Fat transfer or “fat grafting” is a procedure used in regenerative surgery and cosmetic surgery to take fat from one part of the body, usually, the abdomen, hips, thighs or buttocks and transfer it to another part.
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What are the main advantages of cosmetic procedures with fat transfer?
- With this filling technique there are no visible scars.
- Using the patient’s fatty tissue prevents any rejection.
- It is a natural, adaptable, durable and stable treatment.
- It is possible to use it in both facial and body treatments.
- It is a technique that can be used in conjunction with others.
Dr. Jesús Benito Ruiz is one of the recognized worldwide authorities on fat transfer. He has published extensively on the applications of fat grafting for cosmetic and regenerative surgery at specialized journals and has given many talks and lectures on this issue across the world. He is one of the founders of SETGRA (2009), the Spanish Society for the Applications of Fat Transfer. This is the reason why so many patients from abroad visit him for a fat grafting procedure.
Will my own fat be reabsorbed?
We must say that the claims that state that fat transfer will be short lived are unfortunately mostly due to a lack of deep experience, research and knowledge of surgeons. It is extremely important to select a surgeon who uses a proven technique with the highest fat survival rate.
We must also remind that it’s your own fat and therefore it behaves as such: if you go through a severe loss weight, the fat grafts will be indeed affected. That’s why we always recommend to have a steady weight and a healthy balanced lifestyle.
So, what kind of technique do you use for fat grafting?
During consultation, Dr. Benito will thoroughly describe the whole process to you. You’ll also have the chance to see unaltered photos of before and after as well as get all your doubts solved, knowing the cons and pros depending on your expected result. In short, we use a very fine needle-like cannula to perform liposuction. The fat is harvested in the process along with the stem cells that fat always carry and will be injected back in the area to be treated. Nothing artificial is added nor biologically manipulated within the harvested fat, but we can enhance the survival of fat by means of enriching the fat with your own stem cells (obtained from a part of your own fat) or PRP (growth factors obtained from your own blood).
What kind of cosmetic surgery can be fat grafting be applied to?
Breast lipofilling is a technique that can be used in patients who want a breast augmentation without a prosthesis or as a combined technique in conjunction with breast implants. The donor areas to extract fat in these cases are usually: abdomen, flanks, pouches or the inner side of thighs and knees. Infiltrations are performed without the need for incisions or stitches. We can get one cup size more and you have to take into account that fat gives volume and contour, but it does not give projection.
If you want a natural breast this is your treatment. But if you prefer a round cleavage, upper pole fullness and more than 1 cup of breast enhancement, a silicone implant is a better choice. Combining implants and fat transfer (composite breast augmentation) give the best results, are we are adding advantages from both techniques.
Buttocks augmentation with lipofilling
Buttocks are another popular area where autologous fat grafting is used. Large volumes have to be used here to enhance their volume, which means we need good donor sites and a more extensive liposuction. For this reason we usually prefer to use a combination of implants and fat grafting for buttocks augmentation, specially for those patients that want a big increase.
Hand rejuvenation with fat transfer
Hands age as face does, as it is an exposed area. Patients usually focus on their face to treat the signs of aging but they forget what happens to their hands. As in the face, there is an atrophy of tissues, and the bones, tendons and veins are much more visible in our hands as we age. The skin is wrinkled, dry, with aging spots. The treatment consists of increasing the thickness of hands with fat transfer. The fat disguises the deep visible structures and because of its regenerative effect, it improves the quality of the skin. We combine this treatment with laser or IPL to rejuvenate the hands’ skin and eliminate their spots.
Face rejuvenation with fat transfer
Fat injection for face rejuvenation here two main effects: to regenerate the lost fat produced by aging and to improve the quality of skin. In face rejuvenation with fat, we usually place the fat grafts at the cheeks, temporal area and the jaws. The stem cells in the fat help us improve the vascularization of the skin. Therefore the skin is rejuvenated through a pure regenerative and biological process.
Another indication for fat grafting is facial lipoatrophy, which happens in some special diseases (Barraquer-Simons or congenital atrophies) or due to medications (retrovirals as prescribed for HIV treatment).
Calves augmentation with fat injection
When the calves are not sufficiently developed and there is a lack of harmony with the rest of the leg, it is possible to perform reconstruction or augmentation surgery with implants. In this case, fatty tissue grafts are used in the treatment for calf and calf augmentation as a complement to model the area and provide it with naturalness.