Dr. Heidi Harrington

Fat grafting uses liposuction to remove fat from an unwanted area and for placement in an area where you seek added volume.

Fat grafting is a filler much as the very popular and broadly known facial fillers, Juvederm and Restylane are. Fat is easily harvested and generally available in quantity from our bodies.

A fat grafting procedure transfers fat from areas in which you have excess fat, such as the outer thighs, and injects it into areas that may be lacking in volume, such as your face, hands, breasts or buttocks. This safe, long-lasting, well-tolerated procedure produces natural-looking results. Every year, thousands of people undergo successful fat grafting and are pleased with the results.

Fat Grafting can be used almost anywhere on the body:

Facial Rejuvenation

Wrinkles on the face, such as the fold from the mouth to the corner of the nose or from the mouth down the side of the chin, around the eyes, or mid cheek or across the froehead can be smoothed out. Acne scars and sunken areas of the face, lips, and cheeks can also be filled in.

As part of Facelift Surgery

Fat Grafting as part of facelift surgery provides a fuller, more rounded appearance of the cheeks and gives an enhanced result. Fat grafting or transferring small amounts of the patient’s own fat in strategic areas is a beneficial technique utilized by most skilled surgeons today performing facial rejuvenation. While some of the injected fat is reabsorbed over time, most of the transferred fat was still be present up to one year after facelift surgery.

Breast augmentation

If you desire a modest increase in breast size, you are a good candidate for fat grafting to the breast, but your breasts should already have a nice shape and good skin tone. If you have poor skin, sagging breasts, or want a significant increase in breast size, breast augmentation with fat transfer may not be right for you.

Breast implants plus fat grafting

If your breast shape needs optimizing during a breast implant procedure, fat grafting can be useful. If you have residual breast irregularities after undergoing breast augmentation with implants, the irregularities can be filled in with fat to produce a smooth contour and an optimal shape.

Breast reconstruction with fat grafting

Fat grafting is an effective method for filling in breast defects following lumpectomy for breast cancer. Fat grafting is also an option for total breast reconstruction following mastectomy, but to achieve sufficient breast volume, this is usually a multi-stage process that requires at least two to four sequential fat grafting procedures.

Buttock augmentation with fat grafting: Many people who desire a fuller, more rounded buttock will choose fat transfer to provide a more curvaceous buttock without the use of an implant. Liposuction is commonly used to both sculpt the surrounding area and to collect the fat to be injected.

Hand rejuvenation with fat grafting: Fat grafting into your hands is effective for adding volume, “plumping up” wrinkled areas, covering underlying vessels and tendons and improving the quality of your skin over time.

Questions You May Have:

What will my fat transfer incisions and scars be like?

Your only scars may result from liposuction, which is used to remove fat from the donor site.Because liposuction incisions are small, the scars are also small and are placed in hidden areas. Sometimes depending on the location of fat deposits on your body, the incisions cannot be hidden.The amount or degree of scarring depends on the surgeon’s technique and your genetic tendencies.Most liposuction scars fade and are barely perceptible over time. Visible scars are more likely when large liposuction cannulas are used and in patients who have darkly pigmented skin.There are two types of marks that can remain on the skin after liposuction. One is a true scar, and the other is known as dyschromia, a dark (hyperpigmented) or light (hypopigmented) spot on the skin.

What are the risks?

Fat cells removed from one body site and injected into another do not always survive. Fat injected into the breast may be absorbed by the body, may become liquid and form a cyst, calcify, or produce scarring. As with any surgical procedure, it is possible for fat grafting to produce changes in the breast that may be deemed suspicious on examination by a physician or on mammography, and may lead to further testing to determine if the findings are related to breast cancer.

Sample Before and After Photos

This 58 year old woman had a 50 pound weight loss which left her with excess skin on buttocks and thighs. She had a Buttock and Thigh lift procedure with fat grafting to enhance younger contour to the buttocks. After photos were taken 5 weeks post surgery.

Before

After

Before

After