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Fat transfer (also referred to as fat grafting or fat injections) is a procedure that restores lost volume by transferring body fat from one area where there is a surplus to another area where more is desired. Those areas that are most often used for harvesting fat are the abdomen, thighs & flanks. By contrast, the most requested areas for rejuvenation via fat transfer are the breasts, buttocks & face. However, these are certainly not the only areas that can be treated using this technique.
Am I a good candidate for fat transfer?
Consultation with one of our board-certified physicians is the first step in determining if you would benefit from this procedure. Our doctors have the necessary expertise & skills to both identify appropriate candidates and guide them through the process.
Generally speaking, good candidates for fat transfer are:
male or female, age 18 thru 65
not pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding
looking for a non-invasive treatment for volume loss in certain areas of the body
already at a healthy weight, but with enough fat available for the transfer
for enhancing larger areas like breasts or buttocks, more donor fat is necessary
for smaller areas on the face such as the cheeks, less is needed
How does fat transfer work?
We’ll start the procedure by collecting fat cells from the donor area of your body (e.g. – abdomen, thighs) using power-assisted liposuction. This advanced method helps break down the targeted fat while minimizing the impact to surrounding body tissues. Immediately after harvesting, the unwanted fat cells are purified and are then ready for transfer to their pre-determined new location. It should be noted that not all fat cells will survive the procedure. As a result, additional transfers may be needed to achieve optimal results. In some cases, we’ll “overfill” the graft area knowing that a portion of that volume will deplete on its own. Cells that are not able to endure the transfer will simply be eliminated by your normal body processes.
What are the potential side effects of fat transfer?
Fat transfer requires both a liposuction procedure as well as the transfer itself, so we must consider each when reviewing possible side effects. Without question, swelling & bruising are the most commonly seen side effects for both parts of the process. Also, downtime can vary depending on the harvesting and transfer locations as well as individual healing times. That said, before your procedure we’ll carefully review your medical history, possible side effects and expected outcomes to ensure your safety & understanding on every level.
When will I see results from fat transfer?
To be clear, we expect fat transfer results to evolve slightly over time. As previously mentioned, the percentage of fat cells that survive the transfer process ultimately determines your final results. For the most part, your body will have naturally removed any of the fat cells that didn’t survive the procedure within 6 months time. At that point, we can discuss whether or not additional transfer injections would be beneficial.
Is fat transfer permanent?
Overall, the bulk of the fat graft will usually survive transfer and is permanent. As for any fat cells that do not establish a blood supply, they are naturally removed by your body over the course of about six months.