Breast Fat Grafting

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What to Expect

  • Anesthesia: General
  • Length of surgery: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
  • Outpatient/inpatient: Outpatient
  • Adjunct procedures:Mommy Makeover, Liposuction, Breast Lift
  • Recovery: 1 – 2 weeks
  • Requirements: Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or above

Year in and year out, breast augmentation continues to be one of the most popular plastic surgeries performed here in Minnesota and around the world. Since many women consider their breasts to be a source of femininity and pride, it is understandable that those who are dissatisfied with their breasts would seek out this procedure to boost their confidence or improve insecurities they’ve long carried.

For much of the history of aesthetic medicine, breast augmentation has been performed through the use of implants. While huge strides in implant technology have been made over the years, they still do not perfectly imitate the look and feel of natural breasts. This is why breast augmentation with fat grafting has become so popular in recent years. Rather than using an artificial device that tries to mimic the real thing, breast fat grafting uses only natural tissue to add shape and volume to the breasts.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can achieve a natural look with breast fat grafting in Edina, Minnesota, the first step is ensuring you are a good candidate for the procedure. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or above is required for your surgeon to harvest the appropriate amount of fat to achieve optimal outcomes. Calculate your BMI in the chart below to confirm you fall into this category before scheduling a consultation. Then, give our office a call at 952-925-1765 or reach out through our online contact form. Our breast fat grafting expert, Dr. Stewart, is excited to help you reach your goals.

Personalizing Your Breast Fat Grafting Lift Procedure

Your surgeon will structure your new breast volume based on the breast size and shape you would like to achieve. While there is plenty of room for personalization here, another way you can tailor your surgery to your specific needs is to combine it with another procedure. Here are a few procedures that are often grouped together:


Fat grafting requires that a certain amount of liposuction be performed, but it does not have to stop when the amount needed for the transfer to the breasts is achieved. You can opt for a more extensive liposuction procedure to bolster the improvement to your contours, and it can be done in more than one area.

Breast Lift

Many women come to Edina Plastic Surgery assuming that they need breast augmentation because their breasts appear to be deflated. In some cases, this issue is better addressed with a breast lift than a breast augmentation. If you want to improve breast tissue laxity and would also like to increase the fullness of your bust, then combining these procedures is an effective strategy.

Mommy Makeover

A breast lift, liposuction and breast augmentation are three common, core components of a mommy makeover, a procedure designed to reverse the effects of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Add a tummy tuck into the mix, and you are on your way to a head-to-toe aesthetic makeover.

Deciding If Breast Fat Grafting Is Right for You

If you believe your bust would benefit from a subtle, natural boost in size, then a breast augmentation with fat grafting may be a great option. It’s important to remember that fat transfer does have limitations. First, a patient must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 25 to ensure enough fat can be harvested to achieve fullness in the breasts. Next, only a volume increase of ½ cup to 1 cup size can be achieved with fat grafting. If you are looking for a wildly dramatic shift in bust size, a traditional breast augmentation may be more effective for your goals. Fat grafting to the breasts also produces a more natural breast shape that is more tear drop shaped. It does not give the upper pole fullness to the breast that an implant gives. Ideal candidates for breast fat grafting include women who:

  • Are interested in an alternative to implant-based augmentation
  • Are seeking modest volume enhancement
  • Are desiring a more naturally shaped breast
  • Have sufficient fat stores in other parts of the body to transfer with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or above

All candidates for breast fat grafting should be in good physical and mental health before undergoing surgery and have realistic expectations of what can be achieved through this technique. If you have preexisting conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity, you may be at a higher risk of developing surgical complications. Nicotine usage also increases the risk of complications significantly.

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Before & After

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Preparing for Your Breast Fat Grafting

Every patient at Edina Plastic Surgery receives a thorough initial consultation with their surgeon. During this meeting, bring up any questions, comments or concerns you have so they can be answered early on in the process. It’s also helpful to come to your consultation with a clear idea of the aesthetic you would like to achieve, so your surgeon can set appropriate goals.

If your surgeon believes it could be beneficial, they may suggest combining procedures to help attain your desired results. Breast fat grafting pairs well with extended liposuction or a breast lift, or the group of procedures involved in a complete mommy makeover.

It is also used in conjunction with implant-based augmentation to provide additional shape and make the implants look and feel more natural.

Your surgeon will consider your goals, concerns, medical history and anatomy, and then come up with a detailed surgical plan. This plan will include a list of instructions for you to follow during the weeks leading up to your procedure. You may be asked to refrain from tobacco use and taking certain medications and vitamins. Following these instructions gives you the best chance of a safe surgery.

Breast Fat Grafting Recovery and Results

It is normal to experience some pain, discomfort and swelling immediately following the fat grafting procedure. This pain can be addressed with over-the-counter or prescription medication recommended by your surgeon. Most patients can start to see their results after one or two weeks when most of the swelling and bruising have subsided.

Your final results should be apparent by 6 months. Sixty percent of the fat transferred to your breasts will remain, some fat cells will not survive the transfer process. Those that do can remain indefinitely. Like fat anywhere else in your body, the fat used for your augmentation may be susceptible to fluctuation based on weight change. The fat used in fat grafting also “remembers” where it is from. For example, if you usually gain weight first in your abdomen and fat is used from your abdomen and transferred to your breasts, you will gain weight first in your abdomen and, now, your breasts. Maintaining a stable weight will give you the most consistent results. One of the upsides to augmentation without implants is that there is no chance of capsular contracture, rippling or implant rupture. Your breasts are made entirely of your own organic material.

Fat grafting breast augmentation achieves a fuller, more robust upper torso aesthetic without creating an overdone or unnatural appearance. The results are generally long-lasting, and many women who choose fat grafting over implants love the completely natural feeling that fat transfer provides.

Request a Consultation Today

Breast fat grafting is a safe, proven way to increase the size of your bust without introducing foreign objects into your body. If you are ready to get started with your fat grafting procedure, or if you need help deciding which breast enhancement procedure is right for you, give Edina Plastic Surgery a call today at 952-925-1765 or fill out our online contact form. Our surgeons look forward to providing you with the beautiful, natural results you deserve!

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