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Body Fat Transfer

What Is Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer, sometimes referred to as fat grafting, is a surgical technique that can be used to redistribute fat from one area of the body to another, artistically enhancing a person’s natural curves and contours. First, our plastic surgeon harvests excess fat from an area the patient would like to slim, such as the abdomen, hips, love handles, or thighs. Then the fat is relocated to an area the patient would like to augment, such as the breasts or buttocks. The final result is a more proportionate and symmetrical silhouette.

What Are the Benefits of Body Fat Transfer?

Since body fat transfer utilizes fatty tissue from an area of excess, patients experience the dual advantages of eliminating excess fat and augmenting an area of the body that could benefit from more volume. The procedure can offer many of the same benefits as liposuction while further accentuating their natural body shape by enhancing the contours of the breasts, hips, or buttocks. Some patients also use this fat transfer technique to restore lost volume to the face or breasts for a more youthful appearance.

How Does the Body Fat Transfer Procedure Work?

Each body fat transfer procedure is customized to fit the unique needs of the patient. Your plastic surgeon will first gently remove excess fatty tissue from the donor area with liposuction. This extracted fat is then processed and purified before being safely reintroduced to the body at the target area by injection. By injecting fat in small amounts, your plastic surgeon can use his artistic eye to achieve natural-looking results and improve the success rate of the graft. The amount of fat transferred will vary from patient to patient, depending upon their goals. Some body fat transferring procedures require only a local anesthetic, while more extensive procedures may require general anesthesia.

Fat Transfer to Buttocks

While targeted exercises can tone and build up the muscles of the buttocks, not all people are able to achieve the results they desire in the gym. Patients can improve their body proportions and achieve a more shapely, fuller, or firmer backside by transferring excess or unwanted body fat to the buttocks. When body fat transfer is used for buttock augmentation, the procedure is sometimes referred to as a Brazilian butt lift. In the past, silicone implants were required to surgically enhance the shape of the buttocks. With this innovative fat transfer technique, our patients can attain their cosmetic goals with a procedure that utilizes smaller incisions while also redistributing unwanted fat from another area of the body.

Can I Get Fat Transfer with My Tummy Tuck?

Although a tummy tuck is designed to remove excess skin and tighten loose abdominal muscles, many patients choose to combine this procedure with liposuction to achieve a flatter stomach. Liposuction can target stubborn fat that has proven resistant to diet and exercise, creating a more contoured waistline. The fat that is harvested from liposuction may also be used to perform a supplemental body fat transfer to an area such as the buttocks, enhancing the curves of the silhouette even further.

For patients who wish to have this combination procedure performed, Dr. Zemmel often recommends performing the tummy tuck and liposuction first and waiting several weeks to perform the body fat transfer. When these three procedures are performed all at once, the simultaneous recovery on both sides of the body can be difficult for the patient and potentially affect the final results. During the consultation, Dr. Zemmel will discuss how a treatment plan can be designed to meet your unique needs and expectations.

Are there any Risks Associated with Fat Transfer?

Every surgical procedure entails some risk, but our board-certified plastic surgeon prioritizes patient safety and comfort to minimize any potential complications. With any fat transfer procedure, an average of 30% of the grafted fat is naturally reabsorbed by the body, and our doctor designs each surgical plan in anticipation of this occurrence. Additional risks associated with body fat grafting may include temporary numbness at the injection site, infection, asymmetrical results, uneven skin surface, and hematoma. Your plastic surgeon will thoroughly review all possible risks during the consultation process, allowing you to make a well-informed decision about your health and body.

What Can I Expect During My Recovery from Fat Transfer?

Patients can expect minor postoperative swelling and discomfort at the grafting and donor sites, though these side effects can be easily managed with oral pain medication. Some patients may experience numbness, which typically dissipates within six weeks. In rare cases, numbness may last up to six months.

Though immediate results will be noticeable, the final results of your body fat grafting procedure can take up to three months. Over time, a percentage of the transferred fat will be gradually absorbed and metabolized by the body. Some patients elect to undergo a second body fat grafting procedure to maximize their results.

How Much Does Fat Transfer Cost?

Every fat transfer procedure will be customized depending upon the patient’s needs and goals. Variables that can impact the total cost of a fat transfer include the volume of fat transferred and which area of the body is augmented. For example, since body fat transfer procedures like the Brazilian butt lift typically involve a larger amount of fat to be harvested and transferred, this can cost more than fat transfer to augment the lips.

When comparing the price of fat transfer among different plastic surgeons, remember that the experience of the plastic surgeon and the geographic location of the practice often affect the total as well. To learn how you might benefit from our financing options, please contact a member of our staff today. Third-party lenders such as Prosper Healthcare Lending™ and CareCredit® allow our patients to take advantage of low monthly installment plans with little to no interest.

Contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery

To learn more information about body fat grafting, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zemmel, please contact Richmond Aesthetic Surgery today.