The process of fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, involves injecting excess fat harvested from parts of the body (such as the belly, thighs, back, and hips) into areas of the body that may be deficient in volume (such as the face, breasts, hands, and buttocks). Recovery time is minimal, and when compared to dermal fillers, there is less chance of an allergic reaction, with results that look and feel very natural and last longer.
If you have always wanted to shed some fat from certain areas of your body yet also want to add more volume to other parts, it’s worth exploring if a fat transfer may be right for you. Here is an introductory guide about how this procedure works and what you can expect from it:
What Happens During Fat Grafting?
A typical fat grafting procedure consists of three steps: extracting fat tissue from a suitable donor site on your body, processing the extracted fat to remove cellular debris and excess oils and fluids, and reinjecting the purified tissue into the areas that need volume.
When fat is transferred, it instantly adheres to the surrounding tissues. Unlike silicone or other non-living implants, your body embraces the transplanted fat as a natural component of yourself. After the fat gets blood supply, it stays in place for good.
It is common practice to receive local anesthesia prior to a fat transfer procedure, usually done in an outpatient setting. You are awake throughout the operation but will not be in any pain or discomfort. However, if the treated region is greater, you may be given general anesthesia that will put you asleep throughout the treatment.
Results of a Fat Transfer Procedure
The effects of fat transfer are lasting. However, not all fat cells survive the surgery, and you may not acquire the desired volume immediately. In most instances, 50% to 80% of injected fat cells survive the transfer, and it takes around six months for the injected fat cells to acquire a new blood supply and show full effects. Your surgeon will generally inject extra fat to adjust for this so that you get the desired results.