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The Fat Transfer Process Explained

fat transfer tampa

We all experience aging differently, but after a while, we all usually start to notice some things we wish we could change. The natural effects of aging can have a negative effect on both our skin and on the way our bodies retain fat. Some areas on our bodies hold on to “stubborn” fat far more than we would like, while other areas lose volume along with skin elasticity and our youthful glow. This might seem like an impossible challenge, but fortunately, there is a solution: Fat Transfer Treatment brought to you by the medical experts at Tampa Bay Plastic Surgery.

What Is a Fat Transfer?

A fat transfer is a special treatment that works by moving the patient’s pre-existing body fat from one area to another. In some instances, it can solve two problems at once, as it can slim one area and add volume to another. The treatment is also called a “fat graft.” It is a multi-step process, but the end result is a long-lasting and natural solution that has satisfied thousands of patients all over the world.

What Parts of the Body Can Get “Fat Grafts”?

This treatment process can be used almost anywhere you want to add or remove fat. The details will be personalized according to your unique needs and body type. No two patients are exactly the same.

Popular “donor” areas for the fat include the abdomen or thighs. These are usually areas where patients are most likely to have extra deposits of fat cells available to be used in the injections, and they are more than happy to get rid of some of it. There are many treatment areas where the fat can be added. Depending on the goals of the patient, the most common “destination” areas for the fat include the face, chest, hands, and buttocks.

Why Do So Many Patients Want to Get Fat Grafts?

In recent years, fat grafts have exploded in popularity. There are plenty of reasons why a patient will decide to pursue treatment by transferring fat, but it depends on what their goals are. Typically, there are two leading types of fat grafting, depending on the treatment areas. The reasons patients get this procedure are:

Aging Has Changed Their Face or Hands

The aging process can have a negative impact on multiple areas of the face, limbs, and body. In particular, as a patient’s metabolism changes with age, it is common for fat to increase around the abdomen and thighs. At the same time, volume disappears from the face and hands. In these cases, the innovative fat grafting treatment can restore a youthful look to the face and hands.

They Want a Natural Solution for a Butt Lift or Breast Augmentation

Not all patients want to transfer fat because of aging. Some come to the clinic in order to move fat to an area where they want more volume, and the most common instances of this are breast augmentation or a butt lift (often referred to as a “Brazilian butt lift,” or “BBL” for short). After these treatments, a patient will leave with newfound confidence and satisfaction in their appearance.

Why Get a Fat Graft for the Face?

Fat grafts are phenomenal tools for correcting small or even significant issues on the surface of the face. Some of the issues encountered are brought about by aging or a change in the skin’s texture, but some of them arise from specific medical conditions.

You Are Seeing Lines on Your Face

In many cases, age is the chief culprit here. As we age, we start to get worry lines, laugh lines, and crow’s feet. These usually start small and gradually increase until they can be a distracting feature. They are among the most common signs of aging, and they can make you self-conscious about your look as a result. By injecting fat directly into the creases and lines, the aging effect will be softened and minimized, taking years off your appearance.

You Want to Add Volume to Your Cheeks

Hollow cheeks are another common sign of aging. In youth, cheeks are usually full and store a little bit of their own fat. But with age, they start to become thinner, and this can result in a noticeable change as it alters the contour of a patient’s face. We add fat back into the cheeks and give it the volume of a younger person.

You Want to Plump Your Lips

Both upper and lower lips can become thinner as we age, and this can be a big disappointment to anyone who wants to keep their youthful appearance. When we treat the lips and mouth with a fat graft, we are able to address one of the most common and difficult problems, especially for patients who have not been able to use dermal fillers.

You Have Facial Scars or Other Irregularities

The surface of your skin can sometimes wind up with inconsistencies. Perhaps they have been there for years. Sometimes they come from acne scarring or from another medical condition. Sometimes they are genetic and have existed for years. If you have a scar or indentation on your face, a fat transfer can help fill this region and give you a lovely, smooth surface that will be natural as well.

Why Get a Brazilian Butt Lift?

This type of fat graft is very different from the kind we do for the face. Typically, a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) requires a much larger amount of fat, which affects both the initial harvesting of the fat cells and also the reintroduction of the fat into the body. Still, this is one of the most common procedures we do and one of the most popular overall.

You Get Enhanced Curves

Curves are in fashion these days, and there is no shortage of reminders on television or the media in general. For anyone who has desired this sort of figure for themselves, a BBL can give you this without resorting to implants or artificial materials. You use your own body fat every step of the way, and the results can be transformational.

You Look Amazing in Any Situation

BBLs are all the rage on Instagram. They look great whether you are wearing street clothes or swimsuits, and if you’ve never experienced one before, the biggest change just might be to the way you see yourself.

You Get More Confidence

One of the biggest changes people experience is a boost to their confidence. The vast majority of patients are very satisfied with their BBLs, and some even say that it completely changed their lives and the way they saw themselves. We aim to make sure they can count on us for the best BBLs around.

How Does a Fat Transfer Work?

Obviously, face fat grafts and Brazilian butt lifts are two different procedures, but the underlying concepts are very similar. The principles of treatment are the same, even if the target areas are not.

Harvesting the Fat

In the beginning, Dr. David E. Halpern will harvest fat cells from one spot on your body by using a form of liposuction. This variety is gentler than other methods and designed for ideal patient comfort.

Cleaning the Fat Cells

After the fat cells are harvested, Dr. Halpern will run them through a cleansing process so that they are suitable to be reintroduced into your body. This is necessary to ensure that they will be accepted by the treatment area without any complications.

Injecting the Fat Cells

In the final step, the doctor will use a special syringe to re-inject these same fat cells into their new position, where they will give you a fuller and more youthful look.

How Long Does a Treatment Session Take?

The length of the treatment will depend on what kind of fat graft you’re getting. Fat grafts are frequently combined with other treatments, and as a result, the process can vary based on a person’s individual plan. Following the session, there will be a short recovery period, after which the average patient will see results that will last for a long time.

What Results Can I Expect?

First of all, it’s important to note that you will see results right away. The fat grafting process is not like injecting a dermal filler that needs a long time to settle or a collagen treatment that needs weeks or even months to complete. You will see results immediately.

Additionally, your results will be with you for years, and you won’t need to schedule annual follow-up treatments in order to make sure you keep your results. It’s true that some individuals may benefit from further transfers down the road, but this is not the same as redoing everything every 6-12 months as is the case with some dermal fillers. Many patients report that their fat grafts are still looking great after three years or even more.

Are Fat Grafts Healthy?

Fat grafts are some of the healthiest options you have. Other options rely on artificial methods to achieve results, whether we’re talking about fillers, implants, or some synthetic material. Fat grafts use only your own living cells, which makes it all but impossible for you to have an allergic reaction.

Instead, you get a process that is totally organic. We don’t add a foreign element to create volume in the desired area. We simply redistribute what you already have in a way that gets you a supple, beautiful result.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate?

Ideal candidates for fat grafting treatments will be people who are currently dissatisfied with their appearance in some way and where additional volume can solve the problem. Usually, areas of dissatisfaction are decreased lip volume, lines on the face, or sunken cheeks as the result of aging. In the case of a butt lift, this treatment is for anyone who wants to achieve a fuller, curvier figure.

In some cases, patients want to achieve a natural look and don’t want injectable fillers. Others may have tried dermal fillers or implants in the past and are looking for another solution that is organic or won’t cause an allergic reaction after the treatment session is over.

If any of these options describes you, then you could qualify as a candidate. The next step is to schedule a personal consultation.

Get Your Consultation Now

Our staff is always ready to take your call and get you the information you need. When you have your one-on-one consultation with us, we will get to know you and your long-term aesthetic goals. We’ll also go over your medical history thoroughly to make sure that the treatment will be as easy and simple as possible.

Don’t wait another minute to get your dream face and body. Look amazing, feel great, and call the experts at Tampa Bay Plastic Surgery today!

Schedule your consultation with Dr. David E. Halpern today

Dr. David E. Halpern is Tampa’s nationally renowned triple-board certified plastic surgeon, carefully blending expertise and artistry with extraordinary care. For the past two decades, Dr. Halpern’s dedication to exceptional care and commitment to his patients have made him Tampa’s most trusted plastic surgeon. Place your confidence in the capable hands of Tampa plastic surgeon Dr. David E. Halpern by scheduling a consultation today.

Tampa Bay Plastic Surgery is located in the Hyde Park area of South Tampa. We serve patients in Tampa Bay, Hyde Park, and out-of-town patients across Florida and beyond.

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