Daniel J Farrugia MD PhD FACS – Liposuction, Fat Transfer, BBL in Chicago

Introduction to Fat Transfers

Fat Transfer

Fat transfers have become a popular cosmetic surgery procedure, as many of us were not born with what we consider to be a “perfect body” or “perfect shape”. Unfortunately, we do not get to choose how or where our body carries fat. That is largely determined by genetics – which we have no control over. Whether you feel you have too many curves or not enough, it seems we are always seeking to enhance or adjust our given shape and size. One way to do this is through fat removal and fat transfer procedures. It’s quite simply a way to take fat from a place it isn’t wanted and then move it to a place it is. This is a safer way to enhance the body without the use of implants. A very common example of this would be to remove fat from the stomach/waist area and transfer it to either the buttocks or breast area. With that in mind, you can remove fat from just about any part of the body and transfer it somewhere else. The most common areas to transfer the fat to are: the buttocks (commonly referred to as a “BBL” or “Brazilian Butt Lift”), the dips on the side of the hips, the breasts, the hands and the face.

Prerequisites for Fat Transfer

Let’s go over some common questions and information about the fat transfer process.

There are a few things that are necessary when it comes to being a good candidate for the fat transfer procedure. First, you have to have enough fat to make this procedure possible. Fat can be harvested from multiple areas of the body in order to make sure there is enough for the desired results. If a person is simply too thin, the procedure is not possible. Once it is determined that there is enough fat to work with, the next thing your doctor will assess is whether the area you wish to enhance will receive and maintain the fat well. A common question is “Can fat from someone else be used for this procedure?”. The answer is no. Only fat from your own body is safe to use for the transfer. After the fat has been removed from your body, it is separated and treated with antibiotics to reduce the possibility of any infection or rejection. Soon after, the fat will be transferred to the area of choice. Your doctor will fill the area based on your desired results while taking into account any asymmetry or irregularities that are present. They will also likely overfill the area, to some degree, as some loss of volume is expected during recovery.

Please keep in mind that your doctor can only fill the area based on what your body will allow. For example, if the patient has small breasts, without laxity of the skin in the area, they will not be able to support a dramatic increase in volume as there is nowhere for the fat to go.  Think of it like a glass of water – the size of the glass can only hold so much water before it will overflow. The same is true for injecting fat. The best candidate will have minimal to moderate laxity (possibly from breastfeeding, aging or weight fluctuation) that can be re-filled with fat to enhance the shape and size of the breast. Please keep in mind that there is a difference between breasts that need volume added (ideal for FT) and those that need a lift or what’s referred to as a Mastopexy – or both! Transferring fat will NOT do much to improve nipple position or extreme laxity. Your doctor will go over expectations and help you determine what option(s) are best for you and your unique circumstances during your consultation.

Speaking of discussing expectations during your consultation, make sure you are clear on what it is you are looking to achieve with a fat transfer. Are you looking for a slight increase in volume and improved shape or are you looking to achieve more dramatic and voluptuous results? Knowing this and being able to express this is important for your doctor. If a dramatic change is desired, this may require several procedures to slowly but surely get the results you are looking for. As previously stated, your body type and fat distribution will play a role in whether or not you will be able to get the results you desire.

Once you and your doctor have determined you are a good candidate for the fat transfer(s) you are seeking, you can go ahead with the purchase and plan your surgery.  

Recovery from a fat transfer comes with slightly different instructions than just fat removal alone. In the next article, we will go over some important information for the recovery process.

Tags :
BBL, Breast Fat Transfer, Fat Transfer
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