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What is fat grafting?

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 fat transfer method 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.

fat transfer

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.

About Transferring Fat to Breasts

Many women are unaware that an alternative to increasing breast size with implants even exists. Yet, while Dr. Placik’s fat grafting 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, enlarging your breasts 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 grafting 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.

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.


Procedure Details

Fat grafting 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. 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 enhancement, additional procedures may be accomplished at a later date (typically 6 months) in order to achieve even greater volume.

fat transfer to breast diagram

Fat Transfer to Enlarge Breasts

Fat Grafting versus Breast Augmentation Implants

Fat transfer or breast augmentation implants: which is better? Breast augmentation in Chicago is popular, and like with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to each option.

What are the advantages of implants over fat grafting? The following are the key advantages of getting an implant:

  • The outcome is both long-term and immediate.
  • The implant gives shape to a breast that might not be the most attractive.
  • By pressing the breast forward, it can slightly elevate a nipple.
  • It is by far the most popular method of breast augmentation that I use.
  • Fat grafting for breast augmentation, on the other hand, provides a number of significant advantages:

  • It’s so natural and gentle.
  • The fat is extracted from a region where it is not desired and transplanted to the breast, where it is desired.
  • There are hardly no scars.
  • For a longer period of time, the breast might mature with more natural attractiveness.
  • Of course, those who do not want an implant are not eligible.
  • Actual
    Patient Not a Model

    Fat Transfer Enhancement 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 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 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 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. 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 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 grafting. 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.


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