About Fat Transfers
As we age, lose weight, or experience weight fluctuations, we can lose fullness in areas throughout the body that used to be plump and youthful. A wonder way to restore volume that has been lost over the course of time is with an advanced cosmetic technique called fat grafting, or fat transfer. This treatment involves the extraction of unwanted fat from one or more areas of the body, purification of the fat cells through a centrifuge, and reinstallation of the fat to the desired area (such as the hands, breasts, cheeks, under the eyelids, laugh lines, or buttocks). A fat transfer can be done in larger areas, smaller areas, and even delicate features. An aesthetic augmentation or filler utilizing fat transfer is an excellent option for patients desiring a more natural enhancement rather than an implant or a formulated product. Additionally, the results reaped from a fat transfer tend to last longer when compared to other methods. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Arun Rao provides this effective and long-lasting treatment for patients all across Tucson, AZ and beyond. Call Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery and schedule a consultation if you're interested in restoring volume to your features with a safe, proven procedure.
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Women and men alike who want to gain added smoothness and volume throughout the face or body in areas that appear deflated and flat could be good candidates for a fat transfer. This personalized enhancement is incredibly effective even when compared against other techniques because it's a natural approach that produces stunning results by incorporating the patient's own fat cells. With this method, there is little worry that your body could reject the substance. Tucson, AZ patients considering this treatment should be at a healthy weight and have enough fat to remove for the transfer.
When undergoing a fat transfer, you will be placed under some form of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia or numbing method used will depend on how much fat is being removed from your body and the location of reinstallation. Liposuction is completed with a special cannula to precisely remove the fat. Following the extraction process, it will then be harvested and the useable fat cells will be placed in fine syringes. After preparing the injection site, the extracted fat will be injected into the area chosen for the transfer. The injection process is repeated until an even smoothness has been achieved. For some areas, multiple injections will be necessary.
What to Expect
After the transfer process has been completed, you will be sent home to recover. Keep in mind, there are at least two sites on the body that need time to heal: the areas of extraction and the injection sites. Your overall recovery may take longer if a larger area on the body was treated. For example, a fat transfer for the lips will generally only warrant a 1 – 2-day recovery, whereas a transfer to a more vast body part, such as the breasts or buttocks, can take many more days or even weeks. The sites will appear swollen with some possible bruising present, but your results will be quickly noticeable. Another perk of this technique is the area where liposuction was used will appear slimmer. Fat grafting yields beautiful and lasting results, but there will be some resorption into the body. For some, another transfer may be needed down the road. There is minimal scarring associated with this procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a fat transfer cost?
The cost of your fat transfer procedure will vary, depending on several factors. For transfers to the breasts or butt, a higher volume of fat is needed. This means more liposuction is used and a longer process is employed to purify the fat and inject it accordingly. More minor treatments, such as adding facial volume, require less fat and time. The amount of volume needed to reach your goals will be reviewed during your consultation with Dr. Rao along with pricing estimates and payment options for you to consider.
Where can I have fat transferred?
Fat can be transferred almost anywhere throughout your face or body where shape or rejuvenation is wanted. Some of the most common areas to receive fat transfers are the buttocks (often known as a Brazilian butt lift), breasts, face, and hands. A fat transfer can be combined with breast implants or breast reconstruction to minimize imperfections. 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. Rao during your consultation where you would like to add volume so he can create your customized fat transfer plan.
How long will the results of a fat transfer last?
Your results will look natural and can last for a long time with proper care. Dr. Rao uses the latest techniques to purify and graft fat to minimize reabsorption. However, there is usually still a small amount of fat that does not attach to its new location so Dr. Rao typically adds slightly more fat than is needed to account for this. If you want to enhance or touch-up your results after a few years, a second fat transfer can be performed.
Are there any alternative treatments to a fat transfer?
Depending on the area where you'd like added volume, there may be an alternative to a fat transfer. For the breasts or butt, implants may be surgically placed instead of a fat transfer. Meanwhile, for your face and hands, Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery offers multiple injectable dermal fillers for volume and rejuvenation. Dr. Rao will discuss all of these various options with you during your first appointment so you can achieve results in line with your needs and goals.
What if I don't have enough fat for a transfer?
At your first appointment with Dr. Rao, he will explain 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 a concern if you have a very low body fat percentage or if you want a large volume of fat added to one area (like the breasts or buttocks). Fat can be removed from multiple areas or supplemented with donor fat. Dr. Rao will discuss your options during your one-on-one consultation.
Take the Natural Approach
If you are looking to get fuller lips, soften hollow areas or lines, or add volume throughout areas of your body where fullness is desired, then this treatment could be a great option. This procedure can help you achieve the look you want without having to deal with foreign implants that have to be replaced over time or injectable treatments with less longevity. We invite you to get in touch with our staff to schedule your consultation at Rao Plastic & Hand Surgery in Tucson, AZ.