Breast Fat Transfer in San Francisco

woman cupping breasts

Searching for fat transfer breast augmentation in San Francisco? Many patients prefer natural fat grafting for breast enhancement, as opposed to synthetic breast implants. Dr. Kenneth Bermudez, MD is a talented plastic surgeon who stays abreast of the latest advancements in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. As such, he is able to employ innovative techniques, such as natural fat grafting, to enhance the effects of breast augmentation and reconstruction procedures.

What is Breast Fat Transfer Augmentation?

Fat transfer is a natural, organic way for patients to augment breasts or restore the shape of breasts during breast reconstruction surgery. Women seeking breast fat grafting in San Francisco typically do so for one of the following reasons:

  • Desire for larger and /or fuller breasts without breast implants

  • To correct breast asymmetry naturally

  • To enhance or improve the aesthetic results of breast reconstruction surgery following lumpectomy or mastectomy

During a consultation, Dr. Bermudez will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the fat grafting process as well as your individual aesthetic goals and expectations for breast fat grafting surgery. He will utilize this information to determine the proper course of surgical treatment to best suit your unique needs.

Who is a Candidate for Breast Fat Transfer?

Although breast fat grafting is an effective tool for augmenting or reshaping breasts, there are some limitations. For instance, breast fat grafting can generally only provide augmentation of about one cup size. Also, some fat cells may not survive in their new location. Thus, suitable breast fat grafting candidates have sensible expectations for the outcome of surgery; they seek improvement in the size, shape or fullness of breasts, not perfection. Appropriate candidates have carefully weighed the risks versus the rewards of the procedure. They have an overall positive self-image but are simply bothered by one aspect of their appearance. They are in good mental and physical health and have independently made the decision to pursue this procedure.

Contact our cosmetic surgery office for more information on candidacy for breast enhancement or reconstruction with fat grafting.

Breast Fat Grafting Procedure

The surgical fat grafting procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia. It generally takes Dr. Bermudez about four hours to complete the procedure, but the length of the procedure can vary depending on certain factors, such as if the San Francisco breast surgeon is simply augmenting breasts or reconstructing them, the latter of which is a more complex process.

Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer, in breast surgery involves: harvesting unwanted fat from certain areas of the body, most commonly the abdomen or thighs; purifying the harvested fat, and carefully injecting it into the area of the body requiring enhancement or restoration.

Dr. Bermudez often requires breast augmentation patients to wear a tissue-expansion bra prior to and after the fat grafting procedure to create space for the donated fat cells, improving their chance of survival in the new location.

Dr. Bermudez offers the revolutionary BRAVA device, a soft, gel-like bra that is used to expand the external breast tissue in preparation for fat transfer. While the concept of tissue expansion is not a new one, the BRAVA device is unique in its execution. Developed by Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Roger Khouri, the BRAVA device puts gentle external tension on the breasts to expand the tissues. Dr. Bermudez asks his patients to wear the device while they sleep. (It is most comfortable if the patient sleeps on her back while wearing the BRAVA device.) Over the course of a few weeks of use, the BRAVA device enlarges the fat transfer site and prepares it for the injection of the fat cells.

Breast Fat Grafting Recovery

Depending on the surgical goals for breast fat grafting, patients may need to take one to two weeks off from work or their usual schedule following surgery. During this time, they should get plenty of rest and avoid any strenuous activity and heavy lifting. However, they should also walk around the house periodically when they can to help minimize the chance of developing blood clots.

The treated area may be swollen, bruised, tender or numb. Fat grafting patients may experience pain or discomfort after surgery, but this can be treated by applying ice packs and taking oral pain medication as instructed by Dr. Bermudez. These symptoms are normal and will subside over time. Dr. Bermudez will advise patients when they can return to their usual activities, including their exercise program.

Contact our practice today to schedule a consultation.

Possible Complications

Every surgery carries innate risks, whether it is an elective procedure or not. Surgical breast fat grafting in augmentation or reconstruction procedures is no exception. Dr. Bermudez is diligent about taking every precaution at his disposal to minimize the risk of possible surgical complications. However, potential complications with breast fat grafting include:

  • Allergic or adverse reaction to anesthesia

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Excessive swelling

  • Loss of fat viability, resulting in failed breast augmentation

  • Blood clots

  • Infection

  • Slow healing

  • Significant scarring

  • Scar asymmetry

  • Breast asymmetry

  • Changes in breast or nipple sensation, including persistent numbness

The San Francisco breast augmentation and reconstruction surgeon will review all associated risks with you during your preoperative consultation.


Augmenting or reconstructing your breasts with fat grafting can give you a more voluptuous figure. In addition, breast fat grafting:

  • Uses your body’s own naturally occurring fat, making it well tolerated in the body

  • Can correct breast asymmetry

  • Can restore lift to breasts with mild ptosis (sagging)

  • Can help rebuild the breasts after mastectomy

  • Appears natural

  • Is long-lasting

  • Is safe

  • Helps improve self-confidence

  • Provides additional clothing choices

Breast fat grafting is an increasingly popular approach to enhance or restore breasts naturally, providing women with fuller, natural-looking breasts, and long-lasting results.

Breast Fat Transfer FAQs

What type of anesthesia is used in breast fat transfer augmentation?

The breast fat transfer procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

How long will breast fat transfer augmentation take?

The breast fat transfer procedure—which constitutes harvesting fat from one area of the body via liposuction and injecting it into the breast area after purifying it—takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete. The length of the surgery may vary, however, if the procedure involves breast reconstruction as opposed to augmentation.

Dr. Bermudez will discuss the details of the surgery, including the steps involved and how long the procedure will take to perform according to your surgical needs, in a private, pre-operative consultation.

How can I prepare for breast fat transfer augmentation?

The first step in preparing for any type of plastic surgery procedure is to be physically and emotionally sound and with realistic goals for the surgery. Then it’s a matter of getting ready for the procedure itself, which in Dr. Bermudez’s patient’s case, involves wearing a tissue-expansion bra that will help to create space for the injected fat cells.

The device, called EVE, is a soft, gel-like bra that uses gentle, external suction to the breast area in order to expand the tissues over time. The device is typically worn for a few weeks at night, while the patient sleeps, before surgery.

How much does breast fat transfer augmentation cost?

The cost of breast fat transfer augmentation can vary, though it’s typically between $10,000 and $15,000.

What type of scarring is expected after breast fat transfer augmentation?

The incisions made during the breast fat transfer procedure are minuscule—approximately 2-3 millimeters each. As such, the resulting scars are not noticeable to the naked eye.

When can I go back to exercising after breast fat transfer augmentation?

Breast fat transfer patients should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity like exercise for at least three weeks after surgery, though it may take up to 4-6 weeks to return to unrestricted activity, depending on your individual recovery. Gentle walking is encouraged immediately following surgery in order to help with circulation and aid the healing process. Dr. Bermudez will advise you on this further, as well as give you other post-operative care instructions, during your consultation.

Are the results of breast fat transfer augmentation permanent?

The final results of a breast fat transfer procedure are permanent. With that said, aging, pregnancy, and breastfeeding can all have an effect on the size and shape of your breasts.

When preparing for breast fat transfer, patients should also keep in mind that some of the fat cells may not survive once injected. For this reason, it’s important that the patient has realistic expectations of the surgery. While they can expect an increase of up to one cup size and an improvement in the fullness and appearance of their breasts, the results are often more subtle than those of a breast augmentation with implants.

What should I keep in mind when looking for a breast fat transfer
augmentation surgeon near me?

The first step in ensuring beautiful, natural results and mitigating the risks of breast fat transfer surgery is to choose an experienced, highly qualified surgeon to perform the procedure. What should you look for in a surgeon?

When it comes to plastic surgery, not all surgeons are equal, which is why you want to look for a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Bermudez. Unlike cosmetic surgeons, which are medical doctors with only supplemental training in cosmetic surgery, a board-certified plastic surgeon has spent several years in surgical and residency training for plastic surgery. And being board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the industry-standard in plastic surgery means that the surgeon has been recognized as a trained and skilled surgeon.

Do you have breast fat transfer augmentation before and after photos?

​​​​​​​To view our patients’ beautiful, natural results, visit our breast fat transfer patient gallery