Woman with a large chest in a bathing suit on the beach (model)

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, so shouldn’t you have more than one option when choosing a breast augmentation procedure? Luckily, cosmetic breast surgery has evolved over the years, and today we can offer patients in the Des Moines area more than one approach.

But should you choose a fat transfer breast augmentation or breast implants? If you want to improve your silhouette without adding anything foreign to the body, breast augmentation using fat transfer can be an ideal approach. But not every patient is a good candidate for a natural breast augmentation, but almost anyone can get breast implants.

Let’s break down the pros and cons of each procedure:

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

Unlike traditional breast augmentation using silicone or saline breast implants, breast augmentation fat transfer surgery is a natural alternative. During this outpatient procedure, we use liposuction to remove unwanted fat from other areas—usually the abdomen and thighs. The fat cells are purified and injected into the breasts, increasing them by up to about one cup size. Typically, only about 60 to 80 percent of the fat survives the transfer, which impacts overall results.


  • Yields natural, subtle results (nothing foreign in the body)
  • Less invasive than breast implant surgery; tiny incisions with minimal scarring
  • Enlarges breasts while removing excess fat from where it’s unwanted—a win-win for your physique
  • Ideal for creating more breast symmetry, especially after a lumpectomy
  • Can be done under local anesthesia


  • You are limited by the amount of excess fat you have and unable to choose from a range of breast implant sizes and shapes
  • Only adds modest volume to breasts; will not improve sagging
  • Some of the transferred fat cells will not “survive” their relocation, diminishing overall results
  • With more techniques involved, this procedure may cost more than breast implants
  • It may take several sessions to achieve desired results

Breast Augmentation With Implants

Silicone or saline implants are placed underneath the breast tissue or pectoral muscles to increase breast size, volume, and/or shape. We will sample different implants during your sizing session to help you determine your ideal aesthetic. We sometimes recommend combining breast implant surgery with a breast lift to achieve desired results.


  • You can choose from a variety of implant shapes and sizes to enhance your breasts
  • Today’s implants last 10 to 20 years before they need to be replaced
  • Implants only require one procedure, unlike fat grafting/fat transfer
  • Typically less complicated and expensive than breast augmentation with fat transfer


  • Potential risk of implants shifting or rupturing, although today this risk is minimal
  • Results may appear more noticeable than fat transfer (this can be a pro or a con)
  • Slightly longer recovery time compared to fat transfer
  • Implants are long-lasting but will eventually need to be replaced

Visit our breast augmentation before and after photo gallery to help decide whether fat transfer breast augmentation or breast implants are the right choice for you. We also invite you to request a consultation online or call us at (515) 277-5555 to schedule an appointment.

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