Fat grafting or fat transfer is a medical procedure in which a patient’s own adipose tissue (fat) is taken from one area and transplanted to an area to which the patient would like a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and shallow areas or an increase in volume (often the lips or areas with wrinkles and fine lines). It is generally a minimally invasive procedure and is a common alternative to popular collagen treatments and Botox. Patients commonly choose fat transfers to address the lines between the nose and the mouth, crows feet, and forehead wrinkles. Unlike the effects of dermal and facial fillers, which are temporary, the results with fat grafting and fat transfer can be much longer lasting and permanent.
With the increasing popularity of liposuction and the subsequent innovations in liposuction technology, it has become far easier to access fat and remove it from the body. While dermal fillers are often absorbed by the body in an average of 6-12 months, only a percentage of fat from a patient’s own body will be absorbed and more lasting changes can be achieved by fat transfer.
Some of the best and most frequently used donor sites for fat transfer include the inner thighs and lower abdomen. Beverly Hills Plastic surgeon Dr. Donald B. Yoo will gently perform liposuction in those areas to harvest fat. Fat transfers are often performed to augment the cheeks, chin, and lips. Asian plastic surgery, and especially Korean plastic surgery patients will seek out Dr. Yoo for forehead augmentation with fat transfer for a more-rounded, less flat look. Fat can be transferred to many of the same areas usually addressed with Botox and dermal fillers, and is common for patients who want a more permanent solution. Although reactions to synthetic fillers are rare, the body does not react to its own fat cells in the same way.
Studies show that the body may absorb 40% – 60% of transplanted fat, so in anticipation of this Dr. Yoo will initially add slightly more than is necessary. With the most advanced fast harvesting Adivive liposuction system available in our Beverly Hills plastic surgery suite, the need to overcorrect is minimal. Many patients are able to resume working after about a week.