Sometimes women need a breast lift to lift sagging breast tissue and low-hanging areolas. Most often, it is the result of breast-feeding, weight loss, or simply aging. Often though, the deflated breasts may also need a little more roundness across the upper poles after the breasts are lifted. If only a little more fullness is needed, then there may be an alternative to adding breast implants: Fat Transfer.

Fat Transfer involves liposuctioning fat from elsewhere on the body and transferring it via injections to the areas of the upper breasts. Fat transfer may also be referred to as fat grafting. The fat that is “moved to its new home” must get a blood supply from your breast in order to survive, but typically not all of the graft actually becomes completely permanent. You can expect about half of the total volume of fat transferred to survive. Often a surgeon will overfill the area to allow for some of the graft to deplete.

Additionally, fat transfer to the breast may be a great alternative when symmetry is an issue, and implants are not really practical. Sometimes a little more “plumping” on one side or the other may be all that is needed. This is often done to correct defects created by biopsies or lumpectomies too.

Despite some concerns, research has also shown that fat grafting to the breast does not increase the risk of breast cancer.