Fat Grafting

Autologuous Fat Transfer

Model. Not actual patient.

The Benefits of Fat Grafting

Fat grafting, also known as autologous fat transfer, is one of the most versatile procedures in aesthetic medicine today. Unsurprisingly, fat graft procedures are famous for transforming areas like the breasts or butt. But you can also use fat grafting to generate subtle and delicate results, making the lips, face, and hands other popular choices.

This procedure uses your own fat to give you an amazingly natural looking result. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fat grafting benefits:

  • Two for one
    Fat grafting provides a fantastic little two for one experience. You get to remove fat from an area of your body where you don't want it, and you get to contour or add to a region where you do want that extra volume.
  • Natural look and feel
    Not only will your results look natural, but they’ll also feel natural. You won’t have to worry about the feel of artificial implants.
  • Fat graft is permanent
    Even the best silicone implants are going to have a designated shelf life. That means you’ll likely need to undergo surgery at some point in your life to remove and replace those implants, even if it’s fifteen or more years down the road. With fat graft procedures, there’s nothing to remove. Your results are permanent, becoming a normal, healthy part of your body!
  • You have options
    Fat grafting procedures can be used in a variety of regions of the face and body. For example, if you want to enhance your lips and your buttocks, fat grafting procedures can accomplish both of those results (often simultaneously). 
  • Reconstruction
    Fat grafting also provides an effective platform for breast reconstruction procedures. These procedures help correct trauma or mastectomy, allowing women to feel healed and "complete".
  • Enhance other procedures
    In many cases, fat grafting techniques are performed in conjunction with other aesthetic plastic surgery procedures. Think of a fat graft as a way to supercharge your results — and help them stay looking totally natural in the process.

Who is Fat Grafting For?

Fat grafting procedures are commonly performed on patients who want to achieve a change in the way they look. This particular procedure can remove volume from one area and increase volume in another. Even patients with low body fat content have the ability to generate enough fat for a successful graft.

In general fat grafting is a good fit for patients who:

  • Want to increase the volume of their lips, breasts, buttocks, or other areas of the body.
  • Have enough fat for the grafting procedure. This is usually accomplished via liposuction, and even very thin patients usually have sufficient volume for a liposuction.
  • Understand that this procedure requires liposuction, usually of the belly, flank, or lateral thigh.
  • Have a realistic understanding of what fat grafting can accomplish.
  • Are generally healthy enough for surgery.

Because fat grafting can be used to address a wide variety of issues, good candidates for the procedure tend to vary considerably. Some patients want an aesthetic transformation, while others are trying to address and improve past trauma to the body.

Model. Not actual patient.

Common Goals of Fat Grafting

You can target a number of aesthetic issues with fat transfer.

  • Lips
    Fat is injected into several sites on the lips to make them smoother, fuller, more symmetric in shape and to redefine the border.
  • Face
    Fat is injected into several areas of the face, often around the cheeks to add fullness.
  • Hands
    Fat can be gently injected into the hands, making them look smoother, less transparent, and more youthful.
  • Breast enhancement
    When fat grafting is used as part of a breast augmentation procedure, it’s usually done to redefine upper breast fullness, eliminate minor asymmetry, and make for a smoother slope for a more natural contour. This is called lipofilling.
  • Buttocks
    Many injections can be made to smooth and round the buttock contour. This is known as Brazilian butt lift.
  • Breast reconstruction
    Fat grafting is usually performed as part of a multi-pronged breast reconstruction effort. Our surgeons have published a multitude of papers on fat grafting in radiated breasts and have well-earned reputations as leading experts.

The Fat Grafting Surgery

The fat grafting procedure is relatively straightforward and minimally invasive, which means you’ll be an outpatient and have a less intense recovery period.

First, a predetermined volume of fat is removed from the body via liposuction. We use tumescent liposuction. No lasers, vasers, or other directed energy is used during the liposuction process, as these can increase the risk of damaging the delicate fat cells that are being removed. The fat is then purified in a Revolve fat transfer harvest system and moved to a cannula for injection into the area desired.

Once injected, it may take several weeks for your fat to “take” to its new location. This is a normal part of the process. A small percentage of the fat transferred will break down, but the rest will permanently transform the injected area.

Fat Grafting Recovery

The length and duration of your recovery will vary depending on the site of your fat graft procedure. It’s likely that you will need to alter your behavior for at least several weeks in order to achieve the best possible effects (for example, you may need to sleep on your back if you underwent a fat graft breast augmentation, or on your front if you had a Brazilian butt lift).

You may also notice swelling and bruising, especially in the liposuction site. This should subside within a couple of weeks of your procedure. A compression garment may be worn to help reduce these side effects.

Our surgeons provide every patient with individualized recovery instructions.

Fat Grafting Risks

Some of the most notable risks related to fat grafting include the following:

  • Excessive swelling (seroma or hematoma)
  • Excessive bruising or loss of blood
  • Blood clots
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Infection
  • Necrosis
  • Undesirable aesthetic results

Model. Not actual patient.

Autologuous Fat Grafting FAQ

How do I choose the right surgeon for my fat transfer procedure?

Fat grafting is part of the years of medical training a board certified plastic surgeon undergoes at school as well as during their residency and fellowship. Other doctors typically do not undergo as extensive training. For this reason, start your research by selecting a board certified plastic surgeon. That way, you can be more confident knowing that they have at least had the necessary training in the technique.

Next, find out their experience performing the procedure as a fully licensed plastic surgeon. Since fat transfer can be performed on various parts of the face and body, it's a good idea to see if their experience includes treating the area you're interested in improving. 

Meet with surgeons, and rely on your instinct to make a decision. If you have good rapport with your surgeon and trust them, it can dramatically improve your satisfaction.

Seeing before and after photos can also help.

Why should I choose fat injections over other dermal fillers?

Fat injections, when targeting the face, can be helpful to improve sagging, wrinkles and volume loss. Fat can create beautiful, natural looking results that last longer than temporary dermal fillers.

Where will my fat transfer procedure take place?

Usually, the fat transfer procedure takes place in our fully accredited, state-of-the-art surgical facility. However, for minor improvements, the procedure may be performed at our office.

Is the fat transfer procedure painful?

This depends on the amount of fat harvested and transferred.

During the first part of the procedure, liposuction, anesthesia is administered. This dramatically improves comfort levels, both during and shortly after the surgery. For small amounts of fat harvesting, the procedure and recovery is well tolerated. For bigger amounts, the procedure may involve some discomfort that can be easily controlled with pain medication.

How does fat grafting work?

Fat grafting is a three step procedure. 

The first step involves liposuction. Liposuction gently removes fat from an area of the body that has an excess of it, such as the hips, flanks or thighs.

The second step involves purifying the fat. This is typically done by straining the harvested fat or putting it in a centrifuge. The fat cells are separated from other fluids and tissues during this process.

The third and last step involves taking this purified fat and injected it into the area(s) that require improvement. Multiple injections may be made.

How long does fat grafting surgery take?

It depends on your body and how much correction is needed to achieve your goals. The entire procedure may take 1 hour or much longer, but some of that time is reserved for purifying the fat. For this reason, you won't be "under" the whole time. 

How long does fat transfer last?

If the transferred fat "takes" to its new location, then the results are permanent. However, weight fluctuations and aging can negatively impact results.

Some fat may be reabsorbed by the body. If this occurs, a touchup may be necessary.

Can I transfer fat to my breasts?

Absolutely. Transferring fat to the breasts is a common plastic surgical procedure that is safe. Breast augmentation fat transfer is effective to add a subtle increase in breast size, correct contour irregularities, improve cleavage and enhance the results achieved from breast augmentation with implants. 

Fat grafting is a natural way to add volume and fullness. It looks and feels totally natural!

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1601 Hatcher Ln.
Columbia, TN 38401

SPRING HILL


1003 Reserve Blvd, Suite 220
Spring Hill, TN 37174

Columbia
1601 Hatcher Ln.
Columbia, TN 38401

Spring Hill
1003 Reserve Blvd., Suite 220
Spring Hill, TN 37174

T: 931-381-2802

E: [email protected]