During a fat transfer procedure by our board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin Plastic Surgery Institute, fat is first removed through liposuction. There are various liposuction techniques that can be used to achieve the fat removal portion of the surgery. Advances in medical science have made the purification of this fat a much simpler and effective process. It is typically extracted from body parts like the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks and injected into another area that requires plumping, such as a patient’s facial features. Common areas of the body cosmetically treated with a fat transfer include the face, lips, buttocks, and breasts.
An allergic reaction to synthetic materials used in other fillers is not a factor with injected fat since it is harvested from a patient’s own body. With little to no downtime from having surgery, patients should be able to return to normal activities within a few days.
Fat Transfer Reviews
"65 Year Old with Ruptured Implants - Removal & Mastopexy - Austin, TX - Dr. Haydon presented several options: simple removal of the implants, removal with a lift (mastopexy), removal with fat transfer (involving liposuction) to "round out" the shape, and removal with replacement implants. I elected to have the capsulectomy and mastopexy, which went well. However I developed intense pain from one of the drains. The procedure was done on a Friday, so I had to call the "after hours" number on Saturday to find out what I could do since I was maxing out on pain meds with no effect. Dr. Haydon got back to me IMMEDIATELY and talked me through several possibilities and things I could try, it being too soon to remove the drains. I expected to have to power through until Monday to have the drains removed, but Dr. Haydon phoned me the next day, and as I was still in pain and there was little drainage, he met me at his office ON A SUNDAY MORNING to remove the drains! The relief was immediate and I haven't needed any pain meds since then. The discomfort isn't much worse than when I was having my period, though not having worn a bra for 33 years, I find that somewhat irritating - but it's only for a few weeks. Since I'm only a few days post-op it's impossible to tell the final result, but with the lift I can wear the same bras I wore before and I think I will be very happy with the final results. I can't speak highly enough about Dr. Haydon, his staff, and the facility where the procedure was performed and I highly recommend him."- G. / RealSelf / Nov 07, 2016
During the consultation, the surgeon and patient will discuss what donor sites will be most suitable and desirable for fat removal. During surgery, fat is removed from the donor site using a cannula. The tissue will then be separated and purified so that only the healthy fat tissue remains for transplantation. The fat will be placed in a syringe and augmented into the transfer site. The surgeon will simultaneously massage the area so that the fat settles where needed to create a satisfactory, smooth shape and contour. Multiple injections are usually needed.
A fat transfer is considered an outpatient procedure and is performed at an accredited surgical facility. In the majority of cases, especially where larger injection areas are concerned, general anesthesia will be used. For smaller areas, such as the lips, the surgeon will use a local anesthetic. After the procedure, the fat removal areas, as well as the injection sites may be swollen and red. This will subside in a short time. This procedure continues to be popular among patients because it offers little risk and little downtime, while delivering great results.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- From $4,000
- Recovery Time
- 2 weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2-4 hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 3-4 weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
- In & Out-Patient
Fat Transfer FAQs
When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, a fat transfer can result in an enhanced appearance that can last for years. While some of the fat will be reabsorbed back into the body, a skilled fat transfer expert will understand the proper mechanism behind creating a result that will last. There are new modern techniques available to help lengthen the life of the transferred fat cells. Plasma Rich Plasma is an example of this. When added to the transferred fat, it can increase the cell survival. This is a therapy that is still being studied.
A fat transfer typically results in long-lasting fullness. However, because a portion of the transferred fat will be reabsorbed into the body over time, some of the results may diminish. The good news is that this is a procedure that can be performed again very easily, resulting in additional body contouring and enhancement.
While fat transfers produce great results for many patients, there are other alternatives that some may consider. Luckily, the market for injectables is wide and diverse. An injection, such as BOTOX®, may produce the results some patient’s desire — especially where wrinkle correction is concerned. For patients desiring volume, there are countless filler products that offer many different choices and options. Some fillers, including collagen and hyaluronic acid, offer temporary outcomes, while the heaviest of fillers, PMMA, offer lasting results.