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Frequently Asked Questions about Fat Transfer

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What is fat transfer?

Fat transfer, also called fat grafting, is a procedure where fat in one or more areas of the body are removed via liposuction, purified, and then injected into another part of the body for cosmetic enhancement. For breast augmentation,  full procedure is usually done in two separate procedures: the harvesting phase and the fat transfer phase. Transfer to the face or buttocks can be done on the same day. The first phase offers patients the ability to sculpt their body and reshape areas where stubborn fat have accumulated such as in the thighs, buttocks, love handles, and lower belly. Once harvested and purified, patients can opt to have their fat and adult stem cells banked in deep cold storage using American CryoStem for use in future cosmetic procedures. There is ongoing research into medical and disease-curing possibilities that adult stem cells may potentially be used for. Your fat could quite possibly save your life one day!

What types of fat transfer procedures are available?

Fat transfer can be done to any part of the body where fat has been lost due to aging, lack of exercise, genetics, or illness.

  1. Cheek injections can be placed inside of the apples of the cheeks for a rounder, fuller, and more youthful face.
  2. Lip injections containing the patient’s own fat provide a natural cushion that makes full lips look like they were always there.
  3. Fat injections can be used to fill creases and deep wrinkles in areas of the face such as the forehead, in laugh lines, and even to fill pitted acne scars or deep laceration scars.
  4. Our NYC and Long Island buttock augmentation surgeons have the experience that it takes to give patients a truly voluptuous backside that looks good in any pair of jeans! This buttock augmentation, also called a Brazilian Buttlift, has become wildly popular due to curvy celebrities like J-Lo and Kim Kardashian. Our specialists can give you this look with our fat transfer procedure.
  5. Another up and coming fat grafting procedure being chosen by more patients than ever is a fat transfer breast augmentation. Breast fat injections can be used to give patients a fuller bust, with virtually zero risk of rejection, and without the use of implants which need to be replaced every ten years on average.

Is fat grafting safe?

Yes, it is extremely safe. Far safer, in fact, than most other surgical procedures for several reasons:

  1. Local anesthetic can be used for both phases of the procedure.
  2. Micro incisions are made rather than large incisions which lowers the risks of post-operative infections.
  3. Rather than putting an artificial substance (such as a dermal filler) or a foreign object (such as a facial or breast implant) into your body, your own fat can be used. This lowers the risk of rejection by the body as well as greatly reducing the occurrence of capsular contracture (a risk in breast implant procedures).
  4. Fat grafting lowers the post-operative recovery time versus having traditional implants inserted such as buttock implants, facial implants, or breast implants.

Can I have local anesthesia instead of going under general?

Yes. The first phase of the procedure involves the use of tumescent liposuction to safely remove and preserve fat cells. Phase two, is the fat grafting phase. Both phases can be done with local anesthesia and light sedation in our own surgical centers located in Manhattan and Long Island.

How many procedures are involved in fat transfer?

There are two phases, or procedures, involved with completing a fat transfer procedure – all are completed the same day for buttocks and facial procedures! The first phase involves fat harvesting from the patient’s body which is then purified for injections. Phase two involves injection of the harvested fat into the appointed places on the patient’s body. For natural breast augmentation, if the patient wishes to increase bust size by more than one cup, subsequent injection sessions must be scheduled for several months apart.

How big are fat transfer incisions?

This procedure can be considered “scar free” because tiny micro-incisions are used so that there are virtually no indications that the procedure was ever done. These incisions are so tiny, in fact, that stitches are not necessary!

What areas of the buttocks can be augmented with a Brazilian Butt Lift?

Any area of the butt can be lifted, reshaped, and added to for a Brazilian Butt Lift. If the projection (how much it projects from the body) of the buttock is not enough, fat can be added to the middle of the buttock to make it rounder and to increase the projection. Our Brazilian Butt Lift surgeons have a keen eye and artistic hand to give patients just what they are looking for.

Additionally, the outer, upper, and lower buttocks can be reshaped during the liposuction phase and then adding fat for buttock augmentation. Our Long Island and NYC buttock augmentation surgeons can help you decide which areas you want to have augmented during your free consultation.

What is a natural breast lift?

This procedure gives a beautiful and lifted bust to women who have breasts that have lost volume and appear lower than they should be. Patients whose breasts are within the specified centimeter range (determined by our surgeons) can simply have fat added to their breasts in just the right places to provide volume and lift. Patients who fall outside of the centimeters range for breast hang can opt to have a traditional breast lift procedure.

What is a fat transfer breast augmentation?

A natural breast augmentation using the patient’s own body fat is referred to as a fat transfer breast augmentation, or stem cell breast augmentation. This procedure involves taking fat from the patient’s body and injecting it into the fatty tissue of the breasts for an inplant-free breast augmentation. The fat offers instant volume to the patient’s cup size while the stem cells grow new fatty tissue in amounts determined by how many stem cells the surgeon has injected into the area.

Can my body fat be used for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction?

Yes, absolutely! Many of the post-breast cancer patients we see are very conscious of living a healthy lifestyle; one that sometimes does not allow for a foreign object such as a breast implant. Fat transfer allows our master surgeons to reconstruct the breast using the patient’s own body fat. The result is a breast that feels like the breast that was there before. This procedure works for both mastectomy and lumpectomy.

How long will my fat transfer results last?

Studies over the last ten years have shown that approximately 80% of the fat that has been transferred, or grafted, to a new area will remain there permanently. Once the new fat cells are in place and the adult stem cells have grown new fat…that transferred fat is there to stay. This can change for one of two reasons: 1) unless the patient has liposuction to remove it or 2) if they lose a dramatic amount of weight. In the latter scenario, however, once the patient gains weight the fat cells will enlarge again.

What if I'm not happy with my fat grafting results?

At Advanced Cosmetic Surgery of New York, our fat grafting surgeons have many years of combined cosmetic surgery experience. This means that only an extremely minute percentage of our patients have areas that they are not happy with. In these cases, we are glad to schedule a revision procedure. However, it is important for us to mention that realistic expectations are always properly set by our surgeons ahead of time based on the physical state of the patient and their expectations for the outcome. It is up to the patients to accept that perfection may not be possible…but we will get very close!

Where are the fat harvesting and fat transfer surgeries performed?

The entire procedure is done in our AAAHC Accredited NY surgical suites in Commack, Long Island. Appointments, exams, and consultations can be done in our Commack location as well as our second office in the city (on Madison Avenue).

How long will it take for me to heal?

The first phase of healing during the liposuction harvesting phase usually takes three to six months and depends upon how much fat was taken and from how many areas. The second phase of the procedure, the fat grafting portion, takes two to three months and also depends upon how much fat has been grafted as well as which areas of the body have been treated (larger areas may take longer to heal).

When will my results be fully revealed?

Good question! For patients who have had extensive liposuction during the harvesting phase, it can take 3 to 6 months for full results to be seen. The fat grafting procedure offers immediate volume for fat cells that have been transferred while adult stem cells continue to grow new fat in the area. The new fat can take up to 3 months to be fully established. Research has shown that fat cells that survive after three months post grafting will most likely survive indefinitely. View before and after photos of our patients.