Fat Grafting is transferring of a patient’s fat from an undesired spot of the body to a more desirable area for the purpose of adding volume, shape and form.
Fat Grafting entails taking fat from unwanted areas and transplanting to areas where fat is more desirable, one can improve the contour in one area of the body (the donor site) and add volume and shape to a place where fat is deficient (the recipient site).
Fat Grafting patients must have sufficient fat in the donor site for modest enhancement and to add volume to deflated areas. The fat grafting is suitable for patients who are not ready to go through a more invasive procedure that require deeper incisions and implants. Patients not well suited are those who may be pregnant at the time of procedure, or have neither infectious nor cancerous lesions in the harvesting areas.
Cost and length of procedure is dependent on the recipient site for fat grafting.
In the pre-op consultation, you will need to discuss where you would like to add volume and size, whether it is the face or body. The doctor will ask for preferred sites for fat removals and injections.
Be realistic with your goals with the fat grafting procedure. Common donor sites for fat grafting include the abdomen, hips and outer thighs. Less common sites are the thighs, knee and arm. Areas on the face such as the chin do not provide significant fat suitable for fat grafting.
Most common areas where fat is grafted to are the buttocks (the Brazilian Butt Lift) and the breasts (Natural Breast Augmentation).
Your doctor or a medical staff at the surgical centre will carefully detail the procedure and learn about your medical and drug history. In the pre-op you will get the information on diet instructions and habits to give up such as smoking and drinking, before the procedure to avoid complications and risks.
The explanation of the procedure is simple. The area of the site where the fat is to be harvested is prepped and draped in sterile fashion. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia. A small harvest needle is used to harvest the fat donor material.
The harvesting process and technique will depend on the area and size of the recipient site. Small zones such as the face can be extracted with small harvest cannulas.
For small zones, very little fat will need to be grafted. The patient does not usually see a sizeable difference in the donor site.
With larger zones, a surgeon must take large volume of fat in the least traumatic method possible to ensure enough fat is removed while ensuring the fat cells in the area are not damaged in the process, as the must survive and pick up blood supply to survive.
The VaserLipo system is utilized in the best way to remove the large volumes needed to predictably and successfully augment without damaging the fat cells to be transplanted.
Once the amount of donor fat is harvested, the refinement of body contouring is optimized, providing the patient with improved shape and contour in the donor sites. This can potentially leave slimmer profiles in the unwanted fat areas.
The harvested fat cells are transferred in sterile fashion to be centrifuged to remove unwanted elements in the fat graft material. The purified fat cells are then placed into small syringes in preparation for injection into the recipient area.
Small region fat grafts such as the brow, nose, and jawline have great longevity. The body typically accepts 30 to 60% of the fat grafts.
Dr. Mulholland grafts more than the required amount for volume. In the buttock and more mobile areas of the body, such as the thighs, the fat graft survival is expected to be 30 to 50%.
Patients are advised to undergo two separate fat grafting sessions that are separated by 12 months.
Risks and Complications
The risks of fat grafting are infections, excessive bleeding, blood clotting, allergic reactions to anesthesia and prolonged pain. There can be indentation in the donor and recipient areas, along with irregular numbness. Weigh the options of fat grafting heavily and consult a board certified surgeon.
Dr. Mulholland specializes in aesthetics and cosmetic surgery and is among the leaders in plastic surgery in Canada. Choose a surgeon that is specialized in liposuction and fat grafting to limit the concerns of risks and complications for fat grafting.
There is no specific maintenance for fat grafting to either face or the body. Once the fat grafts have been taken from donor sites, it is subject to the aging process such as age-related deflation and loss of fat volume. If this occurs, a repeat procedure may be required several years following your initial sessions, as long as there is sufficient fat in the donor sites.
The procedure is an elective surgery, thus insurance will not cover any cost. It is patient’s responsibility to fulfill payment. Consult with our medical representatives regarding payment plans and special financing. Payment periods can be spread over 36, 60 and 72 months with certain plans.
The cost for the fat grafting procedure is dependent on the area; typically the cost begins from $3,000.
Can I use fat cells from another person?
No, the fat cells and stem cells harvested from another person would be recognized as foreign and your body’s immune system would reject the grafted and transplanted cells. Your body will attack these foreign transplanted cells, as they would for bacteria or a virus. This will lead to an unsuccessful fat grafting.
What is VaserLipo?
The VaserLipo is an advanced body sculpting technology for precision body contouring. It is an alternate technology to traditional liposuction; it removes fat from under the skin to improve the aesthetics of the donot site.