Although fat transfer is not a new technique, its use has significantly increased over the past several years. Part of the reason is better instrumentation and technique, resulting in better fat retention.
Fat transfer has several advantages. The patient is using his or her own fat and essentially recycling it to another position. This, in some cases, is a two for one, since the liposuction can result in better contour and the fat transfer will enhance and beautify the area desired. A win-win situation!
Fat can be transferred essentially anywhere. The most common areas are the buttocks (Brazilian Butt Lift), breasts, back of hands and the lips and the face.
For the buttocks, liposuction of the abdomen and the love handles and hip areas, will automatically improve the shape of the buttocks, because of the enhanced contour obtained. Placing the right amount of fat in the right area, will further enhance the buttock shape.
Many older patients spend thousands of dollars on their face and body, but ignore the hands! Fat transfer to the back of the hands is a great way to rejuvenate the hand, and camouflage the tendons and veins, which become more visible with aging. Resurfacing the skin will further improve the result, by improving the appearance of any age spots.
For patients who have normal breast shape and skin tone, and do not desire breast implants, fat transfer is a great option. The only limitation is the increase in cup size. In most cases, the breast size can be increased up to one cup size. Fat transfer breast augmentation is also a great option for patients who have had breast augmentation and would like more upper pole fullness. The fat can increase upper pole fullness, without using a larger implant.
In many patients who have had significant weight loss, or in older patients from Northern European descent, a face lift will improve the sagginess of the tissues, but not the lack of volume in the face. Fat transfer will significantly improve the result when combined with face lift.
In most parts of the body, about 50% of the fat is retained. In the face, the percentage may be higher. Thus additional, smaller procedures may be required to achieve the desired result.
All of the procedures mentioned above can be performed under local anesthesia, thus avoiding the potential risk and additional cost of general anesthesia.
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 18 years of experience. His offices are located in Santa Ana and Newport Beach, California, serving both North and South Orange County. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 714-834-0101.