Your body has a secret weapon when it comes to fighting the signs of aging or changing your appearance. It’s your fat. Whether you want a more shapely behind, more youthful-looking hands, or a fuller and younger-looking face, fat transfer, or fat grafting, can help.
Learn more about how fat transfer works and see if it’s the right option for you.
How Fat Transfer Works
During fat transfer, the surgeon removes fat from one area of the body, usually the hips or abdomen, and injects it into another area. Usually, the area that receives the fat has had some sort of volume depletion over time or has less volume than a patient would like,
The first part of the fat grafting process involves liposuction. The surgeon will make the smallest incisions possible in the area where liposuction is going to be performed. During this part of the procedure, you might be given a local anesthetic to numb the area or you may receive general anesthesia.
Once the fat is removed, it needs to be purified and prepared before it is transferred. Often, the fat is placed into a centrifuge to remove any impurities. It can also be purified using a filtration method. The prepared fat is then put into syringes.
The process of transferring the fat to the recipient area involves injecting the fat. Your surgeon will use a small syringe to inject an amount of fat in various spots in the recipient area. How many syringes and how much fat is needed depends on the size of the area being treated and the amount of volume you wish to create.
The recovery process after fat transfer is usually very short, although you will most likely need to take some time off from work. What you can expect from recovery will vary considerably, depending on where the fat is placed.
Hand Rejuvenation with Fat Transfer
The hands are one area of the body that most often give away your age. While many people go to a lot of effort to minimize or slow down the signs of aging on their faces, they often forget about the hands. As you get older, you lose volume from the hands so that bones, veins and tendons become more visible. Your skin also changes and becomes thinner, so that wrinkles appear.
Fat transfer to the hands can help smooth out wrinkles and will make veins, bones and tendons less visible. Since your fat cells also contain stem cells, fat grafting can help the skin and tissue in the hands regenerate and take on a more youthful look, as well as add volume to the area.
Since it’s likely that your body will reabsorb some of the transferred fat, your surgeon will often over inject the hands. That means that your hands might look puffy or overfilled at first, but the swelling should go down within a few days. The results from fat grafting to the hands are usually long lasting, if not permanent. As your hands continue to age, you might need a touch-up treatment to keep them looking youthful.
Brazilian Butt Lift
In recent years, the Brazilian butt lift has become one of the most popular uses for fat transfer. Big butts are in, and it’s possible for many women to get the curves they want from their own fat.
Before injecting the fat into the buttocks, the surgeon will make several small incisions in the creases of the skin. The incisions are small enough that they heal well without noticeable scarring. Their placement in the crease also helps them to be less visible. When injecting the fat, the surgeon carefully deposits it, creating one smooth layer on top of another.
Recovery after a Brazilian butt lift can be a bit more involved than recovery after other types of fat grafting. You can expect to take up to two weeks off from work. During the first two weeks or so, your surgeon will recommend sitting down as little as possible, as you don’t want to put pressure or weight on your new buttocks. Lying on your stomach or side is recommended.
Usually, people are fully healed and able to resume all of their regular activities, including working out and other vigorous activities, within six weeks of the procedure.
Facial Rejuvenation with Fat Transfer
Wrinkles aren’t the only issue people have to deal with as they get older. Your face also starts to lose volume as you age, usually from the cheeks. You have several options for coping with the loss of facial volume, from temporary fillers to more permanent cheek implants. Fat grafting is a semi-permanent option.
Fat transfer to the face doesn’t just fill in areas that have lost volume. It can also help smooth out lines and wrinkles. Depending on your specific needs and wants, your surgeon might use fat grafting to smooth out lines on your forehead or around your mouth or to fill in indented scars.
You’ll most likely want to take some time off from work after fat grafting to the facial area, mostly to give the swelling on your face time to go down. You might also have some bruising and discomfort at first, but that should also decrease after a few days.
Who knew that fat, usually something no one wants to deal with, could be so useful? If you’ve got a bit of fat to spare on your tummy, hips or another area, and want to add volume to your cheeks, buttocks or hands, fat grafting is worth considering. Dr. Paul Vitenas, a Houston-based, top-rated plastic surgeon, performs fat transfer on a variety of areas. To learn more, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.