Fat grafting is a cosmetic procedure where the patient’s fat is transferred from a part of their body where it is not wanted to a part of the body where it’s needed. This can include thin lips, hands, and hollow cheeks. Fat can even be used to rebuild a breast that has been lost to surgery. The one benefit of fat grafting is that since it comes from the patient’s own body, there’s no chance of rejection.
More About Fat Grafting
Fat grafting sounds new, but the earliest fat grafting procedures actually date back to the 1890s. It grew more sophisticated during the 1980s when the technique of liposuction came into its own. Liposuction uses a small-bore vacuum cannula to harvest fat from unwanted places in the body such as the stomach, the thighs, or the buttocks. Advances in liposuction have made this procedure easier and safer than ever.
After the fat is removed through liposuction, it’s placed in sterile syringes that are then put into a centrifuge. The action of the centrifuge separates out the fat cells from other types of cells that might have been removed by the liposuction. Then, the fat cells are placed in syringes and prepared to be injected into the patient.
How Long Does Fat Grafting Take?
The length of the fat grafting procedure can vary. It can take only about an hour if the fat is transferred to the lips or other small areas or a few hours if it is used to enhance larger areas of the body such as the buttocks. It can be done in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures such as microdermabrasion or even facelift. After a quick procedure, the patient can go home and resume some of their daily activities right after the fat grafting. In a more extensive session, the patient will need to rest for a couple of days at home. This is especially true if they had another cosmetic treatment along with the fat grafting. Patients can return for more fat grafting sessions if need be.
Fat Grafting Results
At first, Dr. Wilfred R. Ehrmantraut’s patients may be startled to see that the area where they had the fat transfer appears much larger than it should as if he had injected much too much fat. But they shouldn’t worry. Part of this is the normal swelling that comes after a medical procedure. It will go away after a few days. The body also absorbs some of the fat. All of this is taken into account by Dr. Ehrmantraut well before the treatment.
Who is a Candidate for Fat Grafting?
A patient can be considered a candidate for fat grafting if they are mentally and physically healthy and hold realistic expectations for the treatment. They should not smoke, and Dr. Ehrmantraut may ask them to give up alcohol and blood-thinning medications in the weeks before the treatment. The area that will donate the fat, of course, must have enough fat and should not have served as a donor site before because of the risk of scar tissue.