What Is Fat Transfer Surgery?


Quick Answer

Fat transfer surgery is the transfer of fat cells from body part to another, typically using a patient's own body fat, according to Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery. Surgeons inject the fat in patients to augment or reshape areas such as the buttocks. The injections add volume with a natural look, feel and lower risk of rejection than when surgeons use foreign materials. Patients undergo the procedure in several installments because surgeons perform the transfers in small amounts each time.

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Full Answer

A surgeon typically administers local anesthesia, makes a tiny puncture and uses a liposuction-like procedure to collect fat from a patient's abdomen, thighs or buttocks, explains Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery. After obtaining the fat, a surgeon removes the extra fluids and oils and then uses a miniature tube to inject the fat into the parts of the body a patient wants to augment. A surgeon can complete the fat transfer procedure in about three hours or less.

People hardly notice the incisions surgeons make for fat transfers, although the incision areas may feel numb, bruised or swollen, notes Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery. Within a week after fat transfer surgery, patients generally resume work; after two weeks, they return to their full daily routines. Patients may need touch-up transfers later because the body reabsorbs some of the fat. The results are usually effective for several years, although the length of time varies depending on the patient.

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