Fat grafting: What is it and is it safe

Fat grafting is using fat from your own body to fill in the face, breast, buttocks and sometimes other areas. It is a technique used to smooth wrinkles, increase the volume of the breast and buttocks, and improve the results of liposuction. Fat is often taken from the stomach, thighs and waist. It is prepared and inject back into the body. This answers the question of what is fat grafting?

The Benefits of Fat Grafting

Fat grafting is a more natural filler than others because your own fat is injected into your body. You’re shifting the fat from one area to another. Often it is taken from an area that has too much fat and transferred to another where it is needed.  The process will last longer because you are using your natural fat and tissue.

It will be used to contour and sculpt the parts of the body that really need it. Fat grafting is used for the face to add volume to the cheeks, areas of the eyes, and brows.  It can be transferred to the breast to make them shapelier and larger. It is a great alternative to breast implant surgery as you do not have anything unnatural put into your body.  The fat is injected into the buttocks from the back and thighs. It gives you a more natural shaped buttock. 

Fat Grafting For the Face

When you add volume to the face the skin looks younger and fresher. It can give you the heart shaped face of youth. It improves the skin texture and tone. This procedure is minimally invasive and no incisions. It can fill out the hollow areas beneath the eyes, lips, jaw line, forehead creases, and cheeks.  A needle is attached to a liposuction machine. It pulls the fat out of the body for later use. The fat  is run through a centrifuge to purify it.

Fat Grafting For the Breasts

Lipofilling is a procedure that has been used to fill out small parts of the breast with success over the last several years. This lead to fat grafting where fat is transferred from the body into the entire breast. This procedure has not been tested long enough to know if it is successful. Sometimes fat injected into the breast is absorbed back into the body. This means the breast loses volume. 

Some fat grafting procedures require you to wear a Brava device before and after the procedure. It is a bra with plastic cone cups. The cups put suction on the breasts and expand the tissue where fat was injected. It is an important part of the procedure to maintain breast volume after the procedure. Depending on the size of breasts you want you may have multiple procedures over time.

The benefits of fat grafting are you use your own natural fat. Many women report that their breast feel more soft and natural than implants. Fat injected into the breast may die causing pain, bleeding, and the skin turning blue with discharge and sores. 

There are risks with the procedure talk  with a qualified plastic surgeon to find out if you are qualified for the procedure. It is a relatively safe procedure and sometimes the results are not what you expected. 

Fat Grafting Procedure

The fat grafting procedure is often done on an outpatient basis in the doctor’s office. Often you will need someone to drive you home after. Moderate swelling is often common two weeks after the procedure. There may be some redness and bruising too. When volume decreases you may have to have another fat grafting procedure performed.  It is also used to correct large scars and surgical deformities on the body. 

When the procedure is done  generalanesthesia is given to the patients. Some procedures take 1 to 5 hours to complete. Some patients must stay home 2 days to 1 week to heal and avoid vigorous activity. 

Now you know the answer to how fat grafting works. Overall fat grafting is a safe procedure with some risks.  It  important to talk to a qualified plastic surgeon to learn if the procedure is right for you.  They will discuss the procedure in detail and go over the benefits and risks. This way you can make an informed decision about what to do.

By Joan Russell

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