Why Fat Transfer Could Be Your Win-Win Procedure

Woman with a slim athletic build (model) looking at herself in the mirror.

Does it surprise you to hear that unwanted fat isn’t necessarily a bad thing? Thanks to a procedure called fat transfer, we can repurpose your stubborn, excess body fat to plump, sculpt, and enhance areas where you would like more volume, such as the face, breasts, and buttocks.

Intrigued? Keep reading to learn why fat transfer procedures are gaining popularity as a subtle, natural alternative for patients considering traditional breast augmentation, fillers, or implants.

What Is Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is a three-step procedure usually performed under local anesthesia with oral sedation:

Step 1: We perform an advanced form of laser liposuction called Smartlipo® to remove the unwanted fat cells from donor sites (usually the abdomen, hips, or thighs).

Step 2: We cleanse the fat cells to remove any impurities and help increase their chance of “survival” upon transfer.

Step 3: We inject the purified fat cells and reshape the targeted treatment areas.

Before & After Fat Transfer Case 153 View #1 View in Coeur d'Alene, ID
Before & After Fat Transfer to the Buttocks

Am I a Good Candidate for Fat Transfer?

You may be an ideal candidate for fat transfer if you want to “pump up the volume” without adding anything foreign to your face, lips, or body. You should also:

  • Be within your ideal weight range
  • Be in good overall health
  • Have enough available donor fat to achieve the desired results
  • Have sufficient breast volume to receive fat (for breast fat transfer procedures)
  • Have a good understanding and realistic expectations about what fat transfer can accomplish

As you weigh whether you might be a good candidate for fat transfer surgery, here are some additional pros and cons to consider:


  • Achieves natural, subtle results (nothing foreign in the body)
  • Tiny incisions with minimal scarring
  • Plumps desired areas while removing unwanted fat from other areas of the body
  • Outpatient procedure that requires minimal downtime


  • You may be limited by the amount of excess fat you have
  • Adds only modest volume to breasts
  • Overall results can be impacted by the survival rate of transferred fat cells
  • More expensive than breast implants or fillers
  • It may take several sessions to achieve the desired results

Fat Transfer to the Face

Facial fat transfer is performed to soften creases and scars and replace lost volume in aging areas of the face—especially the hollow under-eye region, the temples, eyebrows, and around the cheeks. Traditional facelifts and fillers might address some of these concerns, but fat grafting provides a holistic solution by using a patient’s own tissue to replenish volume.

While fat transfer to the face may cost more than fillers initially, their long-lasting effects eliminate the need for the regular touch-up treatments that fillers require. In the long run, facial fat transfer may be a more cost-effective option.

Fat Transfer to the Breasts

Fat transfer breast augmentation, sometimes referred to as fat transfer to the boobs, can provide a subtle and natural improvement in breast volume and symmetry. Its dual benefits—removing unwanted fat from one part of the body (often the hips and abdomen) and using it to enhance the breasts—can sculpt more of an hourglass shape. This helps the breasts look fuller in proportion to the waist, abdomen, and hips. The result also tends to feel and appear more natural than implants since the augmentation is achieved with your own tissue.

The procedure leaves minimal scarring, primarily at the liposuction sites, and avoids potential implant-related complications like rupture, rippling, or capsular contracture. However, not all transferred fat will survive in its new location, so multiple sessions might be required to achieve the desired outcome.

Because it can increase breasts by only about a bra cup size, fat transfer breast augmentation isn’t for everyone. During your consultation, we will discuss your goals to help you determine if you’re a good candidate for a breast fat transfer.

Fat Transfer to the Buttocks

Also referred to as a Brazilian butt lift (BBL), this fat transfer procedure augments the shape and size of the buttocks without using implants. This procedure typically requires more donor fat than fat grafting in other areas of the body.

Like fat transfer breast augmentation, fat transfer to the buttocks offers a win-win for patients: sculpting and slimming areas near the buttocks, which enhances the derrière’s new rounder, fuller shape. As the transferred fat integrates with the existing tissue, the results often feel and look more natural than synthetic implants.

Fat Transfer to the Lips

An alternative to lip fillers, this lip augmentation method can last many years—much longer than temporary lip fillers. In addition to providing natural-looking volume to the lips, fat transfer can help define your upper lip’s Cupid’s bow.

At our practice, we primarily focus on breast and buttocks fat transfer to help patients achieve naturally soft curves.

Fat Transfer Treatment Areas

Is Fat Transfer Safe?

While there are potential risks with any cosmetic procedure, fat transfer is generally considered safe when performed by a board-certified surgeon. It’s also a more natural option because you are injected with your own fat instead of synthetic or foreign fillers. Because fat grafting is a multi-faceted procedure that requires a high degree of skill, it’s essential to trust your care to a capable and highly qualified surgeon.

If you are considering a fat transfer procedure, we encourage you to request a consultation online or call our office at (208) 676-8346 to schedule an appointment.

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