Bigger breasts and a smaller waist. A rounder behind and smaller love handles. Plumper cheeks and a more sculpted jawline. These are just some of the possibilities that can be achieved with a fat transfer procedure.
Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is the process of removing excess fat from the body with liposuction and then using that fat to enhance another body part. It is a transformative procedure that uses natural materials from the patient’s own body.
For those interested in the potential benefits of a fat transfer procedure, request a consultation with Dr. Joshua Korman at one of our three Bay Area locations.
About Fat Transfer
There has been a recent rise in popularity of the Brazilian Butt Lift: a cosmetic procedure that enhances the buttocks without the need for implants. But, the Brazilian Butt Lift is just one example of the type of natural results that fat transfer procedures can provide.
Some of the other possibilities offered by fat transfers include:
- Breast augmentation
- Hand rejuvenation
- Facial sculpting
- Minimizing fine lines and wrinkles on the face
- Lip augmentation
The fat transfer procedure is designed for men and women who want to reduce excess fat deposits while enhancing other parts of the body. Fat is suctioned from the body using liposuction and then it is injected into parts of the body to augment and smooth.
In a fat transfer procedure, not all of the fat injected into the body will take to the new area. In many cases, about 70% of the fat will survive, which means that Dr. Korman will slightly overcompensate with the initial injections in order to end up with the desired results. Furthermore, not all of the fat suctioned out of the body will be viable for reintroduction. Dr. Korman purifies the fat so that only the most usable contents remain.
For these reasons, fat transfer patients must have adequate fat deposits, but they mustn’t be overweight. This also means that very slim patients are not ideal candidates for a fat transfer procedure. Typically, Dr. Korman will perform liposuction on two to three locations on the body in order to meet this goal.
As with all surgical procedures, patients should be in good mental and physical health prior to the operation. To ensure maximum safety, we may ask patients to complete a physical evaluation with their primary care provider prior to being cleared for a fat transfer procedure. Patients should have realistic expectations for the operation and understand what can and cannot be accomplished with fat transfer. If the patient smokes, they will be required to quit prior to the operation. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Korman to find out if you are a good candidate.
Fat Transfer Techniques We Perform
Breast augmentation with fat transfer, sometimes referred to as a natural breast augmentation, allows for an increase in breast size without implants. A fat transfer will not be able to provide the same dramatic volume increase as is possible with implants.
However, women find that natural breast augmentation provides them with great results that look and feel more like their own body. It is also an option for women seeking breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or lumpectomy.
Augmentation of the buttocks with fat transfer, commonly known as a Brazilian Butt Lift, has become an increasingly popular procedure in recent years. Today, the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure is the preferred butt augmentation technique over implants.
In this procedure, fat is often taken from the lower back and love handles. This creates a very attractive hourglass figure.
With age, the hands begin to lose volume and can become a tell-tale sign of one’s true age. However, with fat transfer, we can add volume back to the patient’s hands while simultaneously decreasing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and overly exposed tendons and veins.
Dermal fillers are another option for hand rejuvenation. However, some people prefer fat transfer since it is longer lasting.
Similar to hand rejuvenation, fat transfer is a longer-lasting alternative to dermal fillers for facial rejuvenation. It can be used to add volume to the cheeks, temples, and chin, which can all deflate with age.
Additionally, it can be used to decrease the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and deep creases, including nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and crow’s feet. In some cases, it can be used to provide a natural lip augmentation.
As a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Korman has an excellent understanding of patient’s unique facial anatomy, which makes him a top choice for not only facial fat transfer, but dermal fillers as well. His specialized techniques ensure that the results of the procedure look incredibly natural and keep others guessing what the secret is to looking that youthful and refreshed.
Fat Transfer Process
A fat transfer procedure consists of three main steps: liposuction, purification, and injection.
As previously mentioned, Dr. Korman typically performs liposuction on two to three locations, sometimes called donor locations, on the body in order to accumulate enough fat for the procedure. Some of the locations where liposuction is commonly performed include:
- Upper Arms
- Inner and outer thighs
The donor locations selected will be determined by the patient’s aesthetic desires and Dr. Korman’s professional expertise.
Dr. Korman will make small incisions around the predetermined donor locations and insert a cannula. A cannula is a small tube that uses negative pressure to suction fat out of the body. This fat is then retained for purification.
Dr. Korman uses a device to separate the fat so that the most viable material for injection remains. The system will separate the solid fat matter from unwanted liquid components. This helps ensure that the maximum amount of fat will survive when it is injected into its new location. It also makes sure that, once injected, the material will have a smooth, uniform appearance.
Once the fat has been purified, it is ready to be injected back into the body.
Depending on the location where the fat is to be reintroduced, Dr. Korman will perform many small injections at varying depths. By minimizing how much fat is injected into any given location, it maximizes the amount of nutrients that the fat will receive from the new location and will increase its chance of survival. As mentioned previously, Dr. Korman will overcompensate with the amount of fat he injects, since not all of the fat will take to the new location.
In general, patients will be outfitted with compression garments for the operational sites. These are important to not only minimize bruising and swelling, but to also ensure that the body settles properly into its new sculpted form.
Patients may experience some discomfort, which can be controlled with a prescription provided by Dr. Korman or an over-the-counter medication, like Tylenol. Patients are asked to avoid anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
Part of healing properly from a fat transfer procedures involves making sure as much fat as possible survives in the new location. For some procedures, patients may be instructed to avoid putting pressure on certain parts of their body, such as the buttocks. They may be instructed to sit or lay with a special pillow to aid in healing.
The amount of time that the patient will need to take off from work in order to recover from a fat transfer procedure will vary depending on the donor locations and where fat has been injected. After the consultation and once Dr. Korman has had the opportunity to develop a complete surgical plan for the patient, he will be able to provide the patient with more detailed recovery procedures.
During a fat transfer consultation, Dr. Korman will ask the patient about why they are interested in the procedure and what they hope to achieve from cosmetic surgery. He will perform an exam to help determine whether or not the patient would be a good candidate for the procedure. He will also ask about the patient’s medical history. Depending on his findings, Dr. Korman may recommend additional or alternative procedures that will help the patient achieve their goals and best fit their lifestyle. We urge the patient to ask any questions that they may have regarding fat transfer. If they are interested in any other procedures, they may bring them up at this time.
If the patient is a good candidate for fat transfer, then Dr. Korman and our surgical coordinator will work with the patient to develop a personalized procedure plan. However, there is no pressure for the patient to make a decision regarding their surgery at the time of the consultation. The goal of the consultation is to make the patient as comfortable, confident, and informed as possible when deciding whether or not to have cosmetic surgery.
Fat transfers are one of the most customizable procedures that we offer here in the Bay Area. Therefore, the cost of the procedure will depend on a number of factors that cannot be determined until after the consultation with Dr. Korman. We have convenient locations in Mountain View, Carmel, San Jose, and. Please feel free to contact us today to request a consultation.