How long does fat grafting last?
When fat is removed from the body through liposuction, it need not go to waste. The fat can be used at a later date to refresh the appearance, adding plumpness and suppleness to the face, hands, breasts, or buttocks. Fat transfer – also known as fat grafting or autologous fat transfer – is an innovative option for rewinding the hands of time and creating a more youthful, inviting look overall.
How is fat grafting performed?
- Collection – During the first stage of the process, fat is extracted from a donor area using liposuction. Donor areas are regions where the patient has excess fatty tissue, typically the belly, thighs, hips, flanks, or lower back and buttocks. Indeed, one of the nicest benefits of fat grafting is that it slims and tones the donor areas, improving the physique. The fat must survive, so liposuction is performed with great care and gentleness to protect the viability and longevity of the cells.
- Separation – During the second phase, the fat must be purified and refined in a centrifuge. The cells are spun at rapid speeds to remove duds and excess fluids, leaving behind quality fat ready for transfer.
- Injection – During the third stage, the surgeon will inject the purified fat cells into the target regions, strategically boosting volume for a more appealing look. It takes artistry and skill to ensure the fat is evenly distributed and looks natural. Furthermore, the fat cells must quickly connect with a new blood supply in order to remain viable long-term. Since many of the fat cells will die, the surgeon usually overfills the targeted region.
- Protection – After the cells have been injected, it’s important to minimize postoperative swelling through the use of compression garments. These supportive clothing items can be worn for up to one month to help optimize the final outcome of the treatment. If patients received facial fat grafting, they will need to sleep on their backs and use cold compresses to help prevent further die-off of the fat cells.
How long does fat grafting last?
Results after a fat transfer procedure are hard to predict since the amount of fat that survives will vary from patient to patient. In general, transferred fat should last a lifetime, as the fat is a living compound and not a synthetic substance like a dermal filler. During the first 6 weeks after your procedure, some of the fat will naturally be reabsorbed by the body, but the fat that survives will continue to function just like the rest of the parts of the body. Fluctuations in weight may affect your final outcome, however. A skilled, knowledgeable plastic surgeon will know exactly how much fat it will take to produce your desired results, and they will have techniques in place to prevent fat cell die-off as much as possible.
What is the takeaway?
Fat grafting is among the most rewarding procedures available in terms of patient satisfaction. Results look highly organic, and there is little risk of the patient experiencing an allergic reaction. Fat transfer is often combined with breast augmentation and other surgical procedures to produce a more natural-looking outcome. In the case of breast enhancement, fat transfer can be used on its own to increase the bust by one cup size. Ask your plastic surgeon today about how fat grafting can help you to look and feel more youthful and attractive.