Fat grafting, also known as fat injection or fat transfer, is a cosmetic procedure in which fat is transferred from one part of the body where there is an excess to another area that is deficient. Fat grafting can effectively restore volume to areas of the body where volume is deficient or has diminished. Results are natural and long-lasting. Fat grafting is also a very safe procedure and does not carry the inherent risks associated with fillers derived from animals or cadavers.
Fat grafting is frequently used to rejuvenate the face and hands. Commonly treated areas of the face include the brow, lower eyelid, cheek and chin. It is also used to plump the lips. Fat grafting can also enhance body contours like the breasts and buttocks, revise scars, and correct contour irregularities created by liposuction.
Fat grafting is commonly performed with local (twilight) anesthesia or general anesthesia. Fat is harvested from a donor area, often the abdomen or thighs, using a special suction cannula. The removed fat is then purified which often involves the use of a centrifuge to spin the fat and remove impurities. The prepared fat is then carefully re-injected into the desired areas. Following injection, the treatment area may be massaged and a bandage applied.
Some swelling is common after fat grafting procedures and this typically resolves within two to three weeks. Other temporary side effects may include bruising, numbness, asymmetry, or under- or overcorrection. Most patients find that they can resume work and other normal activities within ten days, though some residual swelling may still be present.
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