Breast Augmentation by Fat Transfer

Breast Augmentation by Fat Transfer Adelaide

Breast augmentation by fat transfer in Adelaide is becoming increasingly popular with women as an alternative to breast implants.

Breast implants are artificial devices that are inserted under the breast tissue or muscle to increase the size of the breasts. Breast augmentation by fat transfer, on the other hand, is a procedure that uses fat from another part of the body to increase the size of the breasts.


Also known as fat grafting or lipofiling, fat transfer can increase the size of your breasts by using your fat from other parts of your body. Breast augmentation by fat transfer in Adelaide offers patients an alternative to breast implants. This procedure has a very different approach with different outcomes to the more common breast implant procedure. Fat grafting is a popular alternative to traditional liposuction, as it can be done without the need for large incisions and offers a more natural and soft result.

The breast augmentation by fat transfer procedure begins with the harvesting of fat cells from another part of your body, such as your thighs, abdomen, or buttocks. The fat cells are then processed and filtered before being re-injected into the breasts. Each droplet of fat is then maintained by basic diffusion of nutrients from the surrounding tissues before establishing a more permanent blood supply over 1-2 weeks. Once the fat has survived, it will stay alive permanently. It will even increase or decrease in size with changes in weight.

Over the last decade, fat grafting has seen a rise in demand throughout Adelaide and Australia with many surgeons performing this procedure.

The breast augmentation by fat transfer surgery in Adelaide is only a day procedure, performed in an accredited hospital under general anaesthetic. The procedure takes approximately 2-3 hours to harvest the fat, which will then be processed before being re-injected into the breasts.


Breast augmentation by fat transfer is a less invasive procedure than breast implants. Most women can return to work within 1-2 weeks and resume all normal activities within 4 weeks. There may be some swelling and bruising around the breasts for a few weeks. In the absence of any complications, your breasts will have reached their final shape and size within 3 months from the date of surgery.

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting offers a natural-looking and feeling volume increase to your breasts with the added benefit of reducing fat from unwanted areas. More importantly, it avoids any concerns that patients may have with the use of silicone breast implants.

Although this technique is remarkable, lipofilling much like many other procedures, has some limitations. The rate of fat survival is uncertain. This means only a percentage of the fat that is injected will not be permanent, referred as “take”, however the fat that does survive is permanent. The rate of fat “take” is normally 70-90% but this can vary between 30-90%, depending on the quality of the fat harvest, blood supply of the recipient tissue, technique used, density and amount of scarring present at the recipient site.

If the “take” percentage of fat is low, more than one surgery may be required to achieve the desired results, which can be difficult to guarantee a certain volume increase in your breast with this technique.

Ask a Question or Book a Consultation

If you are interested in a completely natural-looking and feeling breast augmentation without the use of breast implants, you should consider fat grafting.

Dr Quoc Lam is a specialist plastic and reconstructive surgeon with an interest in breast surgery. He frequently performs this procedure and would be happy to discuss it in detail with you. If you would like to take the next step in meeting Dr Lam, please contact Cranford House Plastic Surgery to book an appointment with our friendly team.


Breast Augmentation By Fat Transfer FAQ’s

Fat transfer to the breast is permanent. However a few variables make this a little difficult to interpret. Firstly, post surgical swelling will give the impression of a larger volume which will naturally settle within weeks. Secondly, there is a variable rate of fat take (~70-90%), this will also take several weeks to resolve. When both these factors are accounted for, a patient who has fat grafting will often feel that the result is smaller than they anticipated, but in truth, the decrease in volume in the short term is expected. The fat that does “take” is permanent and natural.

Fat is often taken form the thighs, abdomen or lower back. This is done by liposuction. The recovery from this is predictable and fairly straightforward. You will experience some swelling, bruising and tenderness, that should settle within 1-2 weeks. You will also often have a period tingling as the sensory nerves in the region begin to “wake up”.

Although most people would be suitable candidates for this procedure, if you are too slim and have no excess fat present to transfer to your breasts, then the procedure is not possible. Interestingly, it is quite rare not to have some pockets of fat that can be utilised even in very thin and very fit individuals.

To increase your chance of fat take, it is also unfavourable if you are a smoker or recent ex-smoker. Smoking decreases the blood supply of your tissues and would mean that the fat is less likely to take.

Breast augmentation through fat transfer, or fat grafting, typically offers an increase of one to two cup sizes, but results can vary. The procedure’s effectiveness depends on factors like the amount of available donor fat, the body’s rate of fat absorption (usually 50–70% of transferred fat remains), the existing breast structure, and the patient’s overall health and desired outcome. Unlike implants, fat transfer provides a more natural look and feel, but the increase in size is generally more subtle. The exact potential for augmentation can only be accurately assessed by a qualified plastic surgeon who can consider the individual’s unique circumstances.

Indeed, one of the key advantages of fat transfer to breasts, a procedure known as autologous fat grafting, is that the result often feels natural to touch. This is because the procedure uses your body’s own fat instead of foreign materials to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. However, results can vary based on individual factors such as the quality and quantity of the donor fat and the surgical technique used. It’s crucial to have a detailed consultation with your qualified plastic surgeon to understand the potential outcomes and manage expectations appropriately.

After a breast fat transfer, the settling process usually takes about three to six months. Initially, the breasts may appear larger due to swelling and bruising, and some of the transferred fat cells may not survive, being reabsorbed by the body. As healing progresses, swelling reduces, and the final size and shape become more evident. The exact timeline varies per individual and depends on factors such as the amount of fat transferred and the patient’s healing response. Post-operative care, including wearing compression garments and avoiding certain activities, is crucial for maximising fat cell survival and achieving optimal results. Regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon are also important to monitor the healing process.