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Daniel Y. Maman, MD FACS

Fat Transfer

Using implants or injectables for enhancing different parts of the body is a popular choice for many seeking to reshape and improve their look with plastic surgery in New York. But for some patients, there’s a preference for more natural options. Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is an excellent alternative to unnatural substances.

Fat transfer is a procedure that involves extracting fat from one area of the body, processing it, and then injecting it into another. Patients can use this technique for enhancements to the breasts, face, hips, butt, and other parts of the body. Patients often appreciate how this option of plastic surgery in New York delivers a more natural-looking outcome with fewer risks.

How Does it Work?

First, the doctor must extract the fat from the body. Most commonly, patients receive anesthesia as liposuction works to remove fat cells. The procedure will require small incisions so the doctor can access the fat, which may leave scars. However, these cuts will occur along natural folds and curves of the body, as well as in areas that can easily hide under clothing.

Next, the fat cells will be processed to remove any debris, dead cells, or extra fluid to reveal only the healthiest fat that is more likely to survive fat grafting. Another method is to clean the extracted fat with a saline solution, which will also expose healthy, viable cells.

The doctor will then inject the healthy fat cells back into the body where the patient seeks enhancement. It’s essential that the body gradually receives smaller droplets of the fat cells so that they can receive adequate blood supply. This technique reduces the risk of fat cells moving or hardening once inserted.

Preparation

In some cases, patients will need to use an expansion system to make space for the new cells. Using a fat transfer for breast augmentation, for example, requires an expansion method for weeks before and after surgery. Ensuring adequate space for injected cells increases the success of the procedure and keeps the skin smooth.

Results

Fat grafting can create a more youthful appearance to the face, add volume to hips, and heal scarring, as well as augment or lift the breasts and correct asymmetry. Patients also use the method to expand the buttocks and lessen the appearance of dimpling and wrinkles.

Although the benefits are mostly aesthetic, there are some medical reasons to seek a fat transfer. Fat grafting has shown regenerative success in healing damaged tissues due to the high concentration of mesenchymal stem cells found in the processed fat. Trials are still in early stages, but there is hope that the procedure can help rejuvenate marred skin and even reverse tissue that received radiation damage.

Recovery

Results are nearly immediate with fat transfers. Patients will experience some swelling, but bandages at incision sites as well as compression garments, drainage, and medication will help to ease pain and support the recovery process. Patients can return to some daily tasks within a week but should wait about two weeks to return to work. Strenuous activity and exercise can resume after about one month to six weeks. Dr. Maman will work with your specific situation to ensure a positive experience with plastic surgery in New York.

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