Fat Transfer is a wonderful way to use excess fat to restore youthful volume to the face, hands, breasts, and body naturally.
Fat Grafting Surgery
Fat grafting or fat transfer is a surgical procedure in which fat from one area of the body is transferred to the other. It is used to enhance or augment the required area by giving natural-looking results.
If you are loosing volume in select areas of your face or body, fat grafting may work for you. It is the most abundant and easily available natural filler.
Fat is a large and effective source of stem cells in the body. Fat injection or grafting has vast usage in cosmetic surgery. Fat injected into areas requiring volume-enhancement produces safe, long-lasting, and natural-appearing results. Typically, grafting is used to replace volume in areas that fat is diminished.
Fat grafting usually involves harvesting fat from one part of the body, processing it, and then carefully re-injecting it with specially designed needles into the areas requiring augmentation. The procedure may need to be done more than once to achieve the desired result as some of the grafted cell may be reabsorbed by the body naturally.
Patients who benefit from fat grafting are people who desire augmentation or filling of volume- deficient areas. The most commonly grafted areas include the hands (rejuvenation of hands), face (rejuvenation), lip augmentation ( to make fuller lips)and depressions in the skin contour. With regards to the face , it can be done as a stand alone procedure or with facelift to show amazing rejuvenation.
Breast and Buttock augmentation is another commonly performed procedure that can give very natural improvements.
Fat grafting is done for both cosmetic and reconstructive purposes. Dr. Priti Patel commonly uses this procedure in conjunction with breast reconstruction to fill and create cleavage in the upper portion of the breast as well as to thicken mastectomy skin.
What is the procedure for fat grafting?
A thorough pre-procedure evaluation is performed by Dr. Priti Patel. This may be done on a visit prior to the procedure. On exam we will assess the necessary donor site from which fat will be chosen.
Our office may take pre-procedure photographs, an informed consent will be obtained, and your skin may be marked. Either local (‘twilight’) or general anesthesia may be used.
Fat is harvested using a special suction cannula using sterile technique from various access points on the abdomen, hips or thighs that are not more than a few millimeters in size. Once enough fat is obtained from the donor area, it is then purified. This often requires the use of a centrifuge which spins the fat and removes impurities. The fat is then placed in small syringes and injected into the areas requiring augmentation through small access points in the skin. A multitude of passes are done as the fat is placed in a three-dimensional latticework that maximizes the in-growth of blood vessels and fat survival.The areas that were injected may then be massaged to create a satisfactory contour. The access points in the skin heal without the need for sutures. The harvest site access points are simply covered with steristrips.
The procedure may take around two to three hours but this varies greatly depending on how soon the desired amount of fat is extracted and the area to be injected.
Not all the cells will survive the transfer procedure, but typically about 50-70% will remain long-term. Our technique increases fat viability when we re-inject it to make sure it develops a new blood supply in the new area, but there is always some amount of loss. Often we will graft additional amounts to account for this difference.
Our practice uses the latest techniques in fat grafting. Liposuction is commonly performed at the abdomen and flank regions which are thought to be the best donor sites.
Liposuction requires tiny punctures for the cannula to be inserted. The scarring is very minimal since these are often just a few millimeters in size. The donor site is left somewhat thinner than it was previously depending on the amount harvested. For large volumes, we can perform circumferential liposuction of the abdomen and back to give the best shape and contour.
Pain is minimal. We use a local anesthetic, and in many cases we may use sedation which will make you very relaxed, and reduce the stress of the procedure. When paired with other surgery, general anesthesia is common. Postoperatively the pain is well tolerated.
Post-operative discomfort will last for 1-2 days, until the majority of the swelling goes down. The rest of the swelling may take a week to disappear. We will supply you with pain medications if needed. You can return to normal (light) activity immediately, but your liposuctioned areas may be swollen and bruised for several weeks. It is best to wait at least a week to resume more strenuous activities.
The grafted site will also have some bruising and swelling which will take approximately 1-2 weeks until they settle. Final results can be evaluated closer to 6 weeks from surgery.
At Aesthetiq, its simply our pleasure to help patients uncover their true beauty. We encourage you to join our mailing list by signing up below. From scheduling to monthly events and promotions, you will be the first to know how we can assist in enhancing your appearance and embracing your self-esteem.