Fat transfer is also known as “autologous fat transfer”. Autologous means the tissue is coming from the same patient that it is being transferred to. In other words, we are taking the fat from an area we don’t want it (or we can spare it) and moving it to an area we do want it. While the procedure has been around for many years, long term survival of the transferred fat has only been possible the last few years. Fat transferred is the ideal filler to add volume where it is desired. That is if the fat that is transferred to the “new area” is also taken up by the “new area”. The average fat that survives in the areas where it is injected is approx. 47-50% at 6-12 months. There are several ways that can be employed to enhance the fat survival in the grafted area. Most commonly employed method is to do the fat grafting in smaller increments or perhaps enrich the fat with the patient’s own stem cells, a neat concept which is currently under research. The advantages of fat transfer are:
- Fat transfer uses your own tissue. There is no chance for an adverse or allergic reaction.
- Fat used for transfer is available in larger volume. Other facial fillers are $500-1,000 per milliliter. Up to 1-2 liters of fat can be harvested and used on multiple body areas for a tiny fraction of the cost.
- Fat transfer is long lasting. Other fillers like Restylane or Radiesse last from 6-12 months. The fat transferred cells that survive initial transplantation have been shown to survive for many years. Current techniques result in up to 50% cell survival long term.
- Fat transferred is typically replacing or adding fat where fat is wanted or has been lost. Two examples:
- Facial fat is lost with aging. Facial fat transfer restores the lost fat with the tissue that was lost.
- Fat transfer is low risk. The fat is obtained using Tumescent Liposuction, a very safe office based procedure. The recovery times are short. Most fat transfer patients other than face return to work in 1-2 days. Facial fat transfer patients typically return to work in about a week.
Fat transfer can be done on many areas. Some of the most popular include:
- Buttock Fat Transfer (Brazilian Butt Lift)
- Hand Rejuvenation
- Correcting liposuction defects and other depressed scars
- Face. We use a special technique called FAMI – Fat Autologous Muscle Injection
- Other areas requiring volume restoration