Fat transfer is a natural way to achieve beautiful, subtle, and natural-looking augmentation.
“I think you will see the results for three hours worth of work are pretty remarkable.”
About Fat Transfer
Fat is not the enemy! Recent cosmetic and technological advancements in plastic surgery have made it possible to use your fat for good.
Fat transfer or fat grafting is a natural body enhancing procedure that uses fat from a patient’s body to augment another part of their body. This procedure has both aesthetic and regenerative potential, creating visible cosmetic enhancement while accomplishing cellular level improvement. The harvested fat is painstakingly purified with state-of-the-art centrifugation, only leaving the most viable and stem cell rich fat for reinjection.
Dr. Kyle Belek offers his San Francisco Bay Area patients in-office fat transfer procedures. This means only local anesthesia is necessary, avoiding any risks associated with surgery and general anesthesia. By performing fat transfers in-office, this also allows patients to feel more relaxed and comfortable during the treatment. Fat grafting has really taken off in the field of plastic surgery. Come and see for yourself why more and more patients are coming to Marin and Berkeley for in-office fat transfers.
Fat Transfer Treatment Areas
Dr. Belek performs fat transfer procedures by first performing liposuction on one part of the body to harvest fat cells. Liposuction slims the treatment area, creating even more enhanced body contouring results. The purified harvested fat is then injected into another part of the body desired by the patient. Below are lists of popular liposuction areas for fat transfer procedures, as well as the reinjection locations.
- Face: Many of our patients opt for fat transfer to the face to counter facial fat atrophy. This typically includes adding volume to the cheeks, temples, and lips. Fat can also be used to fill in wrinkles and deep creases like the nasolabial folds.
- Hands: Rejuvenation of the hands can easily be attained with fat grafting. Small amounts of fat cells are injected evenly into the top of the hands to give them a slight plumping effect as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles, making them look smooth and youthful.
- Breast: Fat transfer to the breasts is a fantastic solution for women who want a bust increase but do not wish to place foreign objects in their body.
- Buttocks: The same goes for women who desire a larger behind but do not like to idea of butt implants. This offers an easier solution with more natural-looking results.
In some cases, Dr. Belek can inject fat into the triceps, shoulder, and even the abdomen to enhance a 6-pack. Please let Dr. Belek know about all of your concern areas during the consultation and he will see if fat transfer can address them all.
Benefits of Natural Augmentation
Over time the skin starts thinning, causing it to slightly droop or appear hollow. Fat believe it or not contains very valuable regenerative cells that can repair aged or weakened tissue. The cells stimulate collagen growth and create new blood vessels which off sets thin and hollow looking skin. Sadly, more than 75% of fat from liposuction treatment sessions conclude with the dumping of the harvested fat.
Dr. Belek is one of the only surgeons in the San Francisco Bay Area to see the benefit of repurposed fat and use it for both cosmetic and reparative enhancement. He has performed countless in-office fat transfer procedures with high patient satisfaction rates and excellent results.
Fat versus Fillers
Fat transfer and dermal fillers are both procedures that augment certain areas of the body. Fat transfer does so with fat gained from a liposuction session, while dermal fillers replace a body’s diminishing hyaluronic acid levels and increase collagen production. Fat transfer offers more permanent results, while fillers are temporary and require routine touch up treatments every 4 months for lasting results. More fullness can also be achieved with fat grafting, but for more delicate areas such as around the eyes Dr. Belek may recommend fillers.
When it comes to the question fat or fillers, it is a case by case answer. Generally it is looked at with this point of view: the optimal augmenting material is the material one wishes there was a greater abundance of; the answer is usually one’s own fat.
Fat Transfer versus Implants
Implants also run the risk of causing an allergic or adverse reaction as the body may try to fight off the foreign objects (implants.) Fat on the other hand is a patient’s own natural augmenting material, so there is zero risk of allergic reaction.
Two of the more common areas enhanced by implants are the breast and buttocks. While implants can offer prominent projection, they are not always the ideal choice. Implants are not supposed to remain in the body indefinitely; they must be replaced or removed about every 10 years. So patients not comfortable with repeat replacement surgeries may not be suitable candidates for implants. Fat does not need to be exchanged from the treatment area (although patients are more than welcome to undergo more liposuction from different areas of the body if they desire.)
In regards to the resulting look of both procedures, fat grafting tends to be more natural-looking since the augmenting material is the same shape and consistency all over the body. Implants, if not the optimal size, shape, or placement, can produce a less than desirable result. This is not to say that patients shouldn’t get a breast augmentation with implants. Dr. Belek has extensive breast augmentation experience and has produced fantastic results for all of his patients. Breast augmentation may be the more ideal way to go if a patient wishes for highly noticeable protrusion since fat transfer results are more on the conservative side.
Dr. Belek is more than happy to review the pros and cons of each augmentation option and offer his expert advise as to which he believes will offer you the enhancement you are looking for.
Good candidates for fat grafting are men and women who want to achieve the same fullness that one would get from fillers but with a more permanent and long lasting result. These patients should also be at a healthy, stable body weight but have localized fat deposits they wish to get rid of in the process. Majority of patients seeking fat transfer procedures do not like the idea of foreign materials inserted into their body, so fat transfer is usually preferred over implants and fillers.
Potential fat transfer patients must have realistic expectations of the procedure’s capabilities. Fat grafting can achieve subtle augmentation of the treatment area, so patients desiring considerable augmentation may be better suited for another procedure. Additionally, liposuction is designed to remove localized fat deposits; it is not the ideal procedure for overweight or obese patients. Dr. Belek would be happy to chat one-on-one with anyone interested in a fat transfer procedure.
Fat transfer consultations include an examination of potential liposuction and reinjection locations as well as a discussion about desired aesthetic goals. If Dr. Belek determines you are a suitable candidate, a customized treatment plan will be created including recovery protocol and tools and tips for preparing.
If you are coming in for facial fat transfer, it would be very helpful if you bring in a picture of yourself from 10 and 20 years ago in order for Dr. Belek to accurately assess where on the face you are showing the most signs of aging. If you are concerned only with facial sagging, Dr. Belek may recommend a facelift instead.
Fat Transfer Process
Fat transfers are performed in the comfort of our office under local anesthesia. Depending on the amount of liposuction and reinjection, the procedure can take between one and three hours.
Living fatty tissue will be harvested via liposuction from the patient’s choice of body area, and it is then purified in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the fat at an extremely high circular velocity, forcing the separation of the desired fatty tissue from blood, lipids, and other unwanted fluids. The viable fat is then injected in small amounts at a time in order to produce optimal soft tissue structure. In time, those repurposed fat cells grow their own blood supply and permanent establishment is created.
Recovery and Results
Initially patients will experience some swelling and possible bruising of the liposuction and injection sites; these go away on their own. Each patient heals at a different rate, so it is not possible to give an exact time frame of when patients can see results without having a consultation examination. On average, patients can see final, beautiful results after 3 – 4 weeks.
In most cases, majority of the injected fat survives and integrates with the surrounding fat cells. Touch up treatments can be performed if the patient desires more augmentation after viewing final results; it is best to begin with subtlety.
Fat transfer costs in Marin and Berkeley depend on the amount of liposuction areas and reinjection locations. Each treatment is custom tailored so each patient receives a customized quote based on the specifics of their case. We would be happy to speak with you about your in-office fat transfer details during an initial consultation.