Fat Transfer

Fat transfer and fat grafting procedures can help diminish the effects of aging and achieve a more youthful, revitalized look by removing fat cells from one part of the body, and using them to enhance the contour and volume of another part of the body. The most common fat transfer procedure entails extracting fat from the hips or buttocks and transplanting it to the nasolabial fold, which is the section of the face that runs between the side of the nose and the corners of the mouth — a trouble spot where laugh lines can deepen with age. Dr. Loeb also commonly performs fat transfers to restore volume and shape to many areas of the body, such as the eyelids, cheeks, jowls, arms, and hands.

Planning

Each patient’s expectations and desires are unique, so during your private consultation with Dr. Loeb, he will assess the areas of the body that you are concerned about to determine how much loss of volume and wrinkling has taken place. He will also assess which areas of your body that will adequate for providing the fat for transfer. After discussing your expectations for the procedure, Dr. Loeb will present you with options for using fat grafts to amplify and enhance sections of your body that have lost their natural shape and firmness due to age, heredity, or other factors. In some circumstances, Dr. Loeb may present the option of combining the fat graft surgery with other procedures, such as a facelift or liposuction, to achieve your desired results.

Procedure

If you undergo a previous surgery where fat can be harvested, such as a liposuction, your fat can be preserved and used for your fat transfer procedure. If that’s not the case, your fat will be harvested during the procedure. Before the procedure, you will receive a local anesthetic. Antiseptic will be applied to the harvest and transfer area. Using a cannula —which is a thin, straw-like metal tube inserted through tiny incisions— Dr. Loeb gently draws out fat cells from the source area, purifies them, and injects them into the destination area. Dr. Loeb will repeat this procedure until a sufficient transfer is made. Depending on the amount and area of the transfer, the procedure will take 30 minutes to three hours. Generally, 40 to 50 percent of the fat “take” is permanent. Additional fat will be preserved and frozen in case of future procedures.

Recovery

Most patients return home shortly after a fat transfer procedure is completed. A temporary throbbing sensation near either the source or destination area is common, as is swelling and slight bruising. These symptoms will subside after a few days, though some degree of swelling may last for several weeks. Recovery time for a fat transfer procedure depends on the patient, the area of the transfer, and the amount of fat that has been relocated. Generally, you can go back to work one to 14 days after the transfer. Light workouts are possible after seven to 14 days, strenuous exercise after two weeks.

Related procedures

Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), facelift, neck lift, rhinoplasty, liposuction, chin augmentation, and facial rejuvenation procedures can be performed in conjunction with a fat transfer, depending on the wishes of the patient.

If you would like to learn more about having a fat transfer procedure in New York, call the office of Dr. Loeb at 212-327-3700 to schedule a private consultation.

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