About Fat Transfers
Through the natural aging process or dramatic weight changes, a person can lose smoothness and volume in various areas of the body. 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. La Mesa, CA plastic surgeon Scott Sessions incorporates the most effective methods for performing fat transfers. This body contouring treatment at Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre creates smooth and beautiful outcomes.
Individuals who want additional fullness in areas of the body or face that appear hollow, thin, or deflated may be great candidates for a fat transfer. This procedure is even more advantageous because it offers a natural approach to achieving the desired results by using the patient's own fat. This way, there is little worry for rejection. Men and women considering this treatment at Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre must be at a healthy weight and have enough fat to remove for the transfer. As with all surgical procedures, it is very important that you do not smoke or are able to completely stop smoking for a period before and after the surgery. Patients should also be in good overall health.
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 and on the extraction and injections sites. Liposuction is first performed via a thin, special cannula. The fat is then purified through a centrifuge (which prepares the viable fat for syringes) and harvested. After the injections sites are prepared, the healthy fat tissue will be introduced. The injection process is performed in layers until even smoothness and volume has been attained. For certain body parts, multiple injections will be needed.
What to Expect
Following this procedure, we will monitor you for a bit and then release you to recover in the comfort of your home. Keep in mind that 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 of the body was addressed. For example, a fat transfer for lip enlargement will generally only require a 1 – 2-day recovery, whereas a transfer to 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 that the area where fat was extracted will appear slimmer. A fat transfer yields great results, but there will be some resorption back into the body. For some patients, another transfer may be desired 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. More liposuction is required, and purifying and injecting the fat is a longer process. 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 with Dr. Sessions 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), face, hands, and breasts. A fat transfer may be combined with breast implants or breast reconstruction. 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. Sessions during your consultation about where you would like to add volume so he 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. Dr. Sessions uses 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. Sessions typically adds slightly more fat than 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 breasts, augmentation surgery with implants may be performed instead of a fat transfer. In your face and hands, Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre offers injectable fillers for long-lasting rejuvenation and volume. Dr. Sessions 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 with Dr. Sessions, he 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 if you want a large volume of fat added to one area. Fat can be removed from multiple areas or supplemented with donor fat. Dr. Sessions will discuss your options during your consultation.
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 other areas of the body, such as the breasts and buttocks. Many patients are interested in this procedure because it eliminates the need for implants and produces more natural-looking results. This procedure can help you achieve the look you desire without pursuing an invasive surgery that could require lengthy downtime. We invite you to call us to schedule your consultation at Sessions Plastic Surgery Centre in La Mesa, CA.