Fat Transfer: What to Expect

Before the Fat Transfer Procedure

Before fat transfer to the butt or the breasts it’s recommended to put on weight and eat a high carbohydrate diet for 2 weeks prior to the procedure. The thought behind this practice is to get your body to start storing fat and creating a welcoming environment for the fat graft. The hope is that your body will be better equipped to increase the fat stores at the time of the procedure and a higher percentage of fat will actually survive. The purpose of the fat transfer procedure is to increase the volume of fat in the area treated.

The optimal site for fat transfer is one in which the skin is somewhat loose to allow for a larger volume of fat transferred. For this reason, it may be beneficial to perform massages to the breasts or buttocks area to break up fibrous connective tissue that may be present. Massaging may help to loosen the skin and connective tissue in the area which may create more space to transfer the fat. Not only can this help to create more space, but it may benefit in the reduction of pressure on the fat that is transferred as well.

**These simple recommendations can improve your chance of better results although there is no scientific data currently supporting.

Recovery After the Fat Transfer Procedure

Recovery after fat transfer surgery is usually not very difficult. Immediately following the procedure the area will be numb from the local anesthetic. It will also be quite swollen. Normally extra fat is injected to the area in expectation that up to 40% of the fat will not survive. The treated area will be sore and swollen for the first few days. It’s very important to keep pressure off the buttocks or the breasts as much as possible for the first 2 weeks. The swelling will start to decrease after 1-2 weeks and the area will begin to get smaller. It is recommended to eat a high carbohydrate diet after fat transfer. Fat burning exercise is not recommended for 2 months following the procedure.

For the Fat Transfer to the Hands, the recovery is quite simple. There is very little pain. You will have some swelling, bruising and stiffness for the first 10-14 days. It is recommended to reduce the activities using your hands in the first few weeks that you would require your hands. Increased activity will decrease the amount of fat that survives.

With Fat Transfers to the Face, following the procedure you will be swollen and potentially bruised for approximately 10-15 days. In this time period you may not feel comfortable in crowds or public places. There is not a significant amount of pain, but with the swelling, you probably won’t feel entirely comfortable. This should not inhibit one from performing their job if they don’t mind people seeing them with a swollen face.

What to Expect

  • Studies have shown that on average 50-60% of the fat cells transferred will actually survive long term.
  • At 2 months post transfer, one will see 80% of results.
  • At 6 months post transfer, results change very little beyond this point. Some say that the results after 6 months are final and likely permanent.
  • One can expect a 25-35% increase in size of the butt or breasts
  • There is an average of one bra size increase after fat transfer to breasts
  • In order to achieve larger volumes, it may be required to do additional transfers to the same area.
  • Studies show that larger volume that is injected to an area, the more fat that does not survive secondary to the increased pressure.

The Liposculpture Specialist will only do fat transfer to one area per appointment (either the buttocks or the breast). If you wish to have fat transfer to both the buttocks and the breast, it is recommended to wait at least 2 months between fat transfer procedures.

Fat Transfer to Breasts

  • Wear fitted, but not tight bra
  • Avoid excessive pressure from lying on breasts
  • Avoid excessive fat burning exercises for 2 months.
  • Eat high carbohydrate diet for 2 months following procedure

Fat Transfer to Buttocks

  • Avoid direct pressure to the buttocks area for 2 weeks following procedure. This means no sitting, no sleeping on back, no tight clothing or undergarments.
  • Do sleep on your side or stomach for 2 weeks.
  • Do wear loose fitting clothes for 2 weeks.
  • Do not sit directly on buttocks, but you can use the specialty pillow which we sell, or fold up blanket or towel and place under your thighs to offload direct pressure from your butt to your thighs.
  • Avoid excessive fat burning exercises for 2 months.
  • Eat high carbohydrate diet for 2 months following procedure

After your fat transfer procedure, your body will try to create a new blood supply to feed the new fat cells and help them to flourish. In order to do this it’s important to keep pressure off of the treated area to allow for maximum blood flow. Also to create a conducive environment for the growth of fat, it is recommended to eat a high carbohydrate diet for 2-4 weeks following the fat transfer. To ensure that you don’t burn off any additional fat, it’s recommended to avoid fat burning exercises for the first 2 months.

Limitations of Fat Transfer to the Buttocks or Breasts

Fat transfer to the butt and the breast is a very exciting procedure that is sweeping the nation and becoming more popular everyday. While there have been some very exciting results, there are limitations that one should be aware of prior to proceeding with fat transfer. Those that are realistic of their expectations, aware of the limitations, and follow pre-op and post-op instructions tend to be much happier with their results following fat transfer to the butt and breasts.

Considerations Regarding Fat Transfer

  • You must have fat stores in order to harvest fat graft and transfer.
  • Tighter skin can limit the amount the area will expand and limits the space in which fat can be transferred.
  • Trying to “over stuff” the area with fat in a single procedure will reduce the amount of fat that survives and reduce the final volume.
  • Excessive pressure of the breasts or butt 2 weeks following fat transfer will decrease the amount of fat that survives.
  • The volume increase with fat transfer to the butt or breasts is on average a 25-35% increase in volume and size.
  • Studies have shown that nearly 50-60% of the fat cells transferred survive.
  • Excessive fat burning exercises 2 months following the fat transfer procedure may decrease the final volume.

Potential Complications

  • Infection occurs in about <1% of procedures and may require further treatment.
  • It’s possible to over inject or under inject fat into the given area.
  • It’s possible the results will heal uneven as more fat may survive on one side. (uncommon)
  • It’s possible to have less than 50% fat survival although studies showed an average of 50-60% survival rate.
  • Calcific deposits may form in the breasts or buttocks.
  • “Oil cysts” may form from residual cellular debris.

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