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Body Fat Transfers

Body Fat Transfers

Abdominal etching gives patients a tighter, flatter stomach area with better muscle definition.

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Body Fat Transfers:

While exercise is the best way to improve body condition, genetics and aging play an important role in our fat distribution. Many people suffer from disproportionate amounts of fat in specific areas of the body which is very difficult to eliminate despite regular exercise and healthy eating. Patients in their 30’s to late 60’s who have lost volume in a specific body area may benefit from fat transfers. The procedure has been used for more than 100 years to help correct sunken eyes, indented scars and hollowed cheeks. Today, surgeons are using fat transfers to enhance other areas of the body, including the buttocks, calf muscles, breasts, triceps, biceps, hands and penis.

The procedure is considered one of the safest as the materials used to augment the desired body part are your own fat cells. As a result, fewer patients report allergic reactions to body fat transfers. The actual procedure varies depending upon the method used by the doctor and the body part to be treated.

During a fat transfer, antiseptic is applied to the body part where the fat will be removed and the area where the fat will be injected. Using a cannula (a thin hollow tube used in liposuction), the surgeon removes fat from the stomach, buttocks or thighs. The fat cells are then processed and purified by the surgeon. The purified fat is injected into the treated area, as the doctor carefully creates volume with multiple injections.

After a fat transfer there is usually some swelling and bruising. Bruises typically fade within a few days, but the swelling may last for two to three weeks. It is normal for the treated area to be red for the first couple of days.

Complications are possible with any surgical procedure, but complications from fat transfers are rare. Risks associated with fat transfers include uneven skin texture, infection, excessive bleeding, or scarring. If patients have fat injected in two areas, they may experience asymmetry in fat distribution. The procedure may be performed at the doctor's office, in an outpatient center, or the hospital. Time in surgery may take up to two hours. Fat transfers are frequently performed under "twilight sedation," which includes a combination of medications that makes you feel drowsy and numbed, but still awake. Or the procedure may be performed under general anesthesia.

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