Is Fat Grafting Right for You? Learn What San Diego Plastic Surgery Expert Dr. Cohen Has to Say

by | Apr 16, 2019 | Plastic Surgeon Feature

For women in San Diego, breast implants are not the only way to achieve a breast enhancement. Fat grafting, or fat transfer, can give you a natural looking breast enlargement by using your own fat. To find out more about fat grafting, we spoke with Dr. Steven Cohen, one of the foremost plastic surgeons performing fat grafting procedures in San Diego.

What is Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting procedures start with liposuction. Liposuction removes unwanted fat from certain areas of your body, usually the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Typically this fat is discarded, however, during a fat grafting procedure it is repurposed. Your surgeon will process the fat and inject it into your breasts. Results vary, but can include an increase in breast size, more even shape and symmetry, as well as addressing chest wall abnormalities and thin tissue. For more information on the history of fat grafting visit

Fat Grafting or Breast Implants? San Diego Surgeon Helps You Decide

If you want a breast enhancement, which method is right for you? Dr. Cohen explains, “regarding fat grafting, it’s not for everyone. If a woman has a friend that has had breast implants and they’re here because they want breast enhancement, you can’t make that look happen with fat grafting. Fat grafting is like building, as Dan Delvecchio says, ‘like a sand castle.’ So you don’t just put a little bit in and you get a pop.” Fat grafting alone works best when you want a small boost in size, or desire a more symmetrical look. According to Dr. Cohen, “it’s not necessarily the procedure of choice for primary augmentation in my opinion, but for women who desire that and don’t want to deal with implants, it’s a very, very safe maneuver.”

What to Expect After Your Fat Grafting Procedure

What results can you expect after your fat grafting procedure, and how long does it take to see the final results? Studies show that setting realistic expectations before a cosmetic procedure will help you achieve a higher level of satisfaction after the procedure. To give us an idea of what to expect Dr. Cohen explains, “generally a cup to a cup-and-a-half size increase is very realistic. It’s a dynamic process that really takes about a year to see the end results. Some of the cells die, some of them are very weak, having just received the blood supply, and they bulk up with time. So, at a year you can make a little bit more judgment about a final outcome. And in general, although there’s quite a bit of standard deviation, we see about 50 to 70% survival of the fat.” Knowing this, some women decide to move ahead with fat grafting, while others choose breast implants. San Diego women can visit Dr. Cohen to determine if fat grafting or breast implants should be used to reach their individual goals.

Combining Fat Grafting and Breast Implants to Get The Look You Want

Dr. Cohen tells us some women can benefit from a combination of fat grafting and breast implants. He explains, “oftentimes we’d like to use an implant for core projection and then fat grafting to blend the implant into the chest wall or address regional anatomic variations. Because many women have breasts that are not completely symmetric with each other, and also breasts that may have regional deformities. The upper pole could be low lying. The inferior breast could be diminutive. So these are things that fat grafts can help compliment an implant with.”

Additionally, women who are thin or have very little breast tissue can benefit from fat grafting around their San Diego breast implants. Dr. Cohen tells us, “let’s say the patient is very skinny and bony, you know they’re going to show their implants later in the medial pole and usually in the inferior lateral pole. You can thicken the tissue by fat grafting in those patients. There are other patients who start out with an abnormally shaped chest wall and their breasts are on the side. You can’t make the breasts go in the center with implants, but you can facilitate that appearance with fat grafting. So again, it’s a very complimentary procedure.”

Which San Diego Breast Implants to Pair with Your Fat Grafting Procedure

If you want a more substantial enhancement than fat grafting can provide alone, combining breast implants and fat grafting may be a good option. But, does it matter which breast implant type you choose? The IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant is filled with saline for a woman’s peace of mind. While it is known to give women a natural looking result, some women may benefit from fat grafting around their IDEAL IMPLANT. Dr. Cohen is one of the exclusive surgeons in San Diego to offer IDEAL IMPLANT and has experience using them in combination with fat grafting. He tells us, “one of the things that initially I was a little concerned about was using the IDEAL IMPLANTS in conjunction with the fat. But I’ve had absolutely no issues with that whatsoever. The implants can be placed after a sizer is in and the fat is grafted with the sizer in. Or if you’re an experienced injector you can even feel very comfortable injecting around the implants with it, with a high degree of safety.”

Considering breast implants in San Diego? Contact Dr. Steven Cohen today to discuss your options. Simply call (858) 453 7224, or visit Dr. Cohen’s office is located at 4510 Executive Drive, San Diego, CA 92121. Call today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.