The Many Myths About Fat Grafting

by | Breast Fat Transfer

There are many myths about fat grafting to the breast. I perform a lot of fat grafting procedures and I hear about them at my office all the time. So let’s go over some of myths now and try to clear them up:

1. MYTH: Fat will disappear.

FACT: The process of fat grafting requires harvest from another site, followed by processing, and finally injection. During the procedure some fat cells can be damaged. While the goal is to remove all liquid (injected to minimize pain and bleeding), blood, and non-viable fat cells, some will still be injected. On top of that, even some perfectly good fat cells will not obtain proper blood supply in the breast. So not all of the volume injected is actually healthy fat cells that get good blood supply. That which isn’t gets absorbed by your body, leaving you with the healthy fat that did survive. In addition, you will have swelling from the procedure that will take time to settle. The fat that you have at a couple of months though is likely to be permanent. If, however, your weight goes up or down, so too will the size of your breasts.

2. MYTH: Fat grafting is an easy surgery.

FACT: Fat grafting has many benefits over implants, but is a longer and more technically demanding procedure. Every step of the way needs to be done meticulously, or the fat survival rate will go down. It is time consuming and takes a lot of patience on your surgeon’s part. Not all surgeons have the patience to get the ideal result. If they are not willing to place the fat drop-by-drop, the result will be limited.

3. MYTH: Fat cannot increase the size of the breast very much.

FACT: Because of the importance of blood supply, you can essentially double the size of the breast at the time of surgery. If you over-exceed that amount, the fat will not have good blood supply, and may not survive as well. After resorption of fluid and cessation of swelling, you can expect a 50-60% larger breast than pre-surgery. If a second surgery is done, you can inject even more than the first time, leaving your final volume 2-2.5x larger than when you started if all goes well.

4. MYTH: Fat grafting and implants are never done together.

FACT: Fat grafting is an amazing technique to use in conjunction with an implant. Although many patients do not need this, it can conceal the edge of an implant really well in thinner patients. This provides patients with a full, yet still natural looking and feeling result. It is also great for enhancing cleavage in patients with wide set breasts. However, very few surgeons do this. It is only done by surgeons with a very specialized interest in both breast surgery and fat transfer. With all that being said, I have done it countless times and the results can be amazing.

5. MYTH: Fat will leave me with lumps or dents.

FACT: Fat grafting can provide amazing looking results that are natural looking and feeling. However, the process MUST be done very carefully. If too much fat is placed, or if it is done without precision, then you will have a much higher chance of fat loss or oil cysts. You must go to a surgeon that has a very specialized interest in fat transfer. Not all surgeons provide great results with fat transfer. It is not as straight forward as placing an implant.

7. MYTH: Fat transfer is better than implants.

FACT: There is no perfect surgery. I spend a lot of time over several visits with my patients helping them come to the best plan for them. Fat transfer is great, as there are virtually no scars, you get to treat a "problem" area with liposuction, and the results are very natural. However, it does not do as well to increase volume when you desire a much larger breast. It also does not enhance the shape of the breast as well as an implant in someone with a less pretty shape to begin with. Your surgeon should go over the pros and cons of all your choices and help you decide which is the best for you.

8. MYTH: Fat grafting can be done in anyone.

FACT: Although fat grafting can be done in anyone, not everyone is an ideal candidate. You need to have enough fat to harvest to make it worthwhile. Sometimes the only fat people have is in the buttocks. Not all patients want to give up volume in their buttocks. You also need to have a place to put it. If you are so thin that there is little space to place the fat, you may need more than one surgery. Remember, you can double the size of the breast at the time of surgery, leaving you 50%-60% larger in the end. With a second surgery, you can put a fair bit more fat than the first, leaving you up to 2-2.5 times larger than when you started. For some patients, they may simply do better with an implant and some fat grafting to conceal it well.

9. MYTH: There is only one perfect technique.

FACT: Many surgeons that do a lot of fat grafting use very different techniques for how they harvest the fat and how they process it. So long as care is taken to minimize injury to fat, there are lots of ways of doing these steps. What virtually all surgeons agree on is that fat must be carefully placed and you must not exceed the maximum volume. You have to be a perfectionist to get the best possible result from breast fat transfer.

If you are interested in booking a consultation for breast fat transfer or breast implants, please contact Dr. Rodger Shortt to arrange an appointment at 905-849-4282 or info(at)

Dr Rodger Shortt is a plastic surgeon servicing Toronto, Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Milton, Hamilton and Georgetown. He strives to provide his patients the best care and excellent plastic surgery results. He is one of only a few plastic surgeons in Canada with a top rating on RateMD, RealSelf and Ontario Doctor Review. Dr Rodger Shortt is a specialist plastic surgeon trained in cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. He specializes in breast surgery, breast augmentation, breast fat transfer, mommy makeover, tummy tuck, body contouring, breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery of the face. He is the Director of Cosmetic Surgery Training at McMaster University and an Assistant Clinical Professor.


Dr Shortt is talented, trustworthy, and kind – he deserves more than 5 stars!

Dr Shortt was has been incredible! I went to him in search of options for correctly my breast asymmetry. I read a lot of reviews for plastic surgeons in and around Toronto and I chose Dr Shortt because his reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Initially, I was interested in fat grafting because I feared an implant would be obvious. At my consultation, Dr Shortt explained the advantages and disadvantages of both options. His opinion was that an implant would actually be the better choice because breast augmentation with an implant is much more predictable and due to the difference in my breasts, I would probably need multiple sessions of fat grafting, which would get quite expensive. After the consultation, I understood why an implant would be the better choice for me and my body. He wrote a letter on my behalf advocating that my surgery be covered by OHIP, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, and they agreed to cover it! I really appreciated that Dr Shortt was honest about what he thought would make me the most happy (an implant in one side), not what would make him the most money (multiple sessions of fat grafting). Throughout the whole process, he was patient, understanding, and confident. His sense of humour put me at ease on surgery day and I couldn’t be happier with the results of my surgery. I didn’t want bigger breasts, just more symmetrical ones and he managed to balance me out beautifully without even touching my bigger left breast. My surgery was three weeks ago and except for the scar (which is healing beautifully) you can’t even tell I had surgery. My new breast looks and feels great and I can’t stop buying pretty new bras now that any bra will work for me. I can’t wait for bikini season! Dr Shortt is talented, trustworthy, and kind. As soon as you meet him, you’ll see that he truly cares about your happiness. Thank you, Dr Shortt!

Amazing experience

Dr. Shortt was very easy to talk to, he made me feel comfortable about having the breast reconstruction. I had a breast removed on May 25,2015 due to cancer. One of the cancer doctors in the Hamilton Cancer Center recommended Dr. Shortt. This was a great turning point in my life. I could not begin to tell you how great this experience was. He is so down to earth, kept me calm in talking about the surgery. If I had to tell another person dealing with breast cancer and having to have it removed, to see Dr. Shortt. This was a very traumatic experience to go through but this doctor made it easier to deal with the operation.

I highly recommend Dr Shortt if you are considering any surgery.

From his front office staff (Joanne) to his OR staff and Dr. Shortt himself, all made my experience a good one. I highly recommend Dr Shortt if you are considering any surgery.

I am very grateful to Dr. Shortt for his skills which have made me feel and look whole again.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, facing the necessity for a mastectomy and frightened of the unknown that lay ahead of me. I quickly researched the various breast reconstruction options including flap reconstruction and which plastic surgeons were skilled in this microsurgery procedure. I was EXTREMELY fortunately to learn about Dr. Shortt.
My reconstruction was a multi-step process over 2.5 years and during each consultation, surgery and post-op appointment, Dr. Shortt and his staff (Kristen, Joanne) were professional, compassionate and attentive to my questions.
I am very grateful to Dr. Shortt for his skills which have made me feel and look whole again. Thank you Dr. Shortt!

I recently had a face lift with Dr. Shortt and i am extremely happy with the results.

I recently had a face lift with Dr. Shortt and i am extremely happy with the results.
When I first met Dr. Shortt I was very impressed that he was such a caring and conscientious medical professional. From the moment you step in his office you feel at ease. He asked what my goals were, took time to explain various options open to me as well as the procedure itself.
Most important was the time he took to answer all my questions and concerns. I was so impressed, I booked my surgery before leaving that day and I am so glad I did.
From the first initial consult to the post-operative appointments, he has been there with me all the way with his compassion and caring manner.
I highly recommend Dr. Shortt. Thank you so much Dr. Shortt!

I am soo happy to have found Dr shortt..I feel so lucky

I am soo happy to have found Dr shortt..I feel soo lucky to have followed my gutt feeling and chose Dr shortt as my surgeon..I was between Dr shortt and another Hollywood Dr in the states..after having a skyp call with both of them..I felt instant comfort with Dr shortt.. he explained everything about the procedure ( the tummy thigh and breast lift) and really took time answering all my questions and concerns…I got very nervous as the day got closer.. but as soon as I saw him in person( I forgot to mention that I flew all the way from Dubai to Toronto for this and boy am I glad) as soon as I saw him in person I felt that sense of comfort I had during my skyp calls ..
Do now let me tell you about my recovery..I had the surgery and got discharged same day.. my breast lift was a piece of cake. I did feel nothing but a sense of discomfort to say the most.. however it was okaaay, controlable with meds..I walked immediately as per Dr shortt recommendation.. but I stayed home for the first 5 days because my meds were making me drowsy .. for the next 5 days .. off meds by now(i chose to do so because I got bored and s wanted to get out) it was torture I couldn’t walk more than an hour in the mall or so and it was very painful getting out of bed.. after 10 days it got soo much better .. at 15 days I was perfectly fine.

Nowabout my results..I am one month in and soo thrilled of the outcomes..I was soo ecstatic .. of my new set of knockers I was showing them to all my girlfriends.. they could not believe that I didn’t have implants in .. they were asking me to touch them to make sure and asked me are you sure Dr didn’t insert any kind of support ????????.. because there too perky with beautiful shape..Dr shortt not only does a lift.. apparently during the procedure.. somehow he shapes the fat as well to create fullness in the right more lifted breasts.. and i have to say i have heavy breasts i am 32DD so that was a phenomenal thing to achieve.. the scars are amazing almost invisible now.
About my tummy tuck..I have to say i am a fit person I exercise alot and I have strong abs and mainly wanted the tummy tuck for the muscle repairs.. mine were strong but a bit separated and you can only do soo much with working out.. my stomach is so flat now.. it’s unbelievable. And it supposed to get even better with time and exercise ..I can’t wait to have a six pack????????
I would like to thank Dr shortt and Joanne.. his amazing secretary assistant.. she was soo nice and warm..I am soo greatful for them both.. and i will defenitly consider coming back for any cosmetic procedures in the future .. it was defenitly worth the 17 hours journey from Dubai.!!

I am very grateful for the new me!!

This experience took awhile to absorb for a few reasons. Clearly a breast cancer diagnosis is a scary reality but I am happy to say with the beautiful reconstruction surgery I went through under the care of Dr. Shortt I am now starting to feel like a beautiful person on the inside and out! I very grateful for the new me!! Sincerely
M. Dohan

Feel and look better than ever before.