Fat Transfer

Fat Transfer – Fat Grafting – Autologous Tissue Transfer – Miami, FL

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Overview

Fat injected during a fat transfer by our Miami, FL board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso, into areas requiring volume-enhancement produces safe, long-lasting, and natural-appearing results as volume is replenished in tissues where fat is diminished. Fat grafting usually involves harvesting fat from one part of the body (back, thighs, abdomen, and more), purifying it, and then carefully re-injecting it into the areas requiring augmentation. The procedure may need to be repeated several times to achieve the desired result. Fat injections or grafting has broad applications in plastic surgery, and common areas on the body where a fat transfer may be performed include the hands, breasts, buttocks, lips, and face.

Fat Transfer Candidates

Patients, who benefit from fat grafting, are men and women, who desire augmentation or filling of volume-deficient areas. Generally, patients who are considered for fat injection are in good health. If you have a history of abnormal bleeding or swelling following a procedure you should notify your surgeon. A smoking history should be disclosed to your surgeon. Each patient’s anatomy and proportions vary, and the decision to utilize fat injection techniques depends on the goals of the patient, as well as Dr. LaGrasso professional opinion.

Surgical Technique

Fat injection or fat grafting is a technique that is growing in popularity. Fat is one of most well-tolerated fillers available to aesthetic surgeons, and thus has broad applications. It is natural-appearing, lasts a long time, and is safe. It is an effective filler used for changing body contour, revising scars, filling depressions created by liposuction, and rejuvenating the hands and face. Perhaps most importantly, it spares the patient the inherent risks associated with fillers derived from animals or cadavers. 

During this procedure, fat is removed from the donor sites via liposuction. An antibiotic solution is used which allows for a complete separation of the fat so that only healthy tissue is used for reinjection. This fat is prepared in syringes and slowly reinstated into the body part where shape and contour are needed. During the injection process, the area will be slowly massaged so the fat deposits settle in compact layers for the best contour finish possible. Normally, multiple injections are necessary to create an even spread of fat and achieve an ideal outcome.

During/After Surgery

Fat transfer treatment is performed with general anesthesia when it covers larger areas while local anesthesia or IV sedation is used if the area to be treated is small. Both methods will be treated as an outpatient treatment at an accredited surgical facility. The procedure will cause swelling and bruising on both the removal and injection sites. These side effects will subside in a few days. Recovery time depends on several factors, including how many body parts were involved in the surgery, as well as how much fat was transferred. Scarring is generally minimal with this procedure as the incisions made are just big enough for the cannula to be inserted. 

Dressings may be placed on the injected areas. These dressings may include the use of tapes or compressive-type dressings. Your plastic surgeon may request that you don’t sit or lie on injected areas for a prescribed period, and may also instruct you regarding a massage program after the procedure. Swelling and bruising usually resolve within 2 – 3 weeks.

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Recovery Time  
6 – 8 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
2 Hours
Procedure Recovery Location  
Out-Patient
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Fat Transfer FAQs

How Long do the Results Last?

A fat transfer procedure can give results that will last for years. While the concern of fat reabsorption is something to consider, a skilled surgeon will be able to maximize the outcome by using the tested techniques in terms of fat layering. There is an ongoing research study that promises long-term stability of these grafted fat tissues, which involves Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to enhance fat cells before transplanting them into the body.

Loss of Volume?

When properly performed, a fat transfer can last a long time. In areas where the fat does get reabsorbed, the area can continue to be tweaked. For patients who want to continue to have volume enhancement, but desire natural results (i.e., lip enhancement), this is an ideal procedure. This is especially the case for those who are not comfortable using an implant.

How About Scarring?

Scarring is minimal during a fat transfer procedure. Any scars that remain will be small (either where the cannula or the syringe was inserted for the transfer). The incisions are usually placed in areas where they can be concealed by clothing. 

Other Treatments?

For loss of facial volume, there are treatments that may be considered that will also produce positive results. For wrinkle problems, an injectable filler may be suitable. These fillers may include collagen or hyaluronic acid. For longer-term results, patients may consider PMMA, an injectable filler that offers an alternative solution. Every option can be discussed in detail during the initial consultation.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.