About Fat Transfers
If someone gains and then loses weight, they lose overall shape in various body features where volume was once plentiful. A new way to regain this lost volume is through an aesthetic procedure known as fat grafting (a fat transfer). This treatment takes fat from a section on the body and reinstates it into another area that could use additional volume. A fat transfer can be used on large areas, such as the buttocks or breasts, or on delicate features, such as the lower eyelid, cheeks, or lips. Fat grafting and transfers are generally chosen when a patient desires a natural enhancement versus having fillers or implants. Board-certified plastic surgeons Drs. Francisco Canales and Heather Furnas incorporate the most effective methods for performing fat transfers. This body contouring treatment at Plastic Surgery Associates Novato in Novato, CA creates smooth and beautiful outcomes.
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Individuals who want additional fullness on the body or face that appear visibly thin or deflated may be great candidates for a fat transfer. This procedure is even more advantageous because it offers a natural approach to create results by using the patient's own fat. This way, there is little worry for rejection. Men and women at Plastic Surgery Associates Novato considering this treatment must be at a healthy weight and have enough fat to remove for the transfer.
During this procedure, you will be placed under some form of anesthesia. The exact type of sedation or numbing medication will be based on how much fat is being extracted, including the location where it will be reinstated. Liposuction is first performed via a thin, special cannula to carefully remove the fat, where it will then be purified and harvested through a centrifuge (which prepares the viable fat for syringes). After preparing the injection site, the healthy fat tissue will be added to the area that needs volume. The injection process is performed in layers until an even smoothness has been attained. For certain body parts, multiple injections will be needed.
What to Expect
Following this procedure, you will enter a healing period. Keep in mind, there are at least two sites on the body that require healing: the extraction area and injection location. The overall recovery may last longer if a larger section on the body was addressed. For example, a fat transfer to the lips will generally only require a 1 – 2-day recovery, whereas a transfer to a more widespread area, such as the breasts or buttocks, can take much longer. The sites will appear red and slightly swollen, but the results can be seen pretty quickly. An additional bonus is the area where fat was extracted will appear slimmer. A fat transfer yields great results, but there will be some resorption back to the body. For some, a future transfer may be needed down the road. There is minimal scarring associated with this procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a fat transfer cost?
Your cost for a fat transfer will vary, depending on several factors. For transfers to the butt or breasts, a higher volume of fat is needed, thus liposuction is used and a longer process is performed to purify the fat and inject it accordingly. Smaller treatments, such as adding facial volume, take less fat and time. The volume amount needed to reach your goals will be explained during your consultation along with pricing estimates and payment options for you to consider.
Where can I have fat transferred?
Fat can be transferred almost anywhere on your face or body that you want to add volume. Some of the most common areas are the buttocks (often known as a Brazilian butt lift), hands, face, and breasts. A fat transfer may be combined with breast implants or breast reconstruction to fix flaws. Age-related volume loss in the face and hands can also be corrected with a fat transfer, particularly in the hollows under the eyes or to add shape to your lips. Talk to Dr. Canales or Dr. Furnas during your consultation where you would like to add volume so they can create your custom fat transfer plan.
How long will the results of a fat transfer last?
Fat transfers create natural-looking results that can last for a long time with proper care. Our plastic surgeons use the latest techniques to purify and graft fat that minimizes reabsorption. However, there is usually still a small amount of fat that does not attach to its new location so Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas typically add slightly more fat than what is needed. If you want to enhance or touch-up your results after a few years, a second fat transfer may be performed.
Are there any alternative treatments to a fat transfer?
Depending on the area that needs volume, there may be an alternative to a fat transfer. In your buttocks and breasts, augmentation surgery with an implant may be performed instead of a fat transfer. In your face and hands, Plastic Surgery Associates Novato offers several injectable fillers for long-lasting rejuvenation and volume. Our plastic surgeons will discuss all of the various options during your initial consultation so you can have the results that match your goals.
What if I don't have enough fat for a transfer?
In your initial consultation, we will talk about how much fat is needed to achieve your goals. In some cases, you may not have enough fat for the transfer, but this is typically only an issue if you have a very low body fat percentage or you want a large volume of fat added to one area. Fat can be removed from multiple areas or supplemented with donor fat.
Plan Your Procedure
Take the Natural Approach
If you wish to attain fuller lips or want to fill in lines and wrinkles, this treatment may be a great option. Moreover, a fat transfer works great for the body, such as the breasts. There are many alternatives for enhancement. This procedure can help you achieve the look you desire without pursuing an invasive surgery that could require a lengthy recovery period or associated downtime. We invite you to call our front desk team to schedule your consult at Plastic Surgery Associates Novato.