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What is fat transfer breast augmentation?

If you’re unhappy with the size of your breasts but want a subtle boost rather than a dramatic change, fat grafting offers a more natural alternative to silicone or saline breast implants. Some women experiencing complications from breast implants may seek fat transfer as another option to maintain breast volume following implant removal.

Dr. Placik’s Chicago fat transfer breast augmentation involves taking fat cells from another area of your body, normally the hips, and then injecting the viable cells into your breasts to increase breast volume. Utilizing the hips as donor sites to narrow the waist have the complimentary effects of enhancing the appearance and relative volume of the breast augmentation.

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Chicago

Breast Fat Transfer

Recognized as one of the best breast surgeons in Chicago and the surrounding area, Dr. Otto Placik is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast enhancement procedures. In addition to breast enlargement through fat grafting, Dr. Placik also offers breast augmentation with implants, along with a full range of facial cosmetic surgery and body contouring procedures to help you feel and look your best. Dr. Placik has been distinguished as the first Illinois plastic surgeon participating in a national IRB investigation on the use of the BRAVA device in combination with fat transfer augmentation.

Please contact us online or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on fat transfer breast augmentation, including prices.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in Chicago

Dr. Otto Joseph Placik Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago and an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University where he also completed residencies in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery.


About Fat Transfer Augmentation

Many women are unaware that an alternative to increasing breast size with implants even exists. Yet, while Dr. Placik’s Chicago fat transfer augmentation may not be as well-known as breast implants, the right candidates can see beautiful results. Because the process uses fat cells from your own body, breast augmentation through fat grafting is truly all-natural, allowing you to enjoy larger breasts that are comprised of organic fatty tissue, just like your existing breasts.

Fat transfer breast augmentation may require preparation of the breasts with special external expansion devices such as the BRAVA® or Noogleberry® in order to optimize survival of the fat. These are not always necessary particularly in instances where implants are currently in place. Fat transfer can be used to treat patients with breast asymmetry, such as Poland’s syndrome, Pectus excavatum, chest wall irregularities or constricted or tuberous (tubular) breast deformity.

How is fat transfer breast augmentation performed?

Fat transfer breast augmentation in Chicago is a two-step process that first begins with liposuction to collect living fat cells. Typically, the fat is removed from selected donor sites such as the hips, thighs, abdomen, arms and more. The slimming effect of liposuction in the donor area is an added benefit for women who pursue fat transfer augmentation. Once enough fat cells are collected, Dr. Placik will strategically inject the fat into your breasts in order to add volume and create soft, even contours. In patients with sufficient donor sites or in those desiring additional augmentation, additional procedures may be accomplished at a later date (typically 6 months) in order to achieve even greater volume.

fat transfer breast augmentation diagram

Fat Transfer Augmentation
Patient Not a Model

Fat Transfer Augmentation FAQ


Not everyone will be a good candidate for this type of breast enlargement. Because there are limitations as to how much fat can be removed from the body and placed into the breasts, fat transfer augmentation is best suited for patients who hope to achieve a modest increase in breast volume, typically up to one cup size. Additionally, very slender patients may not have sufficient body fat to see an optimum outcome.


The average price of fat transfer breast augmentation varies based on factors such as how much and where liposuction is performed and whether additional procedures are included at the same time. The total surgery fee will include the costs associated with the use of the surgery center, as well as anesthesiologist fees and Dr. Placik’s fees. Expansion devices are variably priced but typically cost less than implants. Dr. Placik and his staff strive to provide excellent value and can help you with cosmetic surgery financing to make your procedure even more affordable.


There are some distinct advantages in using fat grafting to increase breast size. However, there are some unique considerations that relate to the volume of fat transferred and the consequences of fat survival and implications for accomplishing a desired breast size as well as effects on future breast imaging. The results you’ll receive from fat transfer augmentation are long lasting, and you don’t have to be concerned about whether you’ll need additional surgeries to remove or replace implants. Some lumps may result as a consequence of fat loss and may require evaluation. Breast augmentation via fat grafting also avoids the risk of implant displacement, malposition, and rippling. However, the procedure does have its limitations too. Rather than asking which option is better, the real question is whether a woman is a better candidate for one type of augmentation over another. The priority should always be on the technique that will deliver the best results for your goals.


Over many years of performing fat transfers in Chicago, Dr. Placik has found that some donor areas deliver better results more consistently than others. Although Dr. Placik will make every effort to harvest fat from an area you prefer to have slimmed down, whether that area is a possibility will be determined during your physical exam at your consultation.


Just like with any surgery, there are risks associated with fat transfer augmentation. Although this procedure typically doesn’t produce any side effects, it’s possible that you could develop an infection, have a negative reaction to the anesthesia or be dissatisfied with the final results. Loss of some of the transferred fat is inevitable and will produce a slight decrease in size from the immediate results but may also form lumps or cysts that require additional evaluation. In some cases, the procedure may need to be repeated in order to achieve the desired increase in breast size. During your consultation, Dr. Placik will discuss all potential side effects so that you’re fully informed before your procedure.

Dr. Placik promises you his best possible care and attention. If you would like to schedule a private consultation to learn more about fat transfer breast augmentation in Chicago, please contact us online or call us at 847-398-1660.


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation


Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

Updated March 24th, 2020

With businesses all around us closing by either mandate or voluntarily you may be wondering how long we will continue to operate, or even why we are still open at this point.

After serious consideration and in line with the recommendations of our State and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we are limiting the practice until April 7th.

We are diligently monitoring conditions and recommendations from professional organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and understand that the situation is ever-changing and may alter our plans at any point in the future

As physicians, we are cognizant of protecting our own patient population most at risk and the need to conserve our own limited resources. Actions have already been taken to postpone or cancel appointments and surgeries for patients who are best served staying home to limit potential exposure. We have also canceled or rescheduled appointments for services that are not immediately necessary in many cases.

Effective immediately the following will occur:

  • All procedures and in-person consultations will be limited until April 7th. This may be revised in the following week.
  • The office will be (not fully) staffed, and we will see our urgent post-surgical follow-ups.
  • We are instituting Virtual Consultations for all potential patients.
  • Many surgeries are rescheduled and some of the ones that are committed will occur on a per case basis.
  • No patient will ever have any financial recourse for our fees for rescheduling their procedures.

We are constantly updating our services and staffing according to the local and national recommendations and will always place your health and well-being as our top priority.

We continue to exercise all the latest recommendations that are handed down by the CDC. These include:

Staff have been fully informed and trained to understand the disease process and its modes of transmission.

  • All staff, vendors and ancillary personnel are being asked to refrain from coming to this office if they have any signs or symptoms of a cold or an upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Every patient is also being asked to refrain from coming to the office if they have any symptoms.
  • We are asking our patients about any pertinent travel history.
  • Hand-washing continues to be the most important mode of prevention. Although it is a part of what we constantly do, now we are doing so with heightened vigilance and attention.
  • We have instituted a “no handshakes no hug” policy for now.
  • We have asked all vendors that any unnecessary meetings are canceled until further notice.
  • Any exit and entrance from our office are followed by a protocol of changing shoes, scrubs and sanitization.
  • As we are an (NO accredited) medical facility, we are constantly sanitizing all surfaces. We have now vamped that up and our routine, multiple times a day, wiping down all surfaces, desks, door handles, keyboards and restroom facilities. (We have assigned a person that does so on a constant basis.)

As previous communications have shared, procedures and protocols have been put in place (and continue to evolve) to protect our employees in the workplace. However, no one can guarantee the absolute protection from infection or potential exposure despite recommended precautions being taken.

The virus can be transmitted before an infected person starts exhibiting symptoms. It is possible for a person to be infected and also not experience symptoms. We are doing everything possible to prevent people exposed or exhibiting symptoms from access to our facilities. Even with all of our precautions, exposure to patients with the COVID-19 virus can happen. When we become aware of any potential exposure, our response is immediate and actions are taken to protect everyone directly involved.

Experts are predicting that 40% of the Chicagoland population will be infected within the next month. Current information demonstrates that for 97% of the people infected the symptoms will be mild or flu-like. 3-5% of patients will require hospital care, and the mortality rate is less than 2%.

Risk of exposure will occur at every touchpoint of our daily lives outside of our home-- including gas stations, grocery stores, and medical facilities.

Although Covid-19 is a serious issue, we strongly believe that it will pass and hopefully make our infrastructure and our ability to deal with pandemics in this Country even better than it currently is. We are monitoring this situation on a real-time basis and will not sit back until we know that we have done everything possible to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Here are some links that might be useful:

Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here to answer your questions

Please allow us time to respond.

Call us at our current phone line to leave a non-urgent message or via our online email, contact form, virtual consultation or apex chat service popup box. As always for any emergency services, please call 911