About Fat Transfers
When an individual loses weight or moves through the normal aging process, they lose shape and fullness in certain body parts where volume once existed. One way to restore lost volume is through a cosmetic treatment known as a fat transfer. This process removes fat from one or more areas on the body and transfers it into a specific place that needs additional volume. Fat transfer procedures can be performed on widespread areas, such as the buttocks or on small areas, such as the lips and cheeks. Autologous fat transfers are commonly chosen when an individual wants a natural enhancement instead of relying on the use of implants or fillers. In Houston, TX, plastic surgeon Dr. Ryan Couvillion uses the most advanced grafting techniques for performing fat transfers. This procedure at Luminary Plastic Surgery is a popular choice for creating gorgeous, natural-looking outcomes.
Men and women who desire more volume in areas of the body that appear depleted of natural fullness may be ideal candidates for the fat grafting (transfer) procedure. This treatment is desirable because it provides an autologous way to produce results by introducing the patient's own fat tissue. With this method, there is less risk or concern for rejection. Patients at Luminary Plastic Surgery considering this procedure should be at a specific target weight and have fat that is available to extract for the transfer.
During a fat transfer, you will be put under the appropriate kind of anesthesia. The type of sedation or anesthesia will depend on how much fat tissue is being removed, including the area where it will be placed. A form of liposuction is performed first using a small, specialized cannula to delicately extract the fat so it can be separated and purified inside a centrifuge (which preps the healthy fat for syringes). After prepping the injection site, the fat will be transferred into the area of concern. This injection is completed in layers until the desired outcome has been attained. For larger areas, numerous injections will be used and massaged layer by layer.
What to Expect
After a fat transfer, you will go through a healing phase. Remember, there are two different areas on the body affected by this treatment: the fat removal site and injection site. The recovery process can take longer if a larger area on the body was addressed. As an example, a fat transfer for lip enhancement will typically only need several days to heal whereas a transfer to a larger section, such as the butt or breasts, can take weeks or even longer. Each area will appear swollen and red, but the outcomes can be noticed almost immediately. An added bonus is that the area which involved fat removal will look slimmer. This procedure yields lasting, awesome outcomes, but there will be some fat that reabsorbs back to the body. In some patients, an additional transfer may be necessary later on. There is almost no scarring that is noticeable with this treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a fat transfer cost?
The cost of a fat transfer will vary greatly based on a number of factors. In fat transfers to the breasts or buttocks, a larger amount of fat is required so surgical liposuction is used, which means a lengthier process is incorporated for fat purification and then graft it where needed. Smaller fat transfers, like those to the face and hands, require less time and fat. The amount of volume required to achieve your needs and goals will be discussed in your initial consultation with Dr. Couvillion, along with estimates of cost and the payment methods we accept.
Where can I have fat transferred?
A fat transfer can be performed on most areas of your body or face where you want volume. A few of the most popular areas are the butt (typically called the Brazilian butt lift), face, breasts, and hands. Fat grafting might be performed with breast reconstruction or augmentation with implants to correct irregularities. Volume loss caused by aging in the hands and face may also be improved with fat grafting, especially to add shape to your lips or in the hollow under your eyes. Tell Dr. Couvillion in your initial consultation about where you want to make improvements so he can develop your personal fat transfer treatment plan.
How long will the results of a fat transfer last?
A fat transfer offers beautiful, effective results that can be long-lasting with proper care. Dr. Couvillion employs advanced methods to graft fat, which limit reabsorption. Although, there is generally a certain amount of the transferred fat that doesn't graft to the new area so Dr. Couvillion often transfers a little more fat. If you would like to touch-up or enhance your appearance after a while, another fat transfer can be discussed.
Are there any alternative treatments to a fat transfer?
Based on where you want to add fat, you may have an alternate option to a fat graft. In your breasts and buttocks, an implant can be considered rather than a fat transfer. In your hands and face, Luminary Plastic Surgery offers many dermal fillers for long-term volume and skin rejuvenation. Dr. Couvillion will explain all of your choices in your consultation so that you can get the results that will meet your concerns and goals.
What if I don't have enough fat for a transfer?
During your consultation with Dr. Couvillion, he will discuss the amount of fat that is required to meet your goals. You might not have enough excess fat to transfer; however, this is usually only a problem if you want a large volume of fat transferred or you have a very low body fat percentage. Fat may be taken from several areas if needed or combined with donor fat. Dr. Couvillion will explain all of your choices in your consultative appointment.
Take the Natural Approach
If you desire more voluptuous lips or want to smooth out facial lines, this procedure may be a great option. In addition, a fat transfer is an outstanding option for the breasts and buttocks. This treatment offers many options for cosmetic enhancement and can help you to achieve the look you want without undergoing a major surgery that requires a long recovery. We welcome you to contact our office in Houston, TX to make your consultation with Dr. Couvillion.