First, fat is removed using liposuction, in which a cannula (a thin, hollow tube) is inserted through small incisions, and then moved back and forth to loosen excess fat, which is suctioned out using a vacuum or a cannula-attached syringe. The harvested fat cells are then purified. In the second procedure, which takes place on the same day, the fat is injected into the breast through small incisions.
The procedure takes 4 to 6 hours to perform under general anesthesia, or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on the preference of the patient and surgeon. Because some of the injected fat is reabsorbed by the body, some people may require two or more fat-transfer procedures to achieve satisfactory results. Postoperative pain and swelling, which can be managed with prescription medication, are typical. After fat transfer breast augmentation patients can return to work and other light activity after a few weeks.