Fat grafting, also referred to as fat transfer, is a procedure offered at Dr. Barry Silberg’s office in Santa Rosa CA where fat is transferred from areas of the body where there is excess fat, such as the abdomen, thighs or flanks (love handles), and is then re-injected into other volume-deficient areas of the body. Commonly grafted areas include the face, hands, breasts or buttocks where more fat may be desired. The results are natural, long lasting and safe.
Fat grafts can sometimes be used in lieu of dermal fillers for a more permanent result. Because the fat is autologous (from your own body), there is less chance of allergic reactions to foreign substances.
Candidates for Fat Grafting (Fat Transfer)
You are a good candidate for fat grafting if you:
- desire an augmentation or correction for which fat grafting is a suitable solution
- have donor sites from which fat can be taken
- are in good health
- have realistic expectations
When to Use Fat Grafting (Fat Transfer)
FACE: Fill in deep creases, laugh lines, crows feet, lines around the mouth or add more volume to sunken areas around the face, or to add more volume to lips.
HANDS: Rejuvenate your hands or feet by adding more volume to wrinkled areas and by concealing visible vessels and tendons.
BREASTS: A modest increase in breast size or optimize breast shape or irregularities.
BUTTOCKS: Fuller, more rounded buttocks (this is commonly combined with liposuction to harvest the fat and to sculpt the surrounding area). This is also known as a “Brazilian butt lift.”
SCARS: Fill in depressions around scars, including acne scars.
CONTOUR IRREGULARITIES: Correct contour irregularities anywhere on the body.
Procedure for Fat Grafting (Fat Transfer)
Fat is harvested from one part of your body, purified, and then re-injected into the areas that need more volume using needles specifically designed for this purpose.
There are three stages to the procedure: 1) extraction of fat from the donor site; 2) purification of extracted fat; and 3) re-injection at desired location.
The donor site is injected with a local anesthetic*, a small incision in the area is made, and a special cannula is inserted to extract the fat. Dr. Silberg will use a fat filtration system to purify, process and prepare the fat cells, which will then be transferred to small syringes that will be attached to a cannula used for the fat injections. Dr. Silberg will then prepare the area where the fat will be injected. A small incision will be made at the augmentation site and the cannula may be passed through multiples times to form a grid of grafted fat. Each time the cannula is withdrawn, a line of fat droplets are deposited throughout the subcutaneous tissue in the desired areas. This is to ensure good blood supply to every fat droplet so that the fat graft can survive.
*For liposuction procedures that require removal of a larger volume of fat, the procedure will be done under conscious sedation or general anesthesia and Dr. Silberg uses the Hydrasolve for these procedures. Learn more about Dr. Silberg’s liposuction procedures and Hydrasolve. Any residual scarring that may result would be from the liposuction (fat removal) procedure. These are minimal because the incisions are very small and, when possible, are hidden among natural contouring features.
Recovery from a Fat Grafting (Fat Transfer) Procedure
Recovery from fat grafting will vary from one patient to the next, depending on the nature and extend of the harvesting and grafting and Dr. Silberg will customize a plan for you. In general, you can expect swelling and bruising that usually will resolve within three weeks. There may be some discomfort in the donor area. Limitations to physical activity will depend largely on the extent of the grafting. For fat grafting that is accompanied by the harvesting of larger volume of fat, a compression garment may be required.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Dr. Silberg Today!
To learn more about fat grafting or fat transfer, call Dr. Silberg’s Santa Rosa CA office at (707) 528-0911 or fill out our confidential online form.