Breast Fat Transfer

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in breast fat transfer. I am average in weight and size (5″8 and 137lbs), but seem to develop fat around my obliques (stomach and lower back) and arms much more than the rest of my body; plus I have very small breasts and buttocks. I am very healthy and no matter how much I work out and eat a great diet, those areas of fat won’t budge. I would like to transfer fat from my stomach, lower back, and arms toward my breasts (and possibly my butt depending on the cost). How experienced is your team in breast fat transfers, because I know that it takes multiple people to keep the fat alive while transferring it?

A: While any fat harvested from liposuction can be used for transfer, it is not likely you will have much to actually put into the breasts. And most certainly there would not be enough for both breasts and buttocks. Thus you would need to concentrate any fat harvested for your breast fat transfer.

To give you some perspective on what success breast fat transfer may achieve in breast augmentation, it is important to understand the ‘halfing’ rule. The relevance of this is in getting a visual idea of how much breast size increase may realistically be obtainable. To start let’s make the basic asssumption that it takes about 150cc of fat (or an implant) to make a cup size difference. I will assume based on your description that between the stomach, arms and lower back you may have 1200ccs to harvest. (and that may be a generous estimate but I will use this number) When this amount of liposuction aspirate is then concentrated during surgery (and it is not true that it takes multiple people to keep the fat alive), it usually amounts to in women that around 40% will be end up being concentrated fat and available for injection. This leaves 480cc to be evenly divided between the breasts or 240cc injected per breasts. Then one can estimate that only 50% or half if the injected amount will survive or 120cc per breast. (the percent survival could be higher or lower…but it is almost always lower and rarely higher)

In conclusion you may be able to get a 1/2 cup size breast increase and that is if you can get 1200ccs aspirate and 50% of what is injected survives. The point being is that you might as well take whatever fat is harvested and use it for transfer into the breast but at best the breast augmentation result will be very modest in size. It is important, therefore, to have very realistic expectations. I would consider your procedure as liposuction first and anything that comes of the breast augmentation efforts as a bonus result.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana