Surgeons around the country keep finding more and better ways to use the fat from liposuction to help enhance other areas of the body. In the old days at our Louisville practice, we would simply discard the fat harvested from liposuction, but now we refer to it as “liquid gold” thanks to advances that enable us to use it to augment the face, hands, breasts, buttocks, and more. This procedure is commonly referred to as fat grafting or fat transfer.
Researchers have been experimenting with fat transfer techniques for many years, but it’s only recently that they’ve become truly effective. First, the surgeon uses a gentle form of liposuction to suck fat away from an area of the body where you don’t want it, such as the abdomen or thighs. Then, we purify that fat to remove any blood or other tissues, ensuring only healthy fat cells remain. Then, we inject the fat where you want it, carefully layering it for appealing contours. It’s a relatively simple process, and patients tend to be amazed at the natural-looking, soft results.
Let’s look at a couple of examples. Here, we see a patient who got a Brazilian Butt Lift, a procedure intended to give a more lifted, youthful look and rounder shape. In this patient’s case, we were able to harvest donor fat from various regions of her midsection and flanks and transfer it to her buttocks. As you can see, the procedure helped her obtain a fuller, more shapely behind while slimming down her abdominal and oblique regions. This gave the patient a feminine hourglass shape — without the need for implants or major incisions.
Another example shows how we use fat to fill in sunken regions of the face. Instead of using synthetic fillers for the patient shown here, which would have provided only temporary results, we used fat, which can last indefinitely. This patient was concerned about the tired look she had, as she had lost volume in the cheek area up to her lower eyelids. We performed fat transfer along with eyelid surgery to give her face the youthful plumpness seen in younger people. We frequently use fat to fill in the laugh lines, cheeks, lips, and area around the eyes. You can see that this patient looks more rested and youthful.
Fat can also be used to augment the breasts modestly or to make the hands look more youthful. The treatment options are growing as we continue to improve our techniques in this innovative surgery. To get the best results in these highly technical procedures, it’s important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon such as myself or Dr. Calobrace.
Have you ever dreamed of moving fat from one area of your body to another? Tell us about it in a comment below.