Fat Transfer procedures, where fat from one part of the body is removed and then inserted into another part of the body, has been in the news quite a bit slowly. It is not a new procedure, but it has gained recent popularity as intriguing new uses are being explored. What is Fat Transfer? How is it done? Who could benefit from this procedure? What are the risks involved?
What is Fat Transfer?
Quite literally, "fat transfer" refers to a procedure where fat from one part of the body is removed, processed, and then re-inserted back into another part of the body. Patients interested in the fat transfer procedure generally have some area of the body they feel would benefit from a fuller or shapelier appearance. Utilizing existing fat from areas that could use a bit less fullness is a great alternative to using synthetic fillers.
Fat transfers have been done for decades, with references to surgically repurposing fat that date back as far as the late 1800's in Germany. In recent times, fat transfers have gained popularity with aesthetic surgeons as a safe, effective way to re-contour parts of the body by using the patient's own fatty tissue.
How is it done?
With advances in liposuction technology over the past few decades, the procedure is generally initiated by using a liposuction cannula to extract the needed fat from the body. Fat from typical problem areas such as the thighs, stomach or buttocks is ideal for the procedure. Once the fat is removed, the surgeon may perform some filtering to remove toxins or excess fluids. Then, once it is properly prepared, the fat is injected into the body at the site where increased fullness is desired.
Because some of the fat will be absorbed by the body, it is necessary for the surgeon to inject more than the desired amount. Because the rate of absorption varies depending on the individual, more than one procedure may be required to achieve the desired results.
Who could benefit from this procedure?
There are many uses for fat transfers, depending on the specific patient needs. For example, it has often been used for breast or lip augmentation in female patients. Men can use the process to augment the generation of their penis. Removing laugh lines or forehead creases is another common usage, as is increasing the shapeliness of the buttocks. Fat transfer is a key part of hi-def liposuction, where healthy, fit, active patients can reshape their bodies to highlight muscle tone and definition.
What are the risks involved?
As with any procedure of this type, there are risks involved, but in the case of fat transfers, the risks are generally minimal and the side effects easily controlled and quickly healed. For example, there is a risk of infection or bleeding, and occasionally a collection of fluid known as a seroma will occur near the incision.
Unlike implants foreign to the body (bo-tox, for example) this procedure does not carry the risk of allergic reaction in patients, since the fat used is harvested from the patient. There is no danger of rejection by the body.
If you are interested in learning more about this procedure, contact Dr. Rassoli at The Center for Beautiful Bodies for a complimentary fat transfer consultation .