Fat Transfer

Achieving results that last and appear natural is a priority for many men and women who desire cosmetic enhancement. One of the most effective procedures that do not involve implants or synthetic materials is fat transfer. This procedure involves removing unwanted fat from problem regions and adding it to areas where volume is lacking. Volume loss can occur due to genetics, aging, weight changes, pregnancy, and other factors. Fat transfer can be performed in place of fillers, breast augmentation with implants, or butt augmentation with implants, and there is no risk of allergic reaction because it uses your own tissue.

Ideal Candidates for Fat Transfer

Candidates for fat transfer wish to add volume to areas such as the face, breasts, or buttocks and have enough fat in another part of the body to use as a donor site. Patients should also be non-smokers in good health to ensure the best results as well as the safest surgical experience.

  • The Fat Transfer Process
  • Recovery
  • Results
  • FAQs

The Fat Transfer Process

Dr. Hotchandani performs fat transfer to the buttocks, face, and breasts, depending on the desires and goals of the patient.

  • Liposuction will be performed first to harvest the fat to be transferred. Common donor sites include the abdomen, thighs, or flanks (love handles).
  • The fat is collected after VASER® liposuction, which allows for more viable fat to be harvested.
  • The purified fat is placed into small syringes and then strategically injected into the desired location. The fat can also be directly injected from a collection device (Wells Johnson system) to improve definition, shape, and overall volume.

While most of the transferred fat cells will survive and establish a new blood supply, a small percentage of the cells will not survive. Typically, slightly more fat is transferred than is necessary to account for this.

Recovery

After your fat transfer procedure, you will likely experience some swelling and bruising that will last for up to a few weeks. However, many patients can return to work after one week, once the worst of the bruising and swelling has dissipated. Those who opt for facial fat grafting may choose to stay home for longer to allow bruising to subside. Makeup can be carefully applied to the face by the third week of recovery. Residual swelling may persist for up to three weeks, after which you will see your final results.

*Results and patient experience may vary.

Results

A portion of the transferred fat will likely become metabolized by the body. However, with proper technique and dedicated aftercare, a sizable amount will graft successfully to the existing fat in the treatment area. Once the swelling has resolved and the fat cells have attached to the blood supply, the results of your procedure will be long lasting or even permanent. Any subsequent aging and weight changes can affect the outcome of this procedure, but volume fluctuations should be in proportion with the newly formed contours.

FAQs

Does fat transfer cause scarring?

Because the incisions made for liposuction are small, any scarring should be minimal. Following the aftercare instructions carefully and keeping your incisions out of the sun will help them heal. There is typically no scarring in injection site(s) on the face, as no incisions are necessary.

What are the risks associated with fat transfer?

While fat transfer is safe, well-tolerated, there are certain risks associated with any surgical procedure. These risks include:

  • Reactions to anesthesia
  • Hematoma/Seroma
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Small oil cysts
  • Macrocalcification

To minimize these risks, follow all pre- and post-operative instructions carefully.

What should I do to prepare for my procedure?

Before your fat transfer surgery, you will need to quit smoking for at least six weeks before and after your operation and stop or adjust the dosage of certain medications. You will also need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from your appointment and stay with you for the first night to help with activities such as bathing and food preparation.