Fat Transfer – Breast Augmentation, Pros/Cons and Cost

Probably all of us want to transfer fat from one place of our body to another. While that might seem like fantasy it’s an option that many can benefit from. And with a safe procedure that doesn’t require implants. The procedure you might be interested in is called fat transfer or fat grafting.

This is a plastic surgery procedure in which fat is harvested from one part of the body to another. It can be used all over the body but it’s most popular for the face – if you want to enhance your cheeks or treat areas that have lost volume due to ageing. It can also be used to lift the buttocks or even to increase breast size.

A lot of people opt for fat transfer because of the natural look you can achieve. The results using fat transfer look and feel more natural compared to implants which are why the procedure has become more and more popular.

In this article we’re going to talk about all the things you need to know about fat transfer – it’s pros and cons, results you might expect as well as the costs in Singapore.

How is Fat Transfer Performed?

Generally speaking, fat transfer is a plastic surgery procedure including taking fat from a part of the body (usually the abdomen or inner thigh) and then putting it somewhere on the body. The procedure is also called autologous fat transfer or fat grafting. Autologous fat transfer is used to augment soft tissues as well as in reconstructive surgery. But the process is not that easy. Let’s get into the details.

medical professional doing a liposuction on a patient

The fat is harvested through a procedure called liposuction (you probably already know about it). The liposuction performed for the sake of fat grafting is usually not massive. The liposuction is made by sucking out the needed amount of fat through small incisions which as closed with stitches after the procedure.

After that, the fat is separated from any blood and other fluids through filtration to prepare it for fat transfer. After that, the surgeon or other medical professional will place the clarified fat onto the desired area (and you’ll get a fat injection).

Fat grafting is an outpatient procedure which means you don’t have to stay at the hospital. The procedure itself might last for a few hours. Fat transfer is not considered major surgery but if you treat a large area, you might need more than 1 treatment. Also, fat transfer is usually carried through general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia.

How long do the results last?

Unlike dermal fillers, fat transfer yields permanent results. That’s because the fat cells just continue to live in the new area. During the procedure, the surgeon will put more of the fat into the targeted rea because not all of the transferred fat will survive. Some of the fat cells will die in 6 months (it’s called fat transfer reabsorption) and you’ll see a slight difference. After that, however, the results should remain permanent.

That being said, it’s important to note that fat transfer will not prevent the ageing process forever.

The results of the fat transfer also depend on the skills of the surgeon. A skilled professional will harvest the fat and inject it without risk for the final results.

Can anyone get fat grafting?

Even though it’s a safe procedure, fat grafting is not for everyone. The first and most important thing you have to know is that you need enough fat on your body so that it can be transferred later. There are also specifics in receiving fat on different areas of the body – treating the face is different than getting breast augmentation, for example. Here are all of the specifics summarized:

  • Facial fat transfer: It’s best for people who have deep wrinkles, laugh lines and general loss of volume. It’s also suitable for patients who want to treat acne scars.
  • Fat transfer Breast augmentation: It’s suitable for patients who already have a good natural breast shape. With fat grafting you can’t get a significant increase in the breast size, so you might want to consider other options if you want.
  • Reconstructive surgery: Fat grafting is also an option for patients who have had lumpectomy or mastectomy. With fat grafting, you would need more than 1 surgery.
  • Butt lift: Suitable for people who want to enhance the size of their buttocks without implants. The surgeon will perform liposuction on the surrounding area and then inject it into the buttocks.

Fat Transfer Risks and Side Effects

As a plastic surgery procedure, there are some potential risks and side effects you’d want to consider. Overall, however, the fat grafting is performed without major problems and complications are not that common. Some possible side effects you might experience are bruising and swelling. Bruising usually goes away on its own. The other risks are associated with a general surgical procedure such as allergic reactions, infections, or damage to the surrounding tissue.

A lot of the risks associated with fat grafting can be minimized by choosing the right surgeon. Some tips on finding the best plastic surgeon in Singapore is to always do your research and look for experienced and licensed professionals.

Benefits of Fat Grafting

Compared to some cosmetic surgeries that rely on implants, fat grafting is considered as a ‘natural’ surgery by a lot of patients. The biggest benefit of fat grafting is that it uses your tissue so you don’t have to worry about rejection. Also, it’s a safe procedure that doesn’t require additional surgeries (except if you’re treating larger areas). Furthermore, you won’t have to stay at the hospital and it’s relatively painless too.

How much fat can I inject at once?

We can’t say a specific number but you have to be aware that you’d need enough healthy fat tissue if you want to get fat grafting. So usually, if you want a larger increase in your buttocks or your breasts, you’d need more than 1 surgery.

How about aftercare?

To achieve the most optimal results then you do have to follow your surgeon’s advice for aftercare. He or she will give you detailed advice on things you have to follow to ensure you get the results you want. You are likely going to take antibiotics to prevent any infections after the procedure. At this stage, it’s important to not take any medications that cause blood thinning such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Your doctor will tell you when you can take such medications again but it’s usually 2 weeks after surgery.

Also, it’s important to avoid smoking for at least 3 weeks after the surgery. That’s because smoking can affect your circulation and thus hinder your results.

After the procedure, you might use cold compresses to minimize the swelling. Your doctor will also advise you to sleep with your head elevated for a month following the surgery.

The cost you might expect in Singapore

man holding a debit or credit card

The final cost for fat grafting in Singapore will depend on various factors. Also, as this is a cosmetic procedure, your insurance will not cover the costs. Those include the area you treat and the overall cost for the surgeon’s fee or anaesthesia fees. If you decide to get fat grafting to enhance your breast size, then the price will be comparable to that of traditional breast augmentation using implants. For breast enhancement fat grafting you might expect a cost of up to 20,000$. That’s because for breasts or the buttocks area you might need more than one surgery. For smaller areas such as the face or arms, you might pay up to 8000$.