Fat Transfer

Also known as fat grafting or autologous fat injection

A fat grafting procedure transfers fat from areas in which you have excess fat, such as the outer thighs, and injects it into areas that may be lacking in volume, such as your face, hands, breasts or buttocks. This safe, long-lasting, well-tolerated procedure produces natural-looking results. Every year, thousands of people undergo successful fat grafting and are pleased with the results.

When to Consider Fat Transfer

  • If you have facial areas that appear creased and sunken
  • If you desire more permanent correction than is provided by temporary fillers
  • If you wish to improve your body contour, revise scars, fill bodily depressions and rejuvenate your hands and face
  • For use in breast reconstruction, to fill in contour irregularities or hide obvious signs of breast implants

Related Procedures

Many people who consider fat transfer also consider liposuctionbuttock augmentation, botulinum toxin injections and fillers.

Considerations

Pros

  • Autologous fat (from your own body), as opposed to dermal fillers, replaces “like with like,” reducing the chance of allergic reactions to foreign substances.
  • Fat transfer results are natural, long lasting and safe.
  • Fat transfer is a noninvasive method for achieving facial rejuvenation.

Cons

  • It is time consuming to prepare fat tissue before transferring it, compared to dermal fillers, which are prepackaged.
  • Though longer lasting than dermal fillers, fat transfer costs more.
  • For augmentation, you may require multiple sessions to achieve your desired breast or buttock size.

These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering fat transfer. If you wish to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.

Am I a good candidate for a fat transfer?

The purpose of fat grafting is to augment or fill in volume-deficient areas. Commonly grafted, or injected, areas include the hands, face (including the lips), depressions in the skin (following liposuction and scarring) and the breast and buttock (for augmentation). Of course, you must have donor sites from which fat can be taken. It is important that you do not have any circulation problems, either from a medical condition or smoking.

Facial fat transfer: If you have facial creases, such as laugh lines, smile lines, and crow’s-feet, fat can be removed from your abdomen, thighs, or other areas and be injected into your face. Acne scars and sunken areas of the face, lips, and cheeks can also be filled in. Your plastic surgeon can even use grafted fat to minimize lines between your nose and mouth, correct skin depressions or indentations and minimize forehead wrinkles.

Breast augmentation: If you desire a modest increase in breast size, you are a good candidate for fat grafting to the breast, but your breasts should already have a nice shape and good skin tone. If you have poor skin, sagging breasts, or want a significant increase in breast size, breast augmentation with fat transfer is not for you. The problem with only using fat for breast enhancement lies in getting large volumes of fat to predictably “take.”

Breast implants plus fat grafting: If your breast shape needs optimizing during a breast implant procedure, fat grafting can be useful. If you have residual breast irregularities after undergoing breast augmentation with implants, the irregularities can be filled in with fat to produce a smooth contour and an optimal shape.

Breast reconstruction with fat grafting: If you have breast defects following lumpectomy for breast cancer, fat grafting is an effective method for filling in these defects. Fat grafting is also an option for total breast reconstruction following mastectomy; however, to achieve sufficient breast volume, this is usually a multistage process that requires at least two to four sequential fat grafting procedures.

Buttock augmentation with fat grafting: Many people who desire a fuller, more rounded buttock will opt for a “Brazilian butt lift,” which uses fat transfer to provide a more curvaceous buttock without the use of an implant. Liposuction is commonly used to both sculpt the surrounding area and collect the autologous fat to be injected.

Hand rejuvenation with fat grafting: Fat grafting into your hands is effective for adding volume, “plumping up” wrinkled areas, covering underlying vessels and tendons and improving the quality of your skin over time.

If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

Your Consultation

“A consultation for aesthetic surgery is truly a meeting of the minds — the development of a connection between patient and surgeon. Your job is to tell us what you want; our job is to tell you what’s possible, reasonable, and, above all, safe.

We are privileged to have an outstanding team of medical professionals who are caring, exceptionally talented, and driven to help you look and feel your very best."

- Robert J. Perry, MD FACS