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Although fat often gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits. A layer of fat helps to keep your skin looking smooth and youthful. Fat plays a role in adding shape and volume to your face and other areas of the body, such as the buttocks.

Whether you have lost fat from your face or naturally have a thin face, transferring fat from one area of the body to the facial area can help you feel more confident and youthful. Fat transfer adds volume to sunken areas and can even help smooth out wrinkles and folds in certain areas. If you're considering a fat transfer, there are a few things you should know about the procedure.

Where Does the Fat Come from?

The fat used during a fat transfer procedure comes from another area of the patient's body. Depending on an individual's fat distribution, that area can be the thighs, hips, buttocks or abdomen. The first part of the procedure involves liposuction to harvest the fat from the chosen area.

Before the liposuction procedure begins, your plastic surgeon will either give you a local anesthetic and IV sedation or general anesthesia. The anesthesia option that is right for you depends on the amount of fat you are having harvested and your own preference. Some people prefer to be fully under while others would rather avoid general anesthesia.

During the liposuction surgery, your surgeon will make small incisions in the donor area, and then use a special tool to break up and suction out the desired amount of fat. After the fat is removed, the surgeon will close the incisions. Usually, you can expect to wear a compression garment around the donor area for several weeks after the surgery. The compression garment will help to smooth the area and improve the contour. This helps to prevent sagging or drooping and helps the skin retract.

Where Does the Fat Go?

Once the surgeon removes the fat from the donor site, it isn't immediately injected into the target area. Instead, it's first cleaned and sterilized.

The fat harvested for a fat transfer can be injected into several areas of your face to help refresh and rejuvenate your appearance. If lines on your forehead or between your eyebrows are a concern, your surgeon can transfer fat to reduce wrinkling. Other parts of the face that can be injected with fat include the cheeks, area around the mouth and the lips.

In some cases, fat transfer is performed to enhance or augment an area of the body.  Fat transfer can be a part of a breast augmentation or buttocks augmentation procedure. Some patients decide on fat transfer to rejuvenate the appearance of their hands.

How Long Do Results Last?

The good news about fat transfer is that the results are typically very long-lasting. Although some of the fat does get reabsorbed by the body, the rest of it remains in the injection area permanently. If you do have significant reabsorption of fat in the target area, your surgeon can perform a second injection procedure to provide the results you're seeking.

Can You Use Someone Else's Fat for Fat Transfer?

Autologous fat transfer means that the fat comes from your own body. Using your own fat means there's no risk of an allergic reaction or rejection of the fat. Using another person's fat increases the risk that your body will reject it, meaning you'd either need to take immunosuppressing drugs for the rest of your life or run the risk of the transfer failing. No reputable plastic surgeon will suggest using someone else's fat for the procedure.

Can You Bank Your Fat?

Since there is a chance that your body will absorb some or much of the fat that is injected into the treatment area, repeat injections are occasionally needed. The good news is that should you need a second fat transfer procedure, you most likely won't need to undergo liposuction a second time. It's possible to freeze some of the harvested fat so that it's ready for you if you need it in the future.

Learn More About Fat Transfer Today

Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. They offer a range of facial and body procedures. They can help you prepare for fat transfer so that you fully understand what’s involved with the treatment. To schedule your free patient consultation at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call (866) 487-3223 today.

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