About Fat Transfers
When a man or woman has weight fluctuations or goes through the natural aging process, they lose fullness in specific area of the body where volume once resided. A terrific way to regain lost volume is through an advanced cosmetic technique known as fat grafting (a fat transfer). A fat transfer extracts fat from a place on the body, and injects it into another area that could benefit from additional volume. Additionally, a fat transfer can be used on large areas such as the breasts or buttocks or on delicate and smaller features such as the laugh lines, lips, cheeks, or under the eyelid. Fat transfers are often chosen when a patient hopes to have a natural enhancement rather than using a device such as an implant or a substance such as a filler. New York plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Koch is skilled at using the most effective liposuction and grafting methods for performing fat transfers. This cosmetic enhancement at one of our three facilities creates natural-looking, appealing outcomes.
Fat Transfer Reviews
"Thank god for Dr. Koch - I went to Dr. Koch for correction of bad liposuction. About 5 years ago I had liposuction of my abdomen that ended up in a complete utter disaster. I spent years searching for a surgeon that would fix my wavy tummy but no surgeon wanted to do my surgery. Finally about a year ago, I found Dr. Koch , who specializes in fat transfer, and my prayers were answered. Not only did Dr. Koch have the knowledge and the experience, he also had the courage to take on my surgery. Although, many of the surgeons that I had consulted with previously, knew what had to be done to repair my abdomen, not one of them had the confidence to do it. Dr. Koch gave me the hope and reassurance that I was looking for.About the surgery: In order to smooth and repair my abdomen, Dr. Koch had to liposuction my abdomen and harvest fat from other areas in my body to be able to transfer fat back into my abdomen and fill in the indentations from my previous surgery. Now I finally have a smooth tummy. My advice to anyone seeking liposuction: Make sure that you do your research and always choose a board certified plastic surgeon"- Anonymous / Vitals / May 28, 2011
Fat Transfer Ideal Candidates
Individuals who wish to have additional smoothness and volume in specific places on the face or body that appear deflated and flat may be appropriate candidates for a fat transfer. This specialized enhancement is even more advantageous because it offers a natural approach to create results by incorporating the patient's own fat. By doing this, there is little worry for rejection. Both women and men at our practice considering this treatment need to be at a healthy weight and have enough fat to remove for the transfer.
Fat Transfer Surgical Technique
When undergoing a fat transfer, you will be placed under some form of anesthesia. The exact type of anesthesia or numbing method will be based on how much fat is being taken out, including the location where it will be reinstated. Liposuction is completed via a special cannula to precisely remove the fat, where it will then be harvested and separated through a centrifuge (which prepares the highest quality fat for syringes). After preparing the injection site, the extracted fat will be added to the area chosen for the transfer. The process of injecting is performed in layers until even smoothness has been attained. For some areas, multiple injections will be necessary.
What to Expect with Fat Transfer
After the transfer process has been completed, you will begin a healing period. Keep in mind there are at least two sites on the body that need to be carefully treated: the area involving liposuction and the injection sites. The overall recovery may be longer if a larger place on the body was addressed. For example, a fat transfer for the lips will generally only warrant a 1 – 2-day recovery whereas a transfer to a more vast body part, such as the breast or buttocks, can take many more days. The sites will appear swollen with some possible bruising, but the results can be seen pretty quickly. Another perk is the area where liposuction was used will appear slimmer. Fat grafting yields beautiful and lasting results, but there will be some resorption back to the body. For some, another transfer may be needed down the road. There is minimal scarring associated with this procedure.
Fat Transfer Frequently Asked Questions
How much does this cost?
The cost for a fat transfer will vary greatly depending on a number of factors. For transfers to the breast or buttock, a higher volume of fat is needed, thus liposuction is used and a longer process is incorporated to purify the fat and inject it accordingly. Smaller treatments, such as adding facial volume, not only take less fat but there is also less risk and time involved. The volume amount needed to reach your goals will be discussed during the consultation, along with pricing and cost factors for you to consider.
Does it look natural?
Yes, a fat transfer looks natural if performed by a skilled, experienced cosmetic or plastic surgeon. Fat grafting techniques have advanced greatly in the last decade, allowing for an easier process, faster recovery, and beautiful aesthetic outcome. Whether you are desiring to enhance your breasts, buttock, the top side of your hands, or an area on your face, a fat transfer is an autologous approach that many patients prefer over implants.
How long will the results last?
While a fat transfer is a procedure that may not last as long as implants, it can offer beautiful, effective results that can last for years. New techniques in fat grafting and ongoing research as to how to purify and layer the fat during the transfer process helps decrease fat reabsorption, which is often a concern of our patients and something we discuss during the consultation. The use of platelet-rich plasma to help purify and enhance the fat cells prior to transplanting them have offered great results in recent studies. PRP helps to enhance fat cells before transplanting them into the body.
Alternative treatments or considerations?
Just like with any cosmetic treatment, there are a number of options for patients who simply desire to increase volume on the body where an area looks deflated or hollow. For example, while a fat transfer offers natural, subtle volume increases for the breasts, implants are a popular alternative. In addition, for loss of facial volume, there are nonsurgical skin rejuvenation treatments that create excellent outcomes such as dermal fillers. We will discuss all of the various options during your consultation so that you can get the result that will match both your personal and aesthetic goals.
What if I don't have enough fat?
This is, unfortunately, the case with some patients. Men and women alike who are relatively thin with limited fat to extract may not be candidates for fat transfers as they pertain to the body. We will discuss the best areas to extract the fat and analyze if there is enough fat to take to achieve the results you are trying to attain. For patients who simply do not have the body fat needed to complete this procedure, fillers, implants, or donor fat can be considered.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $3,500 - $5,000
- Recovery Time
- 4 – 6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2 – 4 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1 – 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
Fat Transfer Take the Natural Approach
If you are looking to get fuller lips or want to soften hollow areas or lines, this treatment may be a great option for you. Furthermore, a fat transfer works great for the buttocks or breasts. There are many choices for adding volume and fullness. This procedure can help you achieve the look you wish for without choosing to undergo an invasive surgery that might require a lengthy recovery period or associated downtime. We invite you to get in touch with our staff to schedule your consult with Dr. Koch.