Fat grafting, or if you would rather the technical term, autologous fat transfer, is a technique for body enhancement that dates way back to as early as 1895 when it was used to enhance or reconstruct breasts. The refinement of liposuction (liposculpture) gave practitioners the ability to harvest fat cells more efficiently.
The concept of fat transfer is simple; fat cells are harvested from an area of the body where they are plentiful and transferred to another location to enhance the shape, size, and youthful appearance. While the technique is popular with women, men can benefit from liposculpture as well. Fat transfer may be beneficial in the face, where blood supply is more abundant than any other area of the body. This will help with survival of the fat grafting. The face becomes deleted in volume as we age and injecting fat back in can help to restore a more youthful appearance.
How Fat Transfer is Done
Fat is the ideal material for use in soft tissue augmentation, with fat transfer procedures potentially providing the most natural looking results, provided the fat cells survive and develop their own blood supply. The amount of fat survival is not always predictable and a series of fat transfers may be required for optimal results.
Fat is harvested from an area of the body where it is more abundant using a gentle liposuction procedure. The tiny incisions required for harvesting do not require any sutures once the process is complete. After harvesting, the fat is cleaned and centrifuged to separate it from the anaesthetic solution and other debris.
The cleaned and processed fat tissue is then gathered in small syringes, and the area where it is to be injected is anaesthetized with a local anaesthetic. Fat is then carefully and precisely injected into the desired area as small pearls of fat and layered in a pattern that will help ensure the graft’s survival.
Why Use Fat Transfer Liposculpture
Fat transfer has steadily grown in favour as the go-to method for restoring a more youthful appearance. When compared to the traditional methods of bovine tissue injection, or the more recent hyaluronic acid, it is considered a more natural and longer lasting procedure.
Both above procedures carry the risk of allergic reaction, (much less so with hyaluronic acid). Using your own fatty tissues means there is no chance of an allergic reaction occurring.
Longevity is another reason to consider fat transfer over other rejuvenation and body sculpting methods. Even though about 30% to 80% of the transferred fat can be reabsorbed by the body, the remaining amount will remain in place for years, provided it develops its own bloody supply to survive. To continue to enjoy the results of fat transfer many patients will elect to undergo multiple procedures for an even longer lasting result.
Fat Transfer Risks and Outcomes
The risks of fat transfer are minimal and rare. There’s a chance of swelling, bruising, soreness and rarely infection, but many patients do not experience even those minor annoyances.
The biggest risk comes from most, or sometimes even all of the fat being reabsorbed by the body. Unfortunately, this outcome is unpredictable, but it does happen to about 50% of the amount of fat injected.
As fat is quite abundant, it can be a lot cheaper than having multiple injections of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers plus there are no hospital stays, and you can return home on the same day of your appointment. You also won’t need an extended holiday for recovery from liposculpture, as most patients return to work within a couple of days.
Going for walks and otherwise staying active is recommended.
Scarring is a natural process the body undergoes after any incision but as the access sites for fat harvesting are generally out of site, and the incisions quite small, scarring in the harvesting area is minimal and are usually not seen unless you point them out. There will be no scarring on the face where the fat is injected, as a very small needle is used to inject. Plus the face has great healing capacity due to its abundant blood supply.
Everybody deserves to look as good as they feel, and the right doctor can make all the difference. For advice on how liposculpture with or without fat transfer can help you, schedule a consultation with Dr.Meaghan Heckenberg today.