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Fat transfer is achieved by removing the fatty tissue from one area of the body such as the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks and re-injecting it into another area
of the body such as the face, breast, hands, or in some cases the buttocks. Since the patient's own fat is used for the procedure it is considered quite safe with no risk of rejection or allergy. Of course, as with any procedure, infection or untoward side-effects could occur.
The fat is removed in a procedure similar to traditional liposuction but with much smaller pressures and specially designed instruments to reduce trauma to the fragile fat cells. The fat is then processed to remove natural oils, and then placed into the desired tissues.
The effect of fat transfer is to soften and plump areas on the face, hands, or buttocks to give the areas a naturally full and youthful appearance. There is some discussion among professionals as to whether or not the procedure can cause a lumpy or bumpy appearance. However if done correctly, this should not occur. The procedure can take between 1 and 3 hours to perform and can take up to 14 days to heal, although patients can be socially acceptable within a few days.
The results of the procedure vary depending on the location of the fat transfer and can last between six months and one year or longer. Because fat can be reabsorbed by the body, the procedure may have to be repeated to ensure prolonged results and hopefully to some degree, permanency. There is no traditional surgery involved, and only local anesthetics are required at the sites of the removal and the injection. Fat transfer will give a fuller appearance to those areas of the face that have a hollowed appearance like the cheeks and temples. Hand rejuvenation in older patients to smooth out the areas of vein and tendon exposure is very well done with fat transfer. In general, fat transfer is not a drastic procedure and thus is a great option for those who want a subtle and natural change to their body that will still give them a renewed, younger appearance.
The procedure would not be appropriate for individuals with little or no fatty tissue, or for those seeking a drastic increase in breast or buttocks size. Fat transfer can only increase the bust size by a cup at best, and the buttocks procedure may require up to 700cc of fatty tissue. The procedure is done on an out-patient basis and most patients find the procedure easy and satisfying, although since no two bodies are alike, results can vary. As with any medical alteration to the body, it is wise to consult your physician before deciding to have a fat transfer procedure performed.