close up of a woman's chest in a red bra posing for a picture

Breast augmentation can help many women feel better about themselves and their bodies, but implants have related complications and a limited life span often requiring future surgeries for correction or replacement. Also more recently, implants have been implicated in the cause of BIA-ALCL and Breast Implant Illness. For this reason, many women are wary to undergo a traditional augmentation with implants. However, breast augmentation does not always equal implants. Implant-free augmentation is an alternative for women who are interested in augmentation procedures but would prefer to forgo saline or silicone implants. An alternative is achieved by redistributing fat from other parts of the body into the breasts.

If you’re looking to increase the size of your breasts without undergoing an invasive procedure, implant-free augmentation is an excellent option.

Implant-free augmentation is a two step process: harvesting and injecting


During the harvesting stage, a surgeon will remove fat via liposuction from unwanted parts of the body like the abdomen, thighs, or love-handles. The fat is then processed in the operating room and re-injected into the breasts. The length of the procedure varies based on how many areas of liposuction are required.


After the lipoaspirate has been processed by discarding the fluid portion leaving purified fat, that fat is then re-injected through needle sized punctures in the skin with a fat grafting cannula. The fat is placed evenly throughout the breast tissues in multiple rows ensuring these newly grafted cells get adequate nutrients in their new home. A good technique is critical to achieve ideal outcomes.

What are the pros and cons of implant free augmentation?

One of the biggest advantages is that it’s a less invasive procedure without any significant incisions. It also is not associated with the complications common with implant augmentation. Most patients who undergo the procedure can get back to their regular activities within 48 hours.

Implant-free augmentation also looks and feels completely natural, never giving that “implant” look.

However, implant-free augmentation is less predictable because the amount of fat that gets resorbed during the healing process may vary to some degree between individuals. In addition, your breast size will fluctuate with weight loss or gain. Also it can also achieve a maximum increase of one cup size per grafting session.

Who should get implant-free augmentation?

Implant-free augmentation is ideal for women looking to redistribute fat from other parts of their bodies. It can be paired with significant body contouring liposuction therefore giving the effect of a larger bustline as well as a more shapely figure. If you have unwanted fat in areas like your stomach or thighs, you can use it to enhance the size of your breasts. It is also a good option for those who would prefer to avoid more invasive procedures. Recovery time tends to be shorter.

Some women are also uncomfortable with the idea of breast implants for a variety of reasons. While breast implants are very safe, implant-free augmentation can be an alternative for women who want larger breasts without implants and the associated risks with implants.

However, implant-fee augmentation cannot achieve as dramatic of a volume enhancement as implants can. If you’re looking to substantially change the size and shape of your breasts, implants are the best means to get the results you want.

What does recovery look like?

After implant-free augmentation, your breasts may be sore for up to two weeks. However, the areas of liposuction can significantly longer to recover. Typical recovery from liposuction is two weeks of wearing a tight compression garment with restricted activity and an additional four weeks of a lighter compression garment, such as Spanks, and up to three months of variable amounts of swelling before the final outcome is realized. Talk to your surgeon about what activities are safe for you after the procedure. Despite the lengthy recovery associated with liposuction, it is by fat the most effective way to contour your body and surgically eliminate extra body fat.

Are there risks?

Every procedure has risks, but breast augmentation risks are very low. Some women may experience cysts or infections, so be sure to call your surgeon if you notice any unusual changes in your breasts. Most side-effects are easy to treat.

Approximately one third of the processed fat gets resorbed in the first six to twelve weeks. Because of this, many women experience disappointment because the initial breast size immediately post-op is larger. Because of this, your surgeon will overfill your breasts to compensate for the expected volume loss.

For the most part, it is a low-risk procedure. Most women who undergo it should not have any complications. The best way to minimize your risk of complications is to work with a board certified plastic surgeon with experience performing implant-free augmentation.


If you’re looking to enhance your breast’s natural appearance without major surgery, implant-free augmentation is a great choice. The procedure is minimally invasive, low-risk, and comes with a much more natural looking and feeling breast.

Implant-free augmentation can have a positive impact on your self-esteem and self-confidence. It does not just increase the size of your breasts but reshapes your body via fat distribution.

Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon. If you’re interested in implant-free augmentation, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.

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