A fat transfer is a medical technique where fat is taken from one part of the body and moved to another part. This is usually done as part of a cosmetic procedure and can be used to reshape or augment many different areas of the body. At Nuance Cosmetic Surgery in Folsom, CA, we use this procedure to help patients regain beautiful, youthful skin and to enlarge and contour areas like the breasts and buttocks. We know you will love your new look once this treatment is complete.
Fat Transfer Timeline
The length of time your procedure will take greatly depends on how much fat will need to be moved and how large an area will be covered. You can expect the surgery to take between one and four hours in most cases. When you come in for your consultation, we can tell you specifically what to expect in terms of time. You will also need to allow time for preparation and recovery.
In most cases, you can expect some recovery within 48 hours of the procedure. In this time, you will start to feel more awake and your body will have begun its physical restoration. You will be able to move around freely and can resume some of your normal activities.
You will slowly continue to recover from the procedure in the following days and weeks. We typically recommend you schedule a return to work around two weeks after the surgery, but this length of time can vary depending on the intensity of your procedure.
You should expect to be fully recovered around four to six weeks after the procedure has been completed, although some more intense procedures can take up to four months. Please be sure to make and attend follow-up appointments on the schedule we give you. This will ensure that you are recovering properly and that there are no issues that will need to be addressed.
The results of a fat transfer procedure and usually permanent and will need to be repeated. Occasionally there are small areas that do not come together as expected. In that case, you may need an additional, less extensive treatment to get the results you want.
The first thing you will need to do to start your journey to a new appearance is to call us for a consultation. We will ask you to come in so we can assess your areas of concern and talk to you about your options. We will thoroughly explain the procedure to you and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. We will also determine whether or not you are a good candidate for this approach.
At your consultation, we will ask you a variety of questions. We will ask about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking. We will also ask whether you smoke and about your alcohol consumption and any recreational drugs you take. We will need to know about any previous cosmetic procedures or treatments you have had and what the results of those treatments were.
On the day of your appointment, we will prepare you for the procedure by discussing the steps with you and letting you know what you can expect. Depending on the intensity of the procedure, you will be put under general anesthesia or have a local anesthetic injection.
The first part of the treatment itself is to remove fat from a specific area of the body so it can be used elsewhere. Before you schedule your surgery, we will talk to you about where the best place on your body would be to take fat cells for the fat graft. The most common areas chosen are the thighs or the abdomen.
The fat is removed using liposuction. We will make an incision in the area where the fat will be removed. Then we will insert a small tube that is connected to a syringe that is used to draw out the fat.
After the fat is removed, it must be purified before it can be returned to the body in a new location. A filtration system is used to remove any small particles or impurities that are present in the fat. A centrifuge can also be used for this purpose.
We will make another incision in the area that will receive the fat. A needle will then be used to place the purified fat in the right place. The procedure continues until the new fat tissue is woven into the already existing tissue in a thoroughly connected grid. Sometimes the tissues then need to be massaged into place, but other times the graft will contour itself. We will then close the incision and place a dressing over the area that has been treated.
Reasons for Fat Transfer
Facial Lines and Creases
Sometimes a facial fat graft is appropriate for smoothing deep lines, wrinkles, or creases that have developed over time due to aging and damaging environmental factors like sun damage or pollutants in the air. Placing fat under the skin around the wrinkles will fill in the areas that have caused the creases and eliminate the wrinkles.
This is an alternative to injectable fillers. The difference is that fat grafting provides permanent results.
Hollow Areas in Face
When your skin ages, the natural collagen manufacturing process slows. Your body makes less of this protein that is responsible for providing elasticity and volume to your skin. This lack can result in sunken areas on your face. They may be around your temples, under your cheekbones, or near your jawline. This can give you an older appearance.
Fat grafting is an effective way of pumping up these areas, giving you back the youthful face you had when your skin made collagen efficiently.
Breast enlargement procedures are typically requested by people who would like to have larger breasts or for breasts that have changed in size and gotten smaller. Changes in breast size can occur because of pregnancy or weight fluctuations. Breast augmentation increases the size of the breasts.
When a breast enlargement is done using a transfer of fat, the fat is typically inserted underneath the breasts or near the armpit. This brings fullness to the breasts and increases their size.
Reconstruction of the breasts is typically needed for people who have had their breasts removed in a mastectomy due to cancer or the likelihood of cancer. This is sometimes done through a combination of reassigning fatty tissue and an implant. The materials are placed into the breast and are properly shaped. The newly located fat connects to the fat tissue already in place to allow the breasts to become fuller.
This procedure is done when patients would like to create more shapely buttocks. While this treatment can be done with implants, patients often like the choice of using their natural fatty tissues as opposed to a foreign object. This procedure involves taking the fat from another area of the body and injecting it into strategic places to create the desired shape.
This technique is also called a Brazillian butt lift.
You may notice that over time your hands lose volume. You may begin to see your veins and arteries protruding under the skin, causing your hands to appear older. A fat transfer can revitalize your hands by providing that volume you are missing.
We will talk to you about how to care for your incisions and let you know when you can bathe or shower and how to keep your incision areas clean and free from debris that can cause infection. Depending on where your incisions are and the length and depth of the area treated, you may need to change your bandages or dressing on a specific schedule.
You should do your best to avoid smoking after your procedure, and you will give yourself the best chance of optimal results if you quit smoking altogether. Among other negative consequences, smoking damages your circulation. Proper blood circulation is needed for the relocated tissue to properly connect with the tissue that was already in place.
Please let us know about any over-the-counter or prescription medications you plan to take after your procedure. We will let you know if there are any medications you should avoid and for how long. Additionally, we may provide you with medication to take on a particular schedule. These could be painkillers or antibiotics. It is important that you take these medications exactly as prescribed.
To make the most out of your fat transfer results, you should be sure to maintain good nutritional habits. This will help in healing and in prolonging the results. It will also help you stay fit and slow the signs of natural aging.
Most people who are the best candidates for this type of procedure are adults under the age of 60, although certain individuals over 60 may be eligible for the procedure as well.
People who choose to undergo this procedure should be in generally good health. Typically people who have any type of circulation issue should carefully address whether or not this is an appropriate approach. Smokers are at an increased risk for poor circulation and may not be good candidates for the surgery.
Because of the nature of this procedure, you must be sure you have enough fat to transfer from one part of your body to another. Some people who are very slender do not have excess fat that can be used. In this case, you may want to consider a different procedure or an implant.
You will need to have realistic expectations as to what the surgery will accomplish and what your goals will be for the final results. During your consultation, we will talk to you about what you can expect to see after surgery and whether this is the right way to get what you are hoping to achieve.
A New Body
You will love what you see when you look in the mirror after your fat transfer treatment is complete. If aging skin was an issue for you, you will see younger, glowing skin instead of wrinkles and lines. You may also see sexy, full breasts and a beautifully shaped bottom. No matter what your goals are, you will be more confident in your new appearance.
Contact Nuance Cosmetic Surgery in Folsom, CA, to schedule an appointment for a consultation about your body concerns. We would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about what you’d like to see changed about your face or body and to help you understand your options when it comes to cosmetic procedures. Helping people like you is at the heart of our practice.