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Sieber Plastic Surgery San Francisco

Fat transfer breast augmentation risks: Fat transfer is an overall safe procedure that can have fantastic results for women looking to increase their breast size.

When compared with breast augmentation, the procedure doesn’t require implants, which means no foreign body-related risks such as leaking or capsular contracture. And because large incisions aren’t necessary for the fat transfer process, there’s no significant scarring as is sometimes the case with breast lift surgery. 

With that said, it’s important to emphasize that all surgeries come with at least some potential risks. So, what are the risks of fat transfer to breast surgery? 

Let’s take a look at three to know about before moving forward with this procedure.

Fat transfer Breast Augmentation risks:

1. Fat Reabsorption

The fat transfer risks breast augmentation is fat reabsorption. This occurs when your surgeon transfers fat cells from other parts of your body to your breasts, but they don’t adhere to the new location.

Surgeons who are highly skilled at the fat transfer breast augmentation process know that a large percentage of the fat cells that are transferred are automatically going to be absorbed by the patient’s body. This is normal and to be expected. For this reason, surgeons generally transfer a surplus of fat cells to the breasts so that any that are absorbed won’t affect the final outcome.

If your surgeon does not take into account fat reabsorption or if too much of the relocated fat is absorbed into the body, your results may be diminished.

2. Fat Necrosis

If you opt for breast augmentation using fat transfer, there is also the risk of fat necrosis.

Fat necrosis is basically when breast tissue becomes damaged or dies. This results in hardened lumps (or sometimes, oil cysts) that may appear on the breasts after the fat transfer procedure. While the issue here is not necessarily dangerous, it can certainly cause cosmetic problems for the patient as it will result in unevenly contoured breasts. The lumps or cysts may also end up being uncomfortable and even painful as well.

Other symptoms related to fat necrosis include calcified lumps mixed with oil cysts, bruising and redness around the lumps, pain surrounding the lumps or cysts, discoloration of the skin, and an overall change in the shape and size of the breasts. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact your surgeon right away.

3. Infection

Any surgery comes with a risk of infection. Fortunately, it is rare for a fat transfer augmentation to result in infection. 

With that said, if you are a smoker, have a weakened immune system, or have other risk factors for developing infections, it’s important to speak with your surgeon about these possible complications before scheduling your surgery. An infection after surgery can become a potentially life-threatening situation.

What If I Have an Unnatural-Looking Outcome?

Most patients opt for a fat transfer procedure because they want a natural outcome instead of very noticeably bigger breasts — as may occur with implants. Achieving a natural fat transfer breast augmentation is relatively easy because you will be using your body’s own fat to adjust the size of your breasts. No foreign bodies (implants) are necessary and recovery can be quicker

If you undergo this procedure and end up with an outcome you are unhappy with — for example, if you have lumps or cysts due to fat necrosis or the size of your breasts isn’t as large as you had wanted — you should speak with your surgeon as soon as possible.

One thing to remember, however, is that the final size and overall appearance of your breasts is not going to be apparent until full healing has taken place. For this reason, you will want to wait until you are completely healed from the fat transfer risks process before determining whether you are truly unhappy with your outcome.

FAQs: Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Risks

Which is better breast augmentation or fat transfer?

There are pros and cons of fat transfer breast augmentation and traditional (implant) breast augmentation. The procedure that will work best for you will largely depend on how large you want your breasts. 

If you’re looking for a big change and a significant increase in the size of your breasts, you may want to opt for augmentation with implants. Fat transfer breast augmentation is often better for moderate size increases and a more natural look.

How many cup sizes can you go up with fat transfer?

The fat transfer breast augmentation technique cannot drastically increase the size of your breasts. Most patients are able to go up about one cup size with this procedure.

Is a fat transfer breast augmentation worth it?

For the majority of patients, absolutely. Most patients who opt for fat transfer breast augmentation are extremely happy with their results after 5 years.

Learn about Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Risks: Book Consult

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation RisksOverall, the fat transfer breast augmentation procedure is very safe. Moreover, it’s an excellent option for women who want a modest increase to their breast size and natural-looking results.

Dr. David Sieber is always happy to answer any questions related to breast surgery or other cosmetic procedures. Whether you have more inquiries related to breast fat transfer risks or questions about another procedure, a consultation is the best way to get your answers. 

Call today to book your consultation with Dr. Sieber. We look forward to hearing from you.   


Dr. Dave Sieber and his staff are so awesome! Dr. Sieber is personable yet professional, his work is impeccable. He listens to his patient and works with them to achieve what they want. He’s like my hair dresser, a magician, you just want to do a happy dance with the results, only these results are lasting. Ok, but seriously, the procedure was very smooth, the staff and the doctors (Dr Sieber and the anesthesiologist) had great communication and made sure I was comfortable with very clear and concise pre op and post op directions. The healing process was very easy and the results are FABULOUS. Side note, Dr. Sieber has really awesome skin, I feel like this is impressive and important because really, would you trust a dentist with bad teeth? I am so elated and satisfied with the results, the size is perfect and they look and feel very natural. They are exactly what I wanted.*

SF Scientist

Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is a doctor who is not only extremely knowledgeable about the latest in cosmetic procedures, but a doctor who truly cares about his patients. I highly recommend him!*


Dr. Sieber is attentive, responsive, and well trained. I had seen him for Botox and filler and he had done both without any pain or bruising and more importantly the results were fabulous. He has met with me on time at each appointment. He communicates what to expect, made sure I was comfortable throughout the procedure, checked on my healing every day post procedure. He couldn’t be more delightful not more talented. I had seen other plastic surgeons for in office treatments over the past decade and Dr. Sieber is at the top of the list in terms of delivering the desired outcome and high quality care.*

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