The plastic-surgery technique of autologous fat transfer has been one of the fastest-growing trends in plastic surgery for a while now, and it’s easy to see why. Sometimes referred to as fat grafting or fat injection, this technique has a number of benefits. Because the patient’s own biological tissue is used during this process, there’s hardly any risk of the body rejecting the material or undergoing an allergic reaction as result of the surgery. When possible, surgeons and patients often choose fat transfer because of its high potential for achieving incredibly natural-looking and long-lasting results.
If you’re not familiar with fat transfer, the name is pretty self-explanatory: subcutaneous fat is removed from one part of a patient’s body (the “donor site,” usually the thighs or abdomen), purified and processed, then moved to another part of the body to achieve a cosmetic goal. Fat transfer is used to improve results in various types of procedures all over the body, from the face to the breasts to the butt. It can even help reduce the appearance of scars.
One of the main things people love about fat transfer is the way that it can truly restore a naturally youthful look to the face. As we age, our faces tend to lose volume, causing our cheeks to take on a sunken-in appearance. The natural fat deposits in our faces break down, our skin loses elasticity, and our features begin to droop and sag, resulting in wrinkles, deep folds, and a gaunt look around the eyes and cheeks. In facial plastic surgery, fat transfer can counteract these effects and revitalize the patient’s face with a plump, healthy look.
Another instance in which fat transfer is often used is breast-reconstruction surgery after mastectomy or radiation treatment. Women who have had single mastectomies (only one breast removed) sometimes prefer autologous surgery over implant surgery, as artificial breast implants are not as easily shaped to recreate the fall and shape of a patient’s remaining natural breast. Depending on the patient’s goals and body type, fat transfer may also be used in a purely cosmetic breast enhancement.
Many of us hold negative associations with the word “fat,” but it’s fat that gives the face a plump, healthy appearance, the breasts an attractive volume, and the body an appealing curvature. In some cases, plastic surgeons use fat transfer to bolster a woman’s feminine curves. The technique can be used on the butt help a woman achieve the sought-after hourglass shape, and it’s commonly used in place of traditional buttock implants as part of a Brazilian butt lift, creating a rounder, firmer shape. Because it uses natural fat from the patient, the procedure results in a natural look and feel.
The amount of time your fat-transfer procedure lasts, as well as the length and intensity of your recovery period, will vary depending on the areas being treated. In general, it’s a shorter surgery than most. No matter what areas your fat is transferred to and from, it’s important to remember that it is surgery. Any surgery carries some requires a recovery period, and your surgeon will be able to give you specific estimates and instructions based on your situation. Fortunately, fat transfer is less invasive than many other cosmetic surgery procedures and has a track record of low complication rates in suitable candidates.
At Atlanta Plastic Surgery, we have several experienced, expert plastic surgeons who specialize in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of all kinds. If you’re interested in any of the plastic-surgery procedures we offer, please contact one of our Atlanta Plastic Surgery locations to schedule a consultation today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest plastic surgery news and updates.