American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
Debra Rhodes
5 years ago

Fat replacement for implants

After having implants removed, can the pocket or location be filled with my own fat through liposuction?

Procedure: Breast Augmentation
Location: irvine, CA

Replies 7

Barry Citron
ASPS Surgeon

That is a very good question. Fat has been used successfully for breast augmentation without the use of implants and to refine shape to reconstructed breasts. One would not immediately try to replace an implant based augmentation with fat at the time of implant removal. Fat has to be distributed through the tissues in small drops of fat in order that the fat grafts would be able to acquire a blood supply and survive. Filling a newly emptied pocket with fat would predictably result in failure. After an appropriate interval of time, after you have healed from implant removal, which may be 3-6 months or more (to be determined by your plastic surgeon) an augmentation might be possible using fat grafts.

Aaron Stone
ASPS Surgeon

In order for the injected fat to survive it has to be injected as small droplets into the fat or muscle layers. If you inject it directly into the pocket that an implant was in I doubt much of it would survive. Breast implants and fat grafting are not directly interchangeable. The spectrum is fat grafting alone vs. fat grafting + breast implant vs. only breast implant depending on the patient's specifics that can only be known by a face to face history and physical examination.

Edward Domanskis

Yes, but it is not the pocket but the breast tissue in front of pocket. However, fat that I remove through liposuction, even though purified, you body may not grow into and allow it to be permanent. You could on average expect about a cup size in increase.

Dr. Edward Jonas Domanskis is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Newport Beach, San Francisco,Miami, EU, Anguilla

Assistant Clinical Professor of SurgeryWOS-Plastic,University of California (Irvine)

Orange County’s Physician of Excellence/America’s Top Physicians/Top Doctors

Plastic Surgery- 2005-2018

President,American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons

Organoderm Skin care/ScaRxTape

Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your excellent question. Though not placed into the pocket left behind, fat grafting to the breast can be done to improve upon overall size and shape of a woman’s breasts. At times this can be done at the same time as implant removal and at others requires a staged approach. Hope this helps.

Jon Ver Halen

Hello and thank you for your excellent question. Yes, it is possible to replace your implants with your own fat. However, keep in mind that 1) you need to have adequate fat available to replace the breast implant volume, and 2) it will likely require multiple procedures to obtain the volume that you desire, as fat transfer to the breast can only produce modest increases in breast size (per round of fat grafting). It is best to answer your question during a face-to-face evaluation, when you can discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure, and you can have a physical examination to evaluate for that procedure. I recommend that you find a board-certified, or board-eligible plastic surgeon with whom you are comfortable. Be sure to have all of your questions answered during a face-to-face meeting with your surgeon, and review before and after pictures of similar patients whom have had this procedure. Good luck!

Jed Horowitz
ASPS Surgeon
Add to Favorites

We often use fat with or without implants to enhance the shape or size of the breast

The results have been amazing, soft , natural

We call this Natural Breast Augmentation or California Breast Lift

Benjamin Van Raalte

The pocket cannot be filled with fat after breast implant removal. The fat needs blood vessels to grow in (capillaries) to survive and is grafted in small threads in the subcutaneous tissue (below the skin) and the muscle. Fat grafting works about 80% of the time. It is good for an average of one half cup with about 20% getting one cup, and an occasional patient getting more.


Patient Care Center