The term ‘fat transfer’ refers to a cosmetic procedure using liposuction to remove unwanted fat from one area of the body and inserting it into another area to enhance the appearance of that body area. You may also hear it referred to as ‘fat injections’, ‘fat grafting’ or ‘lipofilling’.
There are several reasons it might make sense to use a patient’s own tissue in a cosmetic procedure. For one thing, it keeps physicians from having to rely solely on implants for augmentations or other enhancement procedures. For another, it significantly reduces the risk of allergic reactions to practically none at all.
Where on the Body are Fat Transfers Performed?
Fat transfers have been around since the early nineties, and while many uses have been well-established, there’s no question that new applications will continue to be uncovered as technology advances.
The primary purpose of fat transfers is to improve some area of the body that has, for whatever reason, lost volume. On the face, for example, that means fat transfers can be beneficial for restoring volume to sunken cheeks, lower eyelids, or to increase the volume of the lips.
Your hands can also benefit from fat transfers, particularly the back of the hands, which tend to lose volume as you age.
Breast reconstruction following mastectomy is often done using fat transfer procedures, and in those cases, the treatment may be covered by insurance.
Fat grafting can also be useful in body contouring and to fill in any depressions on the body, such as those sometimes seen with scar tissue.
Perhaps the most common reason for fat transfers is in augmentation procedures, specifically in the breasts or buttocks. These fat transfer treatments are very successful and produce results that are incredibly natural-looking.
Fat Transfers – Things to Consider
It’s important to understand that to have a fat transfer procedure, you must have places on your body the fat can be harvested from. For most people, there is sufficient fatty tissue on the thighs, stomach or buttocks area.
It’s also critical that you’re not dealing with any circulation issues whatsoever.
The results you get from fat transfer treatments are safe and long-lasting, but it may cost more than dermal fillers (primarily used for lost facial volume).
If you’re having breast or buttock augmentation, you may need more than one session to achieve the look you’re seeking.
You should be aware that your body may reabsorb much of the fat that’s transferred, up to 65%, but what remains will be there for years. In order to maintain the increased volume you desire, you may want to consider having multiple fat grafting procedures done over a span of several months.
Final Thoughts on Fat Transfers
For most people, the benefits and rewards for having fat transfers done far exceed the risks, which are actually quite minimal. Some patients experience some swelling and soreness, but many do not. For the majority of patients who opt for fat transfer treatments, they’re delighted with the results and happy with their overall experience.
If you think a fat transfer is something that could be beneficial in helping you reach your aesthetic goals, contact us with any questions or to set up a personal consultation.