How is the procedure performed?
Fat transfer works by harvesting fat from one part of your body, washed and purified, and then carefully re-injected into your body with specially designed needles. You may need to repeat the fat grafting procedure several times to achieve your desired result. Fat grafting can be explained as a three stage process: 1) harvesting 2) purification and transfer and 3) placement.
Harvesting: You and your surgeon will select an area for fat removal and will inject the area with a local anesthetic. Your surgeon will then create a small incision in the area for fat removal. The surgeon will then insert a cannula connected to a syringe to carefully extract the fat (liposuction).
Purification and transfer: Once enough fat is retrieved from the donor area, your surgeon will process it to prepare the fat cells for transfer to small syringes. The syringes will then be used for fat injection. Purification may require the use of a centrifuge to spin the fat (filtration process) to remove impurities.
Placement: The area designated to receive the fat graft will then be prepared. Your surgeon will insert a needle (cannula) into the incision point of the site being augmented. The injection needle is typically passed in and out of the areas being augmented multiple times. Each time the needle (cannula) is withdrawn, a line of fatty tissue parcels is carefully deposited in natural tissue planes. This is repeated until the desired correction has been achieved. Thus, creating a grid of grafted fat. Some surgeons massage the grafted areas to create a satisfactory contour. Other surgeons prefer to rely on the placement technique to create the proper contour.
The purpose of fat transfer is to augment or fill in volume lacking areas. Commonly grafted, or injected areas include the hands, face, depressions in the skin and the breast and buttock (for augmentation). You must have donor sites from which fat can be taken. It is also very important that you do not have any circulation problems, either from a medical condition or smoking.