Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Scottsdale, AZ

Fat transfer breast augmentation is a procedure where harvested fat from one area on the patient’s body is transferred to their breasts for natural augmentation. (1)  Breast augmentation with fat transfer does not require the use of prosthetic implants. Instead, it utilizes fat from the patient’s own body to improve breast shape and size. The procedure thus carries a lower risk for rejection and other complications associated with synthetic breast implants. Breast augmentation with fat transfer results in a modest increase in breast size, usually by between one-half and one cup size. Results are permanent with minimal scarring. 
Perhaps you’d like to enhance your breast size but worry about the use of artificial materials to do so. Maybe you seek results that are subtle rather than dramatic, and a noticeable, natural-looking improvement is what you desire. Fat transfer breast augmentation provides an effective alternative to implants with fewer scars, no risk of contracture, and a realistic shape and feel.

Dr. Robert G. Bonillas and the team of Scottsdale Plastics have helped many patients to achieve enhanced breast contours through fat transfer. Our breast augmentation fat transfer procedures have also led to improved self-confidence in numerous patients. If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation fat transfer and if it may be for you, contact us today at our Scottsdale office at (480) 245-6380, or via our online contact form.

Before and After Photos


Breast augmentation fat transfer is a three-step process that involves liposuction, filtration, and transfer.  (2) In liposuction, an area with excess fat will be chosen to suction fat. The process will involve general anesthesia and the use of tumescent solution, which is a mixture of lidocaine, epinephrine, and saline that causes fat cells to swell for easy suctioning. Common areas for liposuction include the flanks, abdomen, inner thigh, and arms. The area selected for liposuction will depend on the natural fat distribution of each patient.
Next, the aspirated fat will go through a filtration process to remove impurities from the solution. Once filtered, only healthy fat cells should remain. The fat cells will then be grafted onto the patient’s breasts at various entry points to create a fuller, shaplier breast size and contour.
Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic procedure in the United States.  (1) Augmentation through fat transfer has specifically grown in popularity for various reasons because it offers a natural increase in volume through the use of a patient’s own excess fat, rather than through the use of saline or silicone implants. Fat transfer is also less invasive than implants. As a result, patients experience a shorter recovery time and minimal scarring. Breast implants require moderately-sized incisions that fade over time, while fat transfer scarring is barely detectable due to the small size of the incisions.

A More Natural Look Than Breast Implants 

Fat transfer can also be used to complement breast implants to achieve a pillowy look and feel. The procedure can add the fine detail needed to round out irregularities in volume and symmetry. Fat transfer can also disguise edges of an implant to achieve a more seamless appearance.
Furthermore, important to note is that not all fat will graft to the treated site. Therefore, multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome.


Breast augmentation fat transfer is generally well-tolerated by patients since fat is autologous, or comes from the patient’s own body. Benefits of the procedure include:

  • Minimal scarring
  • Permanent results
  • More symmetrical contoura
  • Subtle, natural enhancements
  • Fine-tunes breast implant results
  • Increase in breast size up to one cup
  • Sculpts multiple regions in one procedure for an improvement in the body’s overall shape 


You may be a good candidate for fat transfer breast augmentation if:

  • You have had implants removed
  • You have realistic expectations for the procedure 
  • You experience asymmetry and/or depressions in the breasts
  • You have lost volume in the breasts as a result of pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • You are a woman who has have experienced capsular contractions with implants

Breast augmentation fat transfer provides subtle results for an increase of up to two cup sizes.  Therefore, you will not be a candidate if you want a more dramatic enhancement. Additionally, thin patients may be ineligible for the procedure if you do not have enough excess fat on the body to transfer to the breasts. We will be glad to consult with you to learn more about your case and if you may be eligible for this procedure.

Personal Consultation

Dr. Bonillas takes great passion in helping patients to improve their lives. He has helped many women to gain a new sense of confidence in their bodies through breast augmentation fat transfer. In your consultation, we will discuss your goals for breast enhancement, and if breast augmentation fat transfer may be an effective procedure for you. We will also provide detailed information about the procedure including what to expect during and post-procedure. Additionally, we can share various before and after images to give you an idea of the results that can be achieved through breast augmentation fat transfer. From here, we will develop a personalized treatment plan. If you’re ready to take the next step, set up a consultation today (480) 245-6380, or through our online contact form.


Patients should follow preparation guidelines as closely as possible to achieve effective results from breast augmentation fat transfer. Guidelines include:

  • Two weeks prior, avoid alcohol to reduce additional bruising
  • Arrange for a trusted person to drive you home after the procedure
  • Three weeks before, avoid smoking and consuming nicotine-based products
  • Fill prescriptions in advance to have them available once recovering at home
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications, vitamins, and supplements such as NSAIDs, Motrin, Advil, and ibuprofen, Vitamin A&E, ginkgo biloba, and green tea extract


Breast augmentation fat transfer takes about three to five hours, and will require the use of general anesthesia. The steps are as follows: 

  • Markings: Your doctor will make markings on the areas to receive liposuction and the areas on the breast to receive injected fat.  (2)
  • Liposuction: Fat cells will be aspirated from a chosen area on the body with excess fat, using a thin needle called a cannula.
  • Filtration: Harvested fat is placed in a centrifuge to separate out contaminants (e.g. blood, oil, lidocaine, damaged fat cells), leaving only the healthy fat cells.
  • Fat transfer: Healthy fat cells will be injected into various points on the breast in different tissue layers for even, voluminous distribution. 


Recovery will vary among patients depending on the number of areas treated, and individual healing timeline. The recovery period is generally two to three weeks. At this time, you should avoid strenuous exercise for several weeks. Dr. Bonillas may also equip you with a compression garment or surgical bra to reduce swelling and allow results to settle into place long-term. Drainage tubes may be placed underneath the skin to drain excess fluid from areas treated with liposuction and fat transfer. Most patients return to work after about one week


Full results can take up to six months to take shape. By this time, the remaining fat will have successfully grafted to the breast tissues for permanent results. Patients generally express high satisfaction and overall experience low complication rates from the procedure. 

Cost of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation in Scottsdale

Breast augmentation fat transfer cost will vary among patients. The procedure includes two separate procedures: liposuction and then fat transfer. The total cost will also be dependent on anesthesia fees; facility costs; medical tests; post surgical garments; medication; and any additional fees. Breast augmentation fat transfer is considered an elective cosmetic procedure, and therefore likely won’t be covered by insurance. We can provide an approximate cost quote in a  one-on-one consultation, as well help develop a financing plan as needed. 


What is the difference between the use of fat transfer versus the use of implants for breast augmentation?

Both procedures provide augmentation of the breasts. Breast implants require incisions that leave scarring which fades with time. Breast augmentation fat transfer requires tiny incisions which heal more quickly and are undetectable once healed. As a result, recovery time differs as well. Implants require weeks for recovery, while fat transfer breast augmentation requires days before patients can begin to resume gentle activity.
Additionally, implants last about 10 years, but in most cases require revision surgery for upkeep. Breast augmentation fat transfer offers permanent results. Additionally, breast augmentation fat transfer provides subtle enhancement of up to one cup size, while implants provide significant–enhancement of one to two cup sizes.


  1. Salibian AA, Frey JD, Bekisz JM, Choi M, Karp NS. Fat Grafting and Breast Augmentation: A Systematic Review of Primary Composite Augmentation. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2019 Jul 24;7(7):e2340. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000002340. 
  2. Li FC, Chen B, Cheng L. Breast augmentation with autologous fat injection: a report of 105 cases. Ann Plast Surg. 2014 Sep;73 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S37-42. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000271