Breast Implants VS Breast Fat Transfer: Which Procedure is Better?


Year after year, breast augmentation is consistently one of the most popular aesthetic procedures performed around the world. Women who are interested in enhancing the size and shape of their breasts are soon faced with one of the most critical and personal decisions they must make about their surgery: breast implants vs breast fat transfer.

Breast augmentation with implants is a time-tested approach that has been refined by plastic surgeons over decades. Fat transfer, also called fat grafting, is a more recent innovation that allows unwanted fat to be gathered from another part of the body using liposuction and injected into the breasts. Both techniques can produce beautiful, long-lasting results for the right patient. So which one is right for you?

As one of Sydney’s leading breast enhancement experts, Dr Ellis Choy, an Australian-trained Specialist Plastic Surgeon, combines considerable expertise with unparalleled artistry and a passion for improving patients’ lives. A personal consultation with Dr Choy is the best way to determine which technique is most likely to deliver the results you desire. The following guide can help you come to your consultation prepared to have an informed discussion about your options.

If You Want a Small ‘Boost’ That Looks Natural for Your Body: Breast Fat Transfer

The development of breast fat grafting techniques has been revolutionary for patients seeking beautiful and natural enhancements to their appearance. Because the procedure is performed using material taken from your own body, your breasts will feel soft and have natural movement. Breast fat grafting excels in achieving an ultra-natural look that others may never know has been enhanced. However, it cannot achieve the dramatic results that some patients want. Women who are looking for a modest increase in breast size (one cup or less) are the best candidates for a natural breast augmentation.

If You Want the Biggest Wow-Factor: Breast Implants

One of the most important factors to consider before a breast enhancement procedure is your personal goals. Dr Choy will ask you to describe your ideal body shape and you will have the opportunity to try on a surgical bra fitted with different implants to help the decision-making process. If you’re looking for a substantial size increase or a more striking visual impact, breast implants may be the best choice for you. Implants can achieve a significant increase in volume, projection and upper pole fullness regardless of a patient’s body type. Although implants can sometimes be more conspicuous than fat grafting, either approach can achieve a natural-looking result with Dr Choy’s techniques.

If You Want a Completely Natural Procedure: Breast Fat Transfer

Some women express concern about the consequences of having a medical device inside their body. Breast fat grafting avoids the potential for the complications that can accompany breast implants, such as rippling, rupturing or capsular contracture. It also eliminates the possibility of breast implants needing to be removed or replaced at some point in the future. With fat grafting, no foreign materials are introduced into the body. The procedure is implant-free and very safe.

If You Want to Maximise Your Options: Breast Implants

Breast augmentation with implants offers the greatest flexibility for both the patient and the surgeon. When implants are to be used, the consultation process involves a range of decisions that determine the ultimate outcome of the procedure. Together with Dr Choy, you will choose the type, shape, size and profile of your implants, as well as the incision location and placement technique that will be used during surgery. Results can be tailored to suit your unique anatomy and aesthetic goals. Breast fat grafting does not allow for the same level of customisation.

If You Want to Shape Other Areas of Your Body Simultaneously: Breast Fat Transfer

The impact of augmentation with implants is limited to the breasts. With fat grafting, two areas of the body are improved at the same time. The procedure naturally and safely augments the breasts while also slimming the donor area, yielding enhanced contours in both places in one convenient operation. Fat for a natural breast augmentation is normally harvested from the abdomen, flank or thigh. The success of this approach relies on choosing a surgeon with advanced understanding of both procedures, as well as superior judgment and technical skill.

If You Are Very Lean: Breast Implants

Breast enhancement done with fat grafting alone requires a significant amount of fat (300-400 cc per side, on average). While Dr Choy is very skilled at fat harvesting even for slim patients, extremely thin patients may not have enough excess fat to harvest for the procedure. For these patients, breast augmentation with silicone implants is the best option. Silicone implants often achieve a better result than saline implants for patients who are thin and have little natural breast tissue. Dr Choy will gauge whether or not you have an adequate amount of fat to donate for a fat transfer breast augmentation during your in-person consultation.

If You Have a Low Tolerance for Scars: Breast Fat Transfer

Any time there is an incision, there is the possibility of a scar. How visible the scar ultimately ends up being depends on a number of factors, including how well you follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions and your body’s natural healing capacities. When implants are used, the incision is carefully placed so that scarring is minimal and easy to conceal under most clothing and swimsuits. With fat grafting, there is almost no scarring. Only small incisions are used to insert the liposuction cannula for the harvesting portion of the procedure.

If You Want the Most Predictable Results: Breast Implants

Breast implants are among the most thoroughly researched medical devices. They have a lengthy track record of safety and a very high rate of patient satisfaction. Surgeons have an excellent understanding of the results a patient can expect to achieve based on their body type and the type of implant they choose. Breast fat transfer is a ground-breaking, but newer, approach. Its results are less predictable because not all of the fat will take and the fat that does will grow and shrink according to the patient’s weight fluctuations. In addition, fewer surgeons are familiar with the fat grafting procedure. Dr Choy is one of the few Australian Specialist Plastic Surgeons qualified to use this technique.

The Right Patient, The Right Procedure, The Right Surgeon

Dr Ellis Choy offers both breast augmentation with implants and breast fat grafting to patients in Sydney and Coffs Harbour. Since graduating from the University of Sydney in 1997, Dr Choy has honed his skills in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery, as well as related body contouring procedures. He is passionate about helping patients not only sculpt a new profile, but discover a more confident and empowered lifestyle. Call Dr Choy’s practice on 02 8962 9388 to book a consultation or fill out our enquiry form today.