Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is the process of removing fat from areas of the body where there is excess, then injecting it into another area of the body where there is a desire for enhancement. This process provides permanent enhancement to the receiving area of the body.

When is a fat transfer beneficial?

The purpose of fat transfer is to add fullness or “pump up” volume-deficient areas. Commonly injected areas include the hands, face, depressions in the skin, the breast, and buttock, but patients must have donor sites from which fat can be taken. It is important that you do not have any circulation problems, either related to a medical condition or to smoking.

How is a fat transfer performed?

A fat transfer is minimally invasive, with the advantage that the body does not reject the transfer because it is the patient’s own fat. The fat is extracted from areas such as the stomach, thighs, and waist with a liposuction cannula, a thin hollow tube, and prepared for reintroduction into the body.

There is a rate of absorption, a percentage of the transferred fat, that usually does not survive, so it may take more than one session to achieve the desired fullness.

What results can I expect?

For wrinkles, creases, acne scars, and sunken areas of the face, fat transfers can add fullness and smoothness. For improving body contour and filling depressions and contour irregularities in the breast, buttock, hands, or other areas, fat transfers generally provide permanent correction.

Some swelling, bruising, and discomfort occurs after surgery, but patients should be able to return to normal activities within a few days.