FAT GRAFTING Procedure Pictures
Patients often ask Dr. Steele if they can use their unwanted abdominal or thigh fat to augment other parts of their body. Fat grafting, or fat transfer surgery, offers the best of both worlds: liposuction is used to remove unwanted fat from areas with too much and then the fat is transferred to areas of the body with too little fat, creating more desirable contours. This treatment is highly versatile and can improve the appearance of the face, breasts, and buttocks. Fat grafting procedures are very safe and effective because they use the patient’s own fat instead of an implant or filler.
Are ready to find out how fat grafting can improve your appearance? Request a consultation online with Dr. Steele, or call our office at 712-224-8677. We serve patients in Sioux City, IA and surrounding communities and we welcome patients who wish to travel from Sioux Falls, SD and Omaha, NE.
Breast Augmentation with Fat
While still controversial, there is increasing evidence regarding the safety of using fat in lieu of breast implants for adding breast volume. Benefits include little scaring, avoidance of an implant, and shorter recovery; however, fat cannot be placed into the breast tissue, only around the breast tissue. As a result, only small volumes can be placed at one time, so the procedure typically requires several treatments for optimal augmentation.
Fat grafting is a powerful tool for improving breast appearance after breast reconstruction. Whether your breasts are reconstructed from your own tissue or silicone implants, fat transfer can improve symmetry, add volume, and improve contours. Dr. Steele routinely performs fat grafting during the second stage of implant-based reconstruction. The effect is significantly improved contour in the upper breast and optimal symmetry.
Buttock augmentation with fat, commonly called the Brazilian Butt Lift, is very effective. Many women will notice loss of buttock volume after pregnancy and weight loss; others notice this with time; and still others never developed their “assets.” During a Brazilian fat augmentation Dr. Steele will remove targeted fat from the hips, flanks, abdomen, and thighs and then use the fat to shape and augment your buttocks. The result is a more curvier, shapelier you.
Fat grafting is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Often, fat grafting is combined with other procedures such as a facelift or a tummy tuck. Dr. Steele will mark areas of undesirable fat and use liposuction to harvest the fat. Donor sites typically include the hips, thighs, and abdomen. Dr. Steele then purifies the fat by washing with a salt-water solution, places the fat into syringes, and then injects the fat into areas of desired improvement.
You should expect temporary bruising and swelling. The majority of the swelling will be gone by 2-3 months, but you will continue to see improvement up to 6 months. After surgery, a compression garment is typically worn to accelerate resolution of the bruising and swelling. This garment also helps to prevent fluid buildup in the areas of liposuction.
Because the body resorbs some of the fat, you may require repeat fat grafting. This is particularly true in the breasts.
FAT GRAFTING FAQS
Will my results be permanent?
Yes, the fat that survives will be permanent. There is always some fraction of the fat that will be resorbed by the body. Areas of the body with better blood supply such as the face and buttock will have higher rates of fat retention compared to the breasts. Dr. Steele will take all precautions necessary to maximize fat survival. In some cases, however, another injection may be necessary for optimal contouring and enhancement.
Are there other alternatives?
For breast augmentation, most women will do very well with breast implants. There are implants available for the buttock, but they are associated with higher complication rates and Dr. Steele does not use them. For the face, there are a variety of dermal filler materials available for volume augmentation and improvement in facial contour. These fillers offer “off the shelf” availability but most are not permanent and require repeat treatments.