Fat Transfer

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  • Fine wrinkles of the skin
  • Loss or absence of volume of the breasts, cheeks, hands, buttocks, etc
  • Gaunt, hollow, or sunken-in look

Intended Result

  • To restore volume, decrease sagging skin, and minimize wrinkles
  • To create a more youthful appearance

Procedure Description

Fat transfer can be used to restore volume to virtually any area of the body. The procedure can be used for reconstructive or cosmetic purposes. Fat is taken from an area of the body (e.g. Abdomen, flanks, thighs) via liposuction, purified, and injected into an area of lost volume. Multiple injection sites allows our board-certified plastic surgeons to create a full and natural look. Common areas that receive fat transfer are the breasts, cheeks, nasolabial folds, hands, and buttocks. It can be also used for breast reconstruction to restore volume lost in the breasts after a lumpectomy. Certain areas of the body are more receptive to receiving fat transfer, but this can be discussed with your plastic surgeon. Of the fat transferred, a portion of the fat cells will get reabsorbed by the body, so multiple surgeries or rounds of transfer are typically needed for the best result.

Many patients receive dermal fillers to temporarily restore volume, but they must return yearly to maintain care. Fat transfer, once complete, is relatively permanent and does not require maintenance unless there is a significant bodily change.

Additional procedures that may enhance the result:

Recuperation and Healing

You can expect some bruising, swelling, and tenderness at the sites of fat harvesting, consistent with the recovery for liposuction. The amount of recuperation needed depends on the volume of fat transfer as well as the donor and recipient sites. Pain medication is prescribed to control any initial pain. There are small, clear, dissolvable sutures at the sites of liposuction and fat transfer that will be removed about 1 week after surgery. The sites of fat transfer are small, pinhole-sized and cause little to no scarring. You can typically return to work and normal activities 1-4 weeks after surgery.

Learn more about the recovery process following a procedure here.

Insurance Guidelines

Fat transfer can be covered by insurance as a part of breast reconstruction due to a history of breast cancer or genetic susceptibility to breast cancer. Otherwise it is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance.

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