Four Facts About Fat Transfers
Posted July 24, 2018
Fat transfers can be done anywhere on the body.
A fat transfer is the removal of fat from one specific area of the body and transferring it to another area of the body that has lost volume due to aging, tumor removal, trauma or radiation therapy. The procedure is done as an outpatient surgical procedure and has minimal downtime. Fat is harvested using a liposuction technique and then inserted through small cannulas to areas that may require additional volume. The most common areas for fat grafting are face, breast, and buttocks.
A fat transfer is more about adding volume than about stem cell activity.
Although the media has portrayed the success of a fat transfer to be reliant on stem cell activity, the reality is that the results are based more on the volume of fat transferred with very little to do with stem cell activity. Stem cell research is still in its infancy with scientific results only produced in a laboratory-controlled environment.
The results of a fat transfer can be long-lasting.
Since a fat transfer procedure is done using the patient’s own tissue, the results may be permanent. The procedure outcome is based upon the grafted fat re-establishing its own blood supply in its new site. The fat must establish a new blood supply to sustain itself therefore only a small amount of fat should be transferred at one time. In most cases, a patient may need 2-3 treatments to reach the desired result.
Fat transfers can be used in breast cancer reconstruction.
Oftentimes fat transfers can be used to add volume to areas where radiation therapy has caused a contour defect. Most commonly it is used in patients that have had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy to restore a more desired shape to the breast.
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