Recovery Series: Recovery from Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer

Dr. Sacha Obaid, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Nearby Fort Worth, Texas

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By Sacha Obaid

A breast augmentation with fat transfer is an innovative way of boosting your appearance by reshaping your breasts using fat removed with liposuction from another part of your body. The recovery time for this procedure is minimal in comparison to other kinds of breast augmentation because the incisions that are made are very small.

On the Day Of and the Day After Surgery

The breast augmentation with fat transfer is typically carried out under a general anesthetic and usually performed as an outpatient procedure, which means a patient can go home on the same day.

After the procedure, most people feel some soreness in the breasts and in the areas that were treated with liposuction. It’s best to rest for the next day or two, but there’s no need to restrict all activity after the procedure. Most people will feel well enough to resume a moderate level of activity the next day.

The First Weeks After Surgery

A slight amount of soreness in the breasts and other parts of the body is normal for the first few days. Because the incisions that were made are so small, there’s less discomfort because of them than with most other plastic surgery procedures. Mild prescription or over-the-counter pain medications are typically enough to alleviate any pain.

You will experience some swelling and bruising in the breasts and perhaps some slight bruising in the areas that were treated with liposuction. Bruising related to liposuction will typically last only a few days, and the bruising on the breasts should subside within a couple of weeks.

Follow these quick tips to help speed along a healthy recovery from breast augmentation with fat transfer!

  • recovery from breast augmentationTake any prescribed medications as directed.
  • It’s fine to return to a moderate activity level the day after the procedure, but strenuous exercise, including heavy lifting and sports activities, should be avoided at this early stage.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach for the first four weeks after surgery.
  • Sexual activity should be limited for the first two weeks.
  • Most people return to work within a week. A little longer may be needed for jobs that involve strenuous activities.
  • You can start cardiovascular training at three weeks.
  • You can resume weight training and yoga at six weeks.
  • Avoid constrictive bras for the first several weeks. A sports bra is good for providing support without being overly confining.
  • Depending on the extent of the liposuction that was performed, you may need to wear compression garments for several weeks.
  • Call your surgeon or doctor if your incisions become infected, if your pain isn’t relieved by prescribed medication, or if you develop a high temperature (over 100.4 degrees), you have shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, leg swelling, chest pain, blurred or double vision, or confusion.

Week One Follow-Up Visit

At this follow-up visit your surgeon will examine the results of your breast augmentation with fat transfer and ensure your breasts are healing normally. There are no major incisions that need to heal, but there are some major changes going on beneath the skin of the breasts, as the fat that was implanted is still “settling in” to its new location.

The breasts will be swollen, but the changes that have been made by the fat transfer should be clear to see. With compression garments removed for this visit, you’ll also be able to see the results of your liposuction. There may still be some swelling, but the results will be obvious even at this early stage.

If your breasts look larger than you expected at this point, don’t be alarmed. This is due to swelling caused by the fat transfer and will subside over the next few months. The breasts will also feel very firm, or even hard, which again is due to the swelling. This may be uncomfortable but is normal for this stage of recovery. Gentle massage can help ease discomfort and reduce swelling.

Three to Six Months After Surgery

By this time, most swelling in the breast area is gone, and the breasts feel much more normal in terms of firmness and comfort level. Your breasts should be looking great and will not change in size and shape much from this point onward. Swelling from liposuction should have subsided completely.

In most cases, the final results of the fat transfer can be evaluated at this point, and there may be an additional follow-up visit with your surgeon for a formal evaluation. However, if at any time before this appointment you feel unwell or you’re concerned about the way your breasts look or feel, call your doctor or surgeon.

One Year Later

By the one-year mark, your breasts have conformed to their final shape. One of the most significant advantages of this kind of breast augmentation is that the results are permanent. Once the transferred fat cells are completely incorporated into the breast tissue, they’re there for life, and there’s often no need for any additional fat transfers. The breasts may change shape over the patient’s lifetime, of course, just as anyone’s breasts will change due to the effects of age and gravity. However, the fat that was transferred and fully incorporated won’t need to be removed or replaced, as is required with breast implants.

Another major advantage of the breast augmentation with fat transfer is that liposuction improves the body’s overall silhouette at the same time as the breasts are augmented. It’s important to note that while a significant amount of fat can be removed from the treated areas of the body during liposuction, some fat cells will be left behind. Weight gain will continue to be a possibility, just as it always is, so maintaining a healthy diet and exercise habits is important for preventing weight gain after your procedure.

If breast augmentation with fat transfer sounds like the procedure to achieve your goals, contact North Texas Plastic Surgery for a convenient consultation!