Fat transfer is a procedure that uses a patient’s own fat to re-implant it where needed. The fat is typically extracted from your abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, and is then injected into other areas requiring plumping or augmentation.
Also, referred to a fat injection, fat grafting and fat transplantation, this procedure is commonly used for
- Buttocks augmentation
- Breast augmentation and reconstruction (for cancer patients)
- Repairing the look of aging hands
- Filling fine lines, folds and wrinkles on the face
- Filling lips
- Repair bags under the eyes
- Fill our hollow cheek areas
Some of the Benefits of Fat Transfer
- The procedure uses the patient’s own tissue, thereby reducing the likelihood of rejection by the body.
- Fat transfer has long-lasting results, whereas, most other dermal fillers are absorbed by the body within three to nine months, making regular injections a continuing expense.
- Fat injections can enhance the blood circulation in the tissues making the skin healthier. This is because there are a small number of stem cells that are collected along with the fat and reintroduced into the areas you are treating where they stimulate and rejuvenate the skin.
How Do They Do It?
Fat injections can be done under local or sedation anesthesia. Fat is withdrawn from the patient using a syringe that has a large-bore needle or with a needle-like device called a liposuction cannula (a hollow-tubed needle). The fat is then ‘prepared’ according to the practitioner’s preferred method and injected into the patient
The preparation process clears the fat of blood and any unwanted ingredients that could cause an infection or side effect (such as residual medications in the bloodstream, etc).
In some procedures, the fat is not drawn out with needles, but is removed by cutting small strips of fat from the body and then placing the tissue in the patient, using additional small incisions.
Some people believe that the results from fat injections “do not last”. This is mainly because immediate results are more pronounced than eventual results. In most cases, when properly done, a large percentage of the injected fat cells do survive and are permanent. Because of this small degree of ‘fat loss’ during the first few weeks following the procedure, some doctors will tend to ‘over-correct,’ or inject more than is needed, knowing that after a few weeks the final result will be more subtle. An open discussion with your doctor about your expectations vs. the eventual outcome is important so you are not disappointed with the final result.
Post- Procedure Recommendation
One of the best ways to manage the initial swelling and speed the recovery time is to visit your local Aesthetician for a gentle lymphatic drainage treatment. Lymphatic drainage treatment is best done no sooner than 48 hours after the procedure and will not ‘disturb’ the fat placement.
One note of caution – people who have had a fat transfer procedure should avoid any post-procedure treatments at include heat, ultrasound, or waxing for at least two week after the procedure.
Los Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa February 2012: 51-52
Ricardo Rodriguez, M.D. “Fat Injections” 6 Mar, 2012 <http://www.cosmeticsurg.net/procedures/Fat-Injections.php>