Fat transfer or fat grafting transfers fat from areas where you have excess fat (abdomen, thighs, back, hips) and injects it into areas that may be lacking volume (face, breasts, hands, buttocks). The procedure is safe, with a quick recovery and produces a natural looking result.
Who is a candidate for fat transfer?
Patients who have volume-deficient areas and creases of the face are good candidates. Those who desire a modest increase in breast size and maintain good breast shape and skin tone are candidates for fat transfer. Patients who require correction of contour deformities as a result of previous liposuction, breast augmentation or breast reconstruction are also good candidates. Fat transfer can also be effective for hand rejuvenation in adding volume to wrinkled areas and covering prominent vessels and tendons. Finally, fat transfer can be used to achieve a more curvaceous, fuller buttock as in a “Brazilian butt lift.”
How is fat transfer performed?
Fat is first harvested at the desired fat donor site using a cannula (liposuction). The fat is then purified, processed and transferred to small syringes that will be used for injection. Using small cannulas or needles, the fat is injected evenly into the areas of volume deficiency in multiple small aliquots until the desired contour is achieved. Liposuction scars are very small and well hidden.
What to expect after surgery?
Dr. Farris and his staff at Farris Plastic Surgery will provide specific instructions regarding your surgery. After the procedure, you are able to go home the same day. Postoperative pain is minimal. Swelling and bruising may last for 2 weeks. Application of makeup may camouflage these temporary changes. Restrictions on activity include no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for about 3 weeks after surgery. The survival and longevity of the grafted fat is variable and may require additional treatments.
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- What is fat transfer?
This procedure involves removing fat from one area, purifying the fat and then injecting it back into areas of the body that need filling or smoothing. It may be applied to deep facial creases or sunken hollow areas. Although the fat is harvested similarly as in liposuction, the amount of fat removed is significantly less than in liposuction.
- Where is the fat harvested from in a fat transfer procedure?
The fat can be obtained from the abdomen, hip, or thigh areas using a small cannula.
- How long do the results from a fat transfer last?
If the fat cells from a fat transfer survive, the results can last for a very long time. The important point to realize however is that about 50-70% of the fat transfer survives by successfully developing a blood supply at the recipient site. The rest of the fat resorbs. Over time, weight change, gravity and aging may also alter the results.
- What is the recovery like after fat transfer?
The recovery after fat transfer is generally minor. It can range from days to two weeks depending on the areas and amount of fat transfer.
- Why should I choose fat transfer over other dermal fillers?
There is no chance of an allergic reaction if you use your own fat. Also, synthetic fillers often require ongoing follow up re-injections and may prove to be less economical in the long term.