What are the risks of fat transfer?

Posted on: December 19, 2022

Lipotransfer is a method by which fat can be moved in those areas where it is considered that there is more and take it to the areas in which you want to increase the volume such as breasts or buttocks.

Some of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the world are liposuction, breast augmentation and buttock augmentation, of course each one fulfills a different function and is irreplaceable by any of the previous ones.

As these surgeries are the most common, it is understandable that there are people who want to perform all three or at least two of them at the same time and this has been possible for a few years thanks to lipotransfer.

What are the risks of fat transfer?

When performing a surgical intervention there will always be a variety of risks, many of them are general, that is, they will always exist in any operation and others will depend on the type of intervention that is done.

In the case of fat transfer there are some specific risks that are run when performing the operation:


After the operation there are some bruises in the areas most affected by the extraction of fat, however in some isolated cases these bruises can persist for several more weeks.


In breast operations, this is a common risk. It can occur in the first 7 to 10 days after the operation, and although the liquid is often absorbed by the lymphatic system, there are times when it is necessary to drain it.


Post-operative infections usually occur in most cases due to poor management in the healing of scars, so it is extremely important to have good hygiene not only in the area but also in the hands and the materials that are going to be treated. Use when performing scar treatments.


This can be due to several factors, such as poor stitch taking, stitch extraction before the corresponding time or poor healing.

sensitivity changes

The sensitivity of the skin of the affected areas is usually affected in the first days after the operation.

However, there are isolated cases in which these changes in sensitivity can last much longer or even be permanent.

poor healing

This problem usually occurs mostly in patients who smoke since this decreases good circulation and oxygenation.

Damage to underlying structures

This is largely due to the amount of fatty tissue that must be removed and the surgeon’s handling of it.

Unsatisfactory results

To avoid this type of risk, it is important to make clear the expectations regarding the results of the operation so that the surgeon can, after carrying out the evaluation, say how viable and probable it is to meet the client’s objectives.

Fat transfer, risk of solidification and calcification

Since the 1980’s, fat has been used as a “filler” alternative in cosmetic surgeries since it solves two problems in the same procedure : remove fat where it is considered to be excess and place it where it is considered to be lacking.

Thanks to its autologous nature, the risk of allergies or body rejection is reduced, without a doubt a much more durable and reliable alternative than solid or injectable implants.

However, in 2007, the Society of Plastic Surgeons of the United States issued a statement warning that lipotransfer, the risk that fat transplanted into the breasts could interfere with the detection of breast cancer.

This is because over time the fat can begin to solidify and calcify, resulting in misinterpretation on mammograms .

Despite this, many surgeons have spoken out in recent years arguing that with the advancement of technology in the last decade, it is possible to differentiate solidification due to fat accumulation or cancer on mammograms .

Even in countries like Italy, it has been proposed as an alternative to women who have had to undergo total removal of breast tissue due to cancer to undergo breast reconstruction through lipotransfer.