Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is a minimally invasive procedure for patients who want to enhance the volume of facial features by using fat from other areas of their bodies. Almost everyone has fat in unwanted places like the abdomen or thighs. This fat is removed using a method similar to liposuction and re-injected into the body to augment the eye area, cheeks or lips. The result looks natural and healthy. Learn more about fat transfer and schedule a consultation with an accomplished Chicago cosmetic surgeon by using the information below.
Fat Transfer Candidates in Chicago
Most of our Chicago fat transfer candidates have lost volume around the eyes, in the cheeks and around the mouth. Candidates might have sunken eyes, hollowed cheeks, thin lips or indented scars. Ideal candidates are men and women in good health who have reasonable expectations. In addition, fat transfer patients need to have some excess fat in at least one area of the body, such as abdomen, thighs, hips or buttocks.
The Fat Transfer Procedure
During a fat transfer procedure, fat is harvested from a donor area using a special suction cannula. The fat is purified or “washed” to prepare it. Then it is injected into the treatment area (the area requiring augmentation). Fat is injected multiple times. In most case, the augmented area is overfilled since some of the transferred fat cells will be absorbed by the body. The treatment area may be massaged after injection to create the right contour.
Fat transfers are increasingly being used not only for the face but also for other areas of the body. For example, Brazilian butt lift involves liposuctioning fat from one area of the body and re-injecting it to augment the buttocks. Fat transfer is also being used in some breast reconstruction and breast augmentation cases.
Recovering from Fat Transfers
A little bruising and swelling in the treated area common, but this should subside within a few days. In the donor site, where the fat was removed, the swelling may last a few weeks. Since the grafted fat is inserted with very small cannulas, the transferred fat is difficult to disrupt and no special dressings are required. Compression garments are usually placed over the donor site.
It is recommended that Chicago fat transfers patients rest and relax at home, avoiding any strenuous activity, until the swelling has resolved. Pain medication may be prescribed to ease any discomfort.
Benefits and Risks of Fat Transfer
One of the benefits of the fat transfer procedure is that it is usually well-tolerated by patients, since the fat is grafted from their own bodies. Fat transfer is a great option for the patient who has allergic reactions to animal-based filler products. Fat transfer using the patient’s own fat also produces very natural-looking results. Another benefit is the ability to layer in additional treatments every few months. Patients will frequently comment on the “stem cell” effect they see in the treated region where the grafted fat was inserted.
Some of the risks of fat transfer include numbness of the skin, asymmetry and over- or under-correction of the treatment area. You can minimize the risk of complications by choosing an experienced surgeon and closely following your surgeon’s pre- and post-operative instructions.
Schedule your consultation to discuss Fat Grafting and Fat Transfers Today
If you are interested in learning more about fat transfer, please contact Chicago Aesthetic Surgery Institute and Medspa today to schedule a consultation.