Fat grafting is a lesser known cosmetic procedure that uses the patient’s own fat or adipose tissue to improve the shape, size, and texture of a different area of the body. Fat grafting, also called fat transfer, can be used in nearly every area of the body although it is most frequently used in the buttocks and breasts for augmentation. Some patients use it to improve the shape and size of their hips, and others use it to smooth out wrinkles in the face, hands, and feet. The beauty of this procedure is that no new substances are injected into the patient’s body for augmentation; instead, the patient’s own tissues are used, decreasing the possibility of complications.
Cosmetic Fat Grafting Procedures
Fat grafting consists of three main steps. First, patients undergo liposuction that will remove some unwanted fat from a certain part of their bodies. Often, the fat is taken from their lower abdomens, flanks or inner thighs, improving the appearance of these areas. Next, this adipose tissue is processed thoroughly, allowing it to be purified. This process removes dead adipose cells as well as fat cells that are not likely to survive in the new area of the body. Finally, the processed tissue is reinjected into the desired part of the body. The best way to do this is with multiple injections, allowing only small amounts of new cells to be placed in each area. This will ensure the best blood flow for every cell, improving the likelihood of adipose tissue survival.
While fat grafting has traditionally been used to augment the size and improve the shape of certain body parts, doctors today are perfecting the process for improving healing of scar tissue and wounds. It has also been used successfully to improve breast tissue following radiation.