Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Vs. Implants

Fat transfers and breast implants are both effective ways to increase the size and enhance the shape of the breasts. So which augmentation technique is right for you? Breast augmentation is a big decision, and so it’s important to explore your options and make sure that you’re well informed before your big(ger) day. The best breast augmentation for you will depend on your goals, your body, and your personal preferences- all of the important factors that make you a unique and fabulous individual. At Millard Plastic Surgery Center, we are dedicated to educating our patients and giving them every advantage to achieve a personalized and stunning set of curves. If you’ve been considering a breast augmentation, but are unsure which procedure is right for you, read on. Or, set up a personal consultation with Dr. John Millard at his office in Englewood, Colorado. It’s conveniently located to serve patients in the Denver area. Call (303) 792-5665 to schedule an appointment and get started on the bust of your dreams.

Before and After Photos

What’s the Difference Between a Fat Transfer and Implants?

  • A Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation uses prepared fat from the patient’s body to increase the size of the breasts. This procedure allows women to contour their body while enlarging their bust by one or two cup sizes.  Depending on the size of the patient’s frame, this can be a subtle or significant change in their appearance.
  • A Breast Augmentation with Implants inserts synthetic implants into the breast cavity during a surgical procedure. For women looking to make a high-impact change, or whose proportions aren’t suited to a fat transfer, this is a tried and true way to get eye-catching results

Each of these breast augmentation techniques has advantages and important considerations. 


You’ve come a long way, breast implants. The first breast augmentation was in 1865, when a woman had a fatty mass from her back implanted in her breast to correct a mastectomy. In the 1960s the first versions of the successful modern silicone implant were introduced. In 1965, a French doctor developed saline implants, with only relatively minor improvements needed since. (1) 

breast fat transfer denver

Today’s implants are FDA-approved and safer than ever. However, there is still a chance that implants can leak or rupture, without proper care and upkeep. When saline implants rupture, the body naturally absorbs the sterile saline solution, leaving the woman with an asymmetrical chest that is immediately visible. However, when silicone implants rupture, it can go undetected. Patients with silicone implants are instructed to get MRI scans every two years to monitor the condition of their implants. Also, a woman’s essential mammograms are not always viable with implants. 

This is the chief advantage of a fat transfer breast augmentation. This option eliminates the risk of rupture and the time and considerable expense of MRI appointments. Plus, since the FDA stresses that breast implants are not lifetime devices, and the likelihood of rupture and complications increases drastically after 10 years, women with breast implants will need to plan on future procedures and the important considerations that accompany them. (2)

At Millard Plastic Surgery Center, safety always comes first. This is why Dr. Millard only uses Sientra breast implants. Their strength and low rate of complications set them apart from other implants on the market today. Many of the complications that women experience after breast implants can arise from implants that are too large, or were improperly positioned. Dr. Millard has performed thousands of these procedures and understands the importance of both aesthetic and surgical finesse during these critical procedures- which is why he founded the Advanced Body Sculpting Institute and teaches other leading professionals in the industry.  

Breast Augmentation Procedures

Fat Transfer

fat transfer breast denver

Dr. Millard uses the state-of-the-art Wells Johnson HVP Auto-Graft Infusion system. This sophisticated piece of medical equipment allows for a faster procedure, a better rate of successful fat transfer, and minuscule extraction and injection sites. The unwanted fat from other parts of your body is liposuctioned away via a slim cannula, to sculpt slimmer contours. It is then introduced to the breasts via another specially designed cannula that allows Dr. Millard to carefully control the shape, projection, and overall dimensions of your breasts.

A fat transfer to the breasts achieves safe, long-term results so that you’ll be able to enjoy the results comfortably for the years to come.

Breast Implants

breast augmentation denver

Your breast implant procedure will be customized to accommodate your body, your implants, and your ultimate goals. Once you select the size, shape, and type of implant, your new breasts may be implanted in several different ways. Breast implants can be inserted under the pectoral muscle or under a sufficient layer of tissue and skin. In order to access the proper location, you and Dr. Millard will decide on the best incision technique to minimize scarring and recovery and to ensure that your breast implants are safely and successfully located for beautiful results.


Benefits of a Fat Transfer to the Breasts

  • No risk of rejection
  • No invasive surgery
  • No need for removal or replacement
  • Fat tissue ages naturally with the rest of the body
  • Natural look and feel
  • Opportunity to contour other areas of the body to harvest the fat
  • Faster recovery time


  • Limited size increase ability
  • Not all fat will take to the transplant area
  • A second transplant may be required
  • Can’t achieve the dramatic look of implants 
  • Recovery for both harvest sites and breasts

Benefits of Breast Implants

  • Wide variety of shapes and sizes to choose from
  • Alternative for women without enough body fat to transfer
  • Can be complemented with fat transfer for a more natural contour
  • More dramatic results
  • Option to change size or shape during implant replacement


  • Risk of complications like capsular contracture, and other medical conditions
  • Skin “rippling” 
  • Risk of Rupture
  • Limited lifespan of implants
  • More invasive surgery
  • Longer recovery

Personal Consultation

During your personal consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about the different breast augmentation options available to you. Dr. Millard will review your medical history, and assess your risk for breast cancer, possibly ordering a mammogram to ensure that your procedure can be performed safely and achieve good long-term results. 

No matter which way you’re leaning, when you come to Millard Plastic Surgery, you’ll have the advantage of cutting-edge technology to help you envision your ideal results. 

We are one of the few practices in the Denver metropolitan area to offer advanced Vectra 3D Imaging. This technology provides patients with a 3-dimensional picture of their breasts and surrounding tissues such as fat. It then produces simulated images so that patients can see exactly what they’d look like with implants of different sizes, shapes, and projections. It is also helpful to determine whether breast contouring or a lift would also be helpful in achieving their ideal contours.

At Millard Plastic Surgery, we confidently offer implants and fat transfers to our breast augmentation patients. In some cases, Dr. Millard may recommend that a patient get both implants and a fat transfer procedure.

How Does Recovery from a Fat Transfer Compare to Implants?

Fat Transfer

If you’re planning a fat transfer breast augmentation, plan on taking 3-5 days off from work in order to rest and recuperate. Swelling and slight discomfort may persist for 2-3 weeks following the procedure. And while breasts will appear larger, the final results occur in approximately 6 months, when the fat is permanently established in its new home.

Breast Implants

Women who undergo a breast implant augmentation should plan on a limited range of motion and little activity for the first week. Full recovery from a breast implant surgery usually takes 6-8 weeks. Final results are usually not visible from 3-6 months after surgery, when the tissue finally relaxes, and the breast implant can settle into place and expand to its full size.  


No two patients are the same, and the cost of your breast augmentation will depend on many variables. These include the type of augmentation you’ve chosen, the type of implant, and the extent and techniques required to perform your surgery. During your personal consultation, Dr. Millard will provide you with transparent pricing, and answer all of the your questions. Dr. Millard knows the life-changing effect that a breast augmentation can have, and believes that every woman should be able to achieve her aesthetic goals. Financing options are available for those who qualify. Call us at (303) 792-5665 with any questions you may have. 


  1. Coombs DM, Grover R, Prassinos A, Gurunluoglu R. Breast augmentation surgery: Clinical considerations. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2019;86(2):111-122. doi:10.3949/ccjm.86a.1801
  2. United States Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Saline, Silicone Gel, and Alternative Breast Implants: Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Devices Branch Division of General, Restorative, and Neurological Devices Office of Device Evaluation. ; 2006. Accessed March 24, 2021. https://www.fda.gov/media/71081/download
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