Fat transfer is the process of taking fat from one area of the body and injecting it into another. Although people often assume that fat anywhere is a bad thing, the truth is that some areas need an ample amount of fat.
For example, as you get older, the body tends to lose fat from the face. The result is a longer-looking face and an older, more tired and gaunt appearance. Fat transfer allows you to take fat from part of the body where you might have plenty to spare and place it in the face so that you look younger.
The procedure is also often performed as part of the Brazilian butt lift, which enhances the derriere. Although liposuction is a critical part of the fat transfer process, in many cases, the surgeon doesn’t remove that much fat during it. If you want to also sculpt certain areas of the body and make good use of the removed fat, combining fat transfer and liposuction makes sense.
Two Birds, One Stone
One of the great things about combining fat transfer with liposuction to sculpt the body is that you are essentially killing two birds with one stone. You need to have liposuction before the fat is transferred anyway, so you might as well have the surgeon remove enough fat to make the area thinner and more sculpted.
Fat transfer isn’t your only option for adding volume to certain parts of the body. Dermal fillers can add volume to the face. Butt implants can augment and add volume to the buttocks. But using your own fat offers benefits you don’t get from implants or fillers.
Implants might be a mostly permanent option, but there is the chance that they will shift or move over time. You’ll also need surgery to insert them, which can mean a lengthy recovery period. Injectable facial fillers can wear off and usually don’t last for longer than six months to a couple of years. Transferred fat, on the other hand, is usually permanent and doesn’t wear off.
What areas of the body can be sculpted or trimmed down during a liposuction and fat transfer procedure? It depends on your preference. As long as the fat comes from your body, it can come from pretty much any area of the body.
If you have developed a bit of a tummy after childbirth or as part of the aging process, you might decide to have liposuction in that area. Other areas that can be shaped and sculpted by liposuction include the hips, the thighs and the upper arms.
It’s important to remember that liposuction isn’t a weight loss surgery. If you have a lot of extra fat or are overweight, your surgeon will most likely recommend losing the weight first, either with diet and exercise or with the help of a weight loss surgery. Liposuction is meant for removing that last bit of stubborn fat that won’t go away with exercise or diet.
Add Volume to Specific Areas with Fat Transfer
Have you ever wondered what happens to the fat that’s removed during liposuction? If you opt for fat transfer, you don’t have to wonder. The fat, at least some of it, is cleaned and processed, then injected back into your body.
There are several areas commonly treated with fat transfer: the face, the hands and the buttocks. When the purified fat is injected into the face, it not only restores lost volume to the cheek area. It also helps to smooth wrinkles and to fill in other sunken areas on the face.
The hands are an often overlooked or neglected area of the body. A loss of fat and volume from the hands can make them look older and add decades to your overall appearance. Fat injections into the hands help to reduce the look of boniness and can minimize the appearance of prominent veins.
One of the more popular areas for fat transfer these days is the buttocks. The Brazilian butt lift procedure can enhance a flatter, less prominent butt.
Recovery After Liposuction and Fat Transfer
Usually, the recovery period after fat transfer isn’t very long. How long you need to recover actually depends on the extent of your surgery and the area where you’ve had the fat transferred. For example, f you’ve had a small amount of fat removed to add volume to the cheeks, recovery usually only takes a couple of days.
But if you have liposuction to sculpt part of the body, such as the abdomen, and have a Brazilian butt lift, you can expect recovery to take longer, usually between a week and two weeks. You’ll need time to recuperate from the liposuction and from the butt lift.
Often, recovery from a butt lift involves not sitting down or putting weight on the area. The less pressure on the buttocks during the first few weeks of recovery, the better. Putting weight and pressure on the area can flatten it or cause more fat to be reabsorbed by the body.
Although fat transfer and liposuction lets you enhance some areas while you sculpt others, it’s not the right choice for everyone. You need to have an adequate amount of fat in some areas of the body to benefit, for example. You also need to be in good health and have realistic expectations.
Dr. Paul Vitenas, a Houston-based plastic surgeon, offers liposuction and a variety of fat transfer procedures to patients. To learn more about the procedures and if they are right for you, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.