Fat Transfer vs Implants for Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation procedures are at an all-time high as women of all ages seek to amplify their natural curves. Most people will immediately point to breast implants as the only way to enhance the chest. However, you have another option: fat transfer for breast augmentation. 

Before and after results of a breast augmentation procedure at Qazi Cosmetic Center in Newport Beach, California.

What is the Difference Between a Fat Transfer vs Implants?

The primary difference between a fat transfer vs implants for breast augmentation is the material that is used to enhance the chest. Breast implants utilize a standard breast-shaped shell that is made of silicone and filled with either saline or silicone gel. This implant is inserted into the breast to create volume. A fat transfer, on the other hand, involves removing fat cells from one part of the body using liposuction and inserting those fat cells into the breasts. 

Another difference between a fat transfer and breast implants is the overall appearance of the breasts after they settle. Breasts enhanced with implants will appear more firm, rounded, and pronounced, especially if you choose a larger cup size. This is because most implants are round or teardrop-shaped; once inserted, they uniformly volumize the breasts. 

Breasts enhanced with a fat transfer are not as uniformly round, but they usually look more natural than implants. Some patients prefer this method because of how natural it is

How Do Breast Implants Work?

Most of us are probably familiar with what breast implants look like. They create instant volume in the chest to take you up a few cup sizes. One of the most desirable aspects of breast implants is that they are easy to customize to match your frame.

When you get breast implants, you have 4 decisions to make: the type of implant, the insertion method, the size of your implant, and if the implant is placed over or under the chest muscles. 

When you have your consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, Dr. Qazi and his team of plastic surgeons will discuss your options for size, placement, insertion, and material with you. The consultation is also your time to share your goals, concerns, and to ask questions. 

When you get breast implants, the procedure itself is safe and straightforward.

Before the procedure, you will receive personalized instructions on how to prepare. These instructions may include ceasing certain medications, avoiding tobacco products and alcohol, caring for your skin in a certain way, and avoiding eating at least 8 hours before the procedure. 

When you get breast implants, you will be prepped for the procedure by an experienced, compassionate team of nurses. For the procedure itself, you will receive general anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Dr. Qazi’s team of expert plastic surgeons specialize in natural-looking results with very few complications. 

After the procedure, you can expect to wake up in the recovery room with bandages covering your chest. A friend or partner will need to drive you home and take care of you for the first few days. 

As you recover, it is very important to follow all your specific post-op instructions. You will need to wear your support garment for several weeks and avoid all strenuous activities. It will also be necessary for you to change the dressings on your incisions and be very careful when you shower. 

Most patients are advised to take a week off work; if you work in a strenuous environment that requires heavy lifting, you may need to take more time off to heal. You should be fully healed within 6 to 8 weeks; your medical team will let you know when it is safe to resume your normal activities, including strenuous exercise. It can take up to 6 months for your incisions to fade and for your breasts to settle into their final shape and position. 

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    How Does a Fat Transfer Work?

    A fat transfer involves taking extra fat cells from one area of the body and injecting them into another area of the body to create volume. Patients often have fat cells taken from their waist, thighs, or abdomen to be relocated to their breasts. A fat transfer provides similar results compared to breast implants, but the procedure is slightly different.

    When you get a fat transfer at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, this is what you can expect:

    1. You will receive personalized instructions for how to best prepare for your fat transfer. These pre-op instructions are very similar to the instructions that patients receive before getting breast implants. You will need to stop taking certain medications, avoid tobacco and alcohol, limit any weight changes by keeping your diet stable, and stop eating at least 8 hours before the procedure.
    1. When you undergo a fat transfer, you will receive general anesthesia in order to keep you comfortable. 
    1. The first step of a fat transfer is liposuction. The medical team will make a small incision on the donor area, then use a cannula to vacuum out the extra fat cells. The donor area can be any part of the body that has a little extra fat. 
    1. Once the fat cells have been removed from the donor area, they will be purified to remove any extra liquids. 
    1. The fat cells will then be injected into the breasts. It is completely normal if not all the fat cells are properly absorbed. In most fat transfers, only 30-70% of the fat cells are properly absorbed within the first year. For this reason, most cosmetic surgeons will overinject in order to compensate for the variable absorption rate.
    1. After the procedure, you will have two areas to care for, the donor area and the treatment area. The recovery after a fat transfer is very comparable to the recovery for breast implants. You should plan on taking a week off work, avoiding strenuous activities, and being careful when you shower. The biggest difference between fat transfer vs implants is that, during the recovery, the donor area will be sore as well, not just your chest. 
    1. You should be fully healed and any incisions from liposuction should be completely faded within 6 to 8 weeks. Over the next year, your breasts will continue to absorb the new fat cells. The fat cells that are not absorbed will be safely broken down and metabolized by your body. 
    Before and after results from a breast augmentation performed at Qazi Cosmetic Center in Newport Beach, California.

    Fat Transfer vs Implants – Which is Better?

    The fat transfer vs implants debate has no one true answer. Some patients are a better fit for implants, while others are good candidates for a fat transfer. If you are deciding between a fat transfer and implants for breast augmentation, it is important to evaluate what is important to you. 

    Benefits of Breast Implants

    • Implants are very customizable, so you can get the exact look that you want. Follow-up procedures to fix the implants are not normally required for most patients.
    • Breast implants create a certain look and silhouette. No matter the size of the implant, the overall effect will be greater volume, rounder, and more perky. For some patients, the gravity-defying nature of their implants is a huge plus. 
    • Breast implants can be safely removed if you change your mind or want to change your implant. Depending on the type of insertion method, it may be possible for the medical team to remove the implants through the same incision used to insert them. 
    • When you get breast implants, you know exactly what to expect in terms of cup size.
    • It is possible to go larger with breast implants than it is with a fat transfer.
    • There will not be surprises when you go to buy new bras and tops after you recover. 
    • The different types of implants give you options for the texture and firmness of your breasts. 

    Benefits of Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation

    • Fat transfers use your body’s natural materials to enhance your chest, so you will not have any synthetic materials in your body. 
    • A fat transfer not only transforms your breasts, it also slims the donor area. Fat transfers are ideal for people who want bigger breasts and a slimmer figure because the procedure offers 2-in-1 lipo and augmentation. 
    • Fat transfers pose no risk to your milk production or ability to breastfeed.
    • When you get a fat transfer, you will walk away with little to no scarring. This result is only possible in breast implant procedures if the surgical team inserts the implant through the belly button. 

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      Call or text us 24 hours a day: 949.336.7293

      Is a Fat Transfer or Breast Implants Right for Me?

      If you are deciding fat transfer vs implants, the first step is to evaluate what is important to you. For example, most patients who get fat transfers want natural augmentation, and built-in body contouring. Patients who choose breast implants want precision and the ability to customize their implants.

      Another consideration is which procedure you are a good candidate for. The minimum age for breast augmentation is 18 because the breasts must be fully developed. Fat transfers can be safely performed on anyone over 18; however, you need to be over 22 for certain types of implants, otherwise, the manufacturer may not honor the warranty. 

      In order to get a fat transfer, it is important that you have another area of your body with fat cells to spare. This procedure works best for people with extra pockets of fat on their belly, back, thighs, arms, or waist. However, if you are very slim and do not have any fat cells to spare, you would not be a good candidate for a fat transfer. In that case, you would need to consider implants instead. 

      Fat Transfer vs Implants for Breast Augmentation

      Schedule a Consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic to Learn More!

      The best way to determine if a fat transfer vs implants is right for you is to schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic. Dr. Qazi can evaluate which procedure you are a good candidate for and recommend a treatment that will best achieve your goals. 

      Meet Dr. Nadir Qazi

      While growing up in Chicago, I struggled for years with severe acne and scarring. Dealing with constant comments about my skin, especially from friends and family, wasn’t easy. That feeling of isolation and defeat hit me hard. Many around me were in the same position, yet there were very limited solutions available. This led me to determine my mission: to tirelessly build a unique medical practice where compassion meets science, providing proper care for every overlooked skin type and tone. At my Center, my team and I offer only clinically proven treatments that I have personally researched. My goal is to help others achieve their dreams, breaking free from the constraints of their physical appearance, and to be the support I needed the most.

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