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Uses & applications of fat transfer surgery

Fat may be moved from an undesirable spot in the body to add volume to an area that can use it, like the breast. We have learned that fat not only adds volume and fullness but also a stem cell effect, where tissues actually rejuvenate. Skin looks better. Trauma from radiation or scars improves.

What is fat transfer surgery like?

How ideal—moving fat from a “bad” area to enhance another area that needs it! Liposuction is performed on an area that would benefit, like the abdomen, thighs or back. This fat is then purified and injected into the face, breast or buttocks to enhance its contours and provide a fuller aesthetic.

Particularly when thinking about the breasts, a slimmer abdomen will make the chest look that much better when enhanced with fat. Inconspicuous, tiny incisions are all that is necessary, and recovery only takes about a week.

Can Breast Augmentation be achieved without Implants?

Yes. Breast Augmentation may be performed with fat removed from a body region like the abdomen, back, inner/outer thighs or arms and transferred to the breasts through barely visible scars. This is a fairly conservative method of augmentation with increase in size after one surgical fat transfer about ½ to 1 cup size. Ultimate size of the breast is not fully predictable with fat transfer as some of the fat may absorb and disappear. Typically “take” and maintenance of fat ranges from 70-100%. Multiple surgical fat transfers may be performed to increase size outcome.

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Before & Afters

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Who is a good candidate for breast fat transfer surgery?

Good candidates are women interested in the improvement of visible edges around reconstructive or cosmetic implants, or women who desire a minimal to moderate increase in bust size without resorting to traditional breast implants. This is breast enhancement with your own tissue.

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Options

Breast augmentation and asymmetry correction

This fat transfer option provides natural looking and feeling breast enhancement without implants. Breast asymmetry and tuberous breasts can be difficult to correct with implants alone, but fat transfer provides excellent correction for breast asymmetry. Fat transfer can be used alone or in conjunction with implants and provides the added benefit of liposuction in areas of your choice, such as the abdomen, flanks or thighs.

Breast implant revision with fat

Because breast implants don’t last forever, they do sometimes need to be removed or replaced. Fat transfer is an outstanding implant replacement because it provides natural, long term augmentation. Breast implant revision using fat transfer can allow patients to maintain or even increase their breast size.

Fat transfer breast augmentation with lift

This procedure allows patients to achieve fuller, lifted, youthful-looking and attractive breasts by combining fat transfer augmentation with a breast lift procedure.

Before & After

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What is the recovery like for fat transfer surgery?

Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. One may experience temporary discomfort, swelling, or numbness. Most women resume regular activity within a week. You may require a binder or a girdle with some foam padding to assure a nice, smooth result. As time passes, some fat does get absorbed, possibly up to 50%. Liposuction results are unaffected and permanent with proper diet and exercise.

Benefits of Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer

  • Increased breast volume
  • Achieve a fuller, rounder, more lifted look without implants
  • With implants, improve natural appearance by providing more coverage and contour in the cleavage.
  • After deciding to remove implants, fullness can be approximated with natural fat
  • Achieve a more attractive, youthful appearance while gaining optimal contours in another body region
  • Minimal scarring

Undergoing additional treatments

The way you look and feel directly affects your self-confidence. In addition to treating Baltimore breast fat transfer patients, Dr. Shermak takes care of many Baltimore abdominoplasty, body lift, and facial plastic surgery patients. Please visit these pages to learn more about the other cosmetic procedures offered.

What are reasonable expectations with augmentation of the breast with fat?

Breast size may increase up to 1 cup size, but no more. Breast augmentation through a fat transfer particularly improves the upper part of the breast, creating better harmony between the breast and chest. Some women undergo 2 or 3 treatments to get larger size outcomes.

Preparing for Surgery

Prior to surgery, health status should be optimized as much as possible, without embarking on a brand new lifestyle. Healthy diet, exercise and vitamins are great to aid in proper healing. Dr. Shermak requires smokers stop smoking for at least 3 months. Dr. Shermak may also ask you to have a mammogram prior to your surgery, definitely if you are over 40 years of age and have not had a mammogram in over a year.

For the week prior to your surgery, stop taking aspirin and specific anti-inflammatory drugs or supplements. These drugs and supplements thin the blood and can cause oozing during your procedure, so it’s important to stop taking them before your surgery.

Recovery after Surgery

Recovery after Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation as a stand alone procedure is quick. After allowing for about 4 days to allow medications from surgery to be excreted from your body, you will be able to drive and start doing your regular non-exertional activities. Within 2 weeks you should be back at the gym, living with your regular routine.

What is the cost of fat transfer surgery?

The cost of breast augmentation with fat transfer varies from patient to patient, based on each individual’s needs, associated procedures and size goals. Your specific procedural costs will depend on how much fat will need to be transferred and whether you would like to have more liposuction than what is required for the fat transfer to your breasts or other procedures, like implant placement or removal.

Patients may want to harvest fat from a single area of their body or from multiple sites. The extent of liposuction will affect both the amount of surgical time and the cost of the treatment.

The cost of natural fat-transfer breast augmentation is $7,500 - $8,000.

Breast Fat Transfer — Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it be until I can return to work after breast fat transfer?

Wait one week before returning to work after your fat transfer.

How long should I wait until I drive again after my breast augmentation fat transfer?

Wait for 5-7 days before driving again after breast fat transfer.

When can I exercise again after fat transfer breast augmentation?

Wait for two weeks before you engage in light exercise, and wait for four weeks before engaging in more strenuous exercise.

How long does the fat transfer last?

As long as you maintain a stable weight, your final results will last for years and may be considered permanent.

What procedures can I combine with fat transfer breast augmentation?

Fat transfer breast augmentation can be combined with a tummy tuck, more extensive liposuction or a facelift.

How much can you increase breast size with fat transfer?

One session of fat grafting can help you increase your breasts by 1 to 1.5 cup sizes.

Are fat transfers safer than implants?

Fat transfer is considered to be a safer option than breast implant surgery.

Do the results of a breast fat transfer feel natural?

One of the best benefits of breast fat transfer is the fact that the results feel and look completely natural, the way your natural breasts typically would, only they are larger, rounder and fuller.

How much fat do you need for fat transfer breast augmentation?

Dr. Shermak will need to harvest at least 1,000 milliliters of pure fat, or about two and half pounds.

Do you need more than one procedure for breast fat transfer?

While one procedure is enough for many patients, others may require four to six sessions to achieve their ideal results.

Moving forward with your Baltimore breast fat transfer

We invite you to call Dr. Shermak’s Maryland plastic surgery office at 410-324-6592 to schedule your personal consultation today. In the meantime, please visit our online library of before and after photography to better anticipate your breast fat transfer results.

A word from Dr. Shermak: Natural breast augmentation,
an alternative to breast implant augmentation


Many women pursue Breast Augmentation to help improve proportions in the body and rejuvenate breasts that may have deflated from either pregnancy or weight loss. Traditionally breast augmentation was only performed with Breast Implants, either gel- or saline-filled. Now there is a different option – fat! Fat may be suctioned out of one or multiple body areas and moved into the breast to provide enhanced size and appearance. Fat Transfer may be performed as a primary augmentation method, as a boost to the cleavage in Breast Lift, or to refresh and fill the breast after implant removal.

How is this done?

First you would come in for a consultation, where I will review your medical and surgical history, as well as personal and family breast history. A physical examination of the breasts including measurements helps me to identify the best options to meet the aestheticgoals stated. Fat transfer typically will allow for increase in a half to a full cup size. The fat not only provides nice volume but also a stem cell effect that improves the appearance of the nipple and skin. Fat volume that may be moved into the breast is paradoxically limited by the baseline breast size. If there is a desire or greater need for larger increase, multiple fat transfer sessions may be planned, or implants might provide a better option. I will identify sites in the torso and extremities from which fat can be suctioned, even in thin women.

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Duration of surgery is typically no longer than 2 to 3 hours, depending on fat donor sites. The procedure is performed as an outpatient. Downtime is short, typically no more than one week. I tell my patients they will likely expect to return to normal exertional physical activities 2 weeks after surgery.

Fat Transfer provides a wonderful option for women looking to naturally freshen and enhance their breast appearance while benefiting from fat removal of the torso or extremities, a “win-win,” without depending on Breast Implants.

Check out my Photo Gallery here. And call my office for consultation at 410-616-3000. I look forward to seeing you!

1304 Bellona Avenue Suite 100, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

Dr. Michele Shermak offers some of the top cosmetic procedures Baltimore, MD has to offer
including Baltimore breast augmentation & liposuction

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$100 in office consultation fee. If patient decides to go ahead with the treatment, that $100 will be credited towards the procedure

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COVID-19 Update 03/15/2022

This is a new day, with new safety protocols. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and respect the continued concerns COVID-19 may present.

The state of Maryland is now fortunately downgraded to Yellow Status. COVID stress on the medical system has lessened and most areas in the state no longer mandate masks.

Currently in our office we are maintaining sterile surfaces and compulsive cleaning protocols – as always. We are requesting information about vaccination status, to particularly better help us prepare for patients interested in surgical procedures.

We are not mandating masks. We do respect our patients’ wishes and will wear a mask when requested to do so. We want our patients to be absolutely comfortable. All of our staff are vaccinated.

This is certainly an evolving issue and we will continue to pivot as COVID statistics change – hopefully for the better! Thank you!