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Fat injection

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Overview

Fat injection or grafting has many applications in cosmetic surgery. The fat injected into areas requiring volume-enhancement produce safe, long- lasting and natural appearing results as volume is replaced to tissues where fat is diminished. Fat grafting usually involves harvesting fat from one part of the body washing/purifying it and then carefully re-injecting it with specially designed needles into areas requiring augmentation. The procedure may need to be repeated several times to achieve the desired result.

 

Candidates

Patients who benefit from fat grafting are people who desire augmentation or filling of volume-deficient areas. The most commonly grafted areas include the hands, face, (including the lips), buttocks and depressions in the skin contour such as those that have developed following liposuction and scarring

Patient should be in good health and have realistic expectations, seeking improvement and not perfection.

Procedure

Fat is harvested using a special suction cannula using sterile technique. Once enough fat is obtained from the donor area, it is then purified. This often requires the use of a centrifuge which spins the fat and removes impurities. The fat is then placed into the areas requiring augmentation. The injection needle is usually passed in and out of the areas to be augmented multiple times. This creates a ‘grid’ of threads of fat graft. The areas that were injected may then be massaged by the surgeon to create a satisfactory contour. A dressing may then be placed. The operation is done under general anesthesia or local Anesthesia with sedation and lasts for 2-4 hours depending on the areas to be treated.

As a result of the procedure, the treated areas will be plumped; will have better contours and a satisfying overall shape. Since some fat cells will be lost, the effect of the fat transfer won’t be as dramatic after a few weeks. For this reason we tend to over-correct or inject more than we need to, knowing that after a few weeks the final results will be more to the patient’s liking. If we inject less, the patient may be happy with the initial results, but be disappointed over time as the results diminish

 

Recovery

Little or no downtime; Patients should be able to return to normal activities within a few days. Dressings may be placed on the injected areas. These dressings may include the use of tapes or compressive-type dressings. Your surgeon may request that you don’t sit or lie on injected areas for a prescribed period. Your surgeon may also instruct you regarding a massage program after the procedure. Swelling and bruising usually resolve within 2 to 3 weeks.