What is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting is a procedure to extract excess fatty tissue from one region of a patient’s body to add desirable volume to another part of their body for aesthetic enhancement. Also referred to as fat transfer, the procedure can add volume to breasts, buttocks, facial areas, and other regions without the need for fillers or implants. The fat is collected via liposuction, carefully purified, and then injected into strategic locations to create a fuller appearance and beautiful contours.
What Are the Benefits of Fat Transfer?
Given the flexibility of fat grafting to accomplish a wide range of aesthetic goals, a fat transfer procedure can offer many benefits, including:
- Long-lasting results
- Subtle yet significant changes in shape, size, and contour
- A natural-looking outcome
- A more natural alternative to breast implants and cosmetic filler injections
- Enhanced symmetry and body contours
- Restored volume in fat-depleted areas
- Reduced signs of aging
- Targeted fat reduction in desirable areas (as a result of the fat harvesting process)
Who is a Candidate for Fat Grafting?
Ideal candidates for fat grafting are women and men that are in good overall health with realistic expectations for the procedure outcome. In addition to having an interest in adding volume to reverse the effects of aging, disease, trauma, and/or genetics, candidates must have enough excess fat cells in the donor area(s)—such as the hips, abdomen, or back—to allow for the extraction of an adequate amount of fat for transfer to the targeted area(s). Candidates should also understand it may take more than one treatment to achieve the desired result. Additionally, they must be ready to refrain from smoking for a minimum of four weeks before and after fat grafting procedures.
During a private consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon in Austin, Steven Holzman, MD, he’ll provide a thorough medical evaluation, physical examination, cosmetic assessment, and discussion of your specific goals. From there he can determine if a fat grafting procedure or alternative method is the best fit for achieving your aesthetic desires.
How is the Fat Grafting Procedure Performed?
Each fat transfer is uniquely customized to meet the needs of the patient and align with their body contouring goals. Fat grafting procedures require several stages to complete, beginning with liposuction to retrieve the excess fat cells from the patient’s donor sites. Once the removed fat is extracted, typically from the abdomen, thighs, hips, or another area of the body with an adequate supply of fat, it is cleansed and processed into a supply of healthy fat cells for transfer.
After the extraction is complete, the purified fat is injected into strategic areas designated to enhance volume and improve overall body and/or facial contours. As part of the natural healing process, some of the transferred fat will likely be reabsorbed by the body, causing a certain degree of volume loss over the following few months. Dr. Holzman is experienced in performing fat grafting, and he plans each procedure to account for a degree of fat resorption. As needed, additional fat grafting procedures may be performed to further augment the initial results.
Since fat transfer can be performed on different parts of the body, the duration of the procedure and what type of anesthesia is utilized may vary. For instance, fat transfer to the face may be possible with local anesthesia, whereas fat grafting to the breasts or buttocks will typically involve general anesthesia.
How Long Do the Results of Fat Transfer Last?
Generally, by committing to a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a steady weight, the results of a fat transfer can often last for a very long time. This may vary for each patient based on factors such as the desired rejuvenation goals, type of transfer completed, volume of fat used, and the degree of fat resorption. Most results should stabilize after three months, giving the patient a good idea of the outcome. If further volume is desired, an additional fat transfer treatment may be completed at least six months after the initial procedure to further enhance the overall result.
To learn more about fat grafting treatment options, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Holzman, contact us today.