What is fat transfer?

Fat transfer is the process of removing fat tissue from one part of your body to augment, repair, or reconstruct soft tissue volume elsewhere in your body.

Fat transfer is most commonly used for volumizing the face, breast, buttocks, and hands. It can be used to enhance your existing curves, reverse the signs of aging, or reconstruct areas of soft tissue loss. Depending on the desired result, fat grafting can be used alone, or alongside an implant or filler to give the enhanced area a softer, more natural look. Using your own fat offers you an organic way to redefine your own natural beauty.

The process of fat transfer completely removes fat from unwanted areas, and move it to areas that need volume enhancement. It is commonly used aesthetically, to enhance volume in the breast or buttocks. The re-purposed fat is injected into areas where some fat already exists, and ultimately merges with the surrounding tissue.

Fat transfer can also be used in smaller quantities to contour the face. Loss of skin elasticity or the presence of wrinkles are often caused by loss of volume in the underlying skin. This volume was once filled by a thin layer of fat tissue, which also contained a population of regenerative cells that maintains the elasticity and quality of the skin. As we age, we lose this layer of fat and stem cells, causing a deflated, tired look.

Fat is also used by those patients needing volume replacement due to a soft tissue wasting disorders, or breast cancer surgery. Fat transfer provides a personalized reconstruction option that is tailored to the exact volume and contour that has been lost.

Doctor, can you take my fat from here, and move it there?

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Applications of Fat Transfer

Aesthetic

  • Facial Rejuvenation
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Buttock Augmentation

Medical

  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Scleroderma
  • Soft Tissue Disorders

Chan et al. Autologous fat transfer: A review of the literature with a focus on breast cancer surgery. J Plastic, Reconstruct & Aesthetic Surg 2008;61:1438-1448.

Yoshimura et al. Progenitor-Enriched Adipose Tissue Transplantation as Rescue for Breast Implant Complications. Breast J. 2010;16(2): 169-175.

Shiffman, Melvin A. (Ed.). Autolgous Fat Transfer: Art, Science, and Clinical Practice. 1st Edition, 2010.

Bene et al. Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir. 2014 Aug;46(4):242-7. Autologous fat grafting for scleroderma-induced digital ulcers. An effective technique in patients with systemic sclerosis.