons and choose the method that will give you the best results. If you are ready to transform your silhouette with fat transfer or breast implants, request a consultation or call us at (501) 575-0088 to schedule an appointment. 

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