Frequently Asked Questions About Fat Transfer

What is fat transfer?

Fat transfer, or fat grafting, involves using liposuction techniques to remove fat cells from one or more “donor” areas of the body before purifying the harvested fat and transferring, or injecting, it into an area of the body that requires enhancement.

Fat transfer offers dual benefits: sculpting the donor area and augmenting the treatment area.

What areas of the body can fat transfer treat?

Dr. Ghaderi can treat any area of the body that is lacking volume, whether this is due to the natural aging process, hereditary factors, illness or other factors.

The following are examples of areas of the body that can be treated with fat transfer:

  • Transferring the harvested fat into the buttock area (in a procedure commonly referred to as “Brazilian Butt Lift”) provides a fuller, more balanced shape.
  • Injecting the harvested fat into the breasts gives patients a fuller breast shape, and can be done alone or in conjunction with breast implants.
  • By injecting the harvested fat inside the apples of the cheeks, patients achieve a fuller and younger-looking facial appearance.
  • Fat injections can be used to fill in deep facial wrinkles and creases, pitted acne scars and scars from deep lacerations.

Is fat transfer safe?

Fat transfer is very safe. In fact, it is one of the safest cosmetic surgery procedures available, for a number of reasons:

  • Although general anesthesia is an option, a local anesthetic can be used instead. Using local anesthesia reduces some of the risks related to general anesthesia.
  • When re-injecting the harvested fat, Dr. Ghaderi only needs to use micro-incisions, which are safer than larger incisions, reducing some of the risks associated with surgery.
  • Other cosmetic enhancement procedures typically involve introducing a synthetic substance such as a dermal filler or a foreign object such as a breast or cheek implant into the body. In contrast, fat transfer uses only your own natural fat, so it is unlikely that the body will have a negative reaction to it. In addition, there is minimal risk of capsular contracture (the formation of scar tissue in the breasts) with breast-enhancing fat transfer procedures.
  • The fat transfer recovery time is less than the recovery time associated with artificial implant surgery.

What type of anesthesia is used for the procedure?

With both the fat harvesting phase and the fat injection phase, either a local anesthetic with light sedation or general anesthesia can be used.

How big are the incisions?

The incisions needed for fat transfer are quite small and, thus, do not require any sutures to close them.

Which areas of the buttocks does Brazilian butt lift treat?

Brazilian butt lift can treat any area of the buttocks that the patient desires.

For individuals who desire more outward projection in their buttocks, Dr. Ghaderi transfers fat to the middle of the buttocks to make them appear rounder.

For patients who long for a more “lifted” derrière located in a more youthful-looking position, the Greater Chicago fat transfer surgeon injects fat into the upper quadrant of the buttocks.

In addition, the upper, lower and outer buttocks can be contoured during the harvesting, or liposuction, phase of the fat transfer process. Removing fat from the outer area of the lower waist, or the flanks, can help produce more dramatic results.

As a talented cosmetic surgeon with a keen eye for aesthetic detail, Dr. Ghaderi can suggest an approach that best suits the unique needs and desires of each patient.

What does “natural breast lift” entail?

For women whose breasts are positioned low on the chest wall and have lost volume – usually due to pregnancy, major weight fluctuations or the natural aging process – natural breast lift might be an effective solution.

With natural breast lift, Dr. Ghaderi injects the harvested fat into specific areas of the breasts to provide lift and added fullness. That said, not everyone is a suitable candidate for natural breast lift, as it can only provide a certain degree of lift and volume. (For those who are not suitable candidates for this procedure, Dr. Ghaderi may suggest an alternative procedure such as traditional breast lift surgery, with or without breast implants.)

Can my body fat be used for breast reconstruction after mastectomy?

Yes, fat transfer is often an effective way to reconstruct the breasts after mastectomy or lumpectomy, procedures that remove all or part of the breast tissue as part of cancer treatment. This is a good option for suitable candidates who do not wish to have a foreign object such as a breast implant placed in the body. Fat transfer can also be used in conjunction with breast implants for enhanced breast reconstruction results.

Are the results of fat transfer permanent?

Studies have shown that most of the transferred fat will remain in the treated area permanently, unless the patient loses a substantial amount of weight or has liposuction on the treated area at a later time. In certain cases, however, repeating the procedure may be necessary to obtain the final desired results.

Where is the fat transfer procedure performed?

Dr. Ghaderi performs fat transfer surgery at an accredited hospital or surgical facility.

How long is the recovery period?

The duration of the recovery period varies by patient, depending on how much fat has been removed and transferred, which areas of the body have been treated and certain lifestyle factors such as if the patient smokes. In general, more complex procedures performed on larger areas will take longer to heal.

Are the final results visible immediately after surgery?

Although some of the aesthetic results of surgery are visible immediately after the procedure, it generally takes three to six months to see the full results, especially for patients who have had a substantial amount of fat grafted. This is how much time it takes for any swelling to subside completely. In addition, the transferred adult stem cells continue to generate new fat cells in the treatment area for up to three months. Fat cells that survive after that time are likely to remain in the treated area permanently.

Where can I find additional information about fat transfer?


If you would like more information about the benefits of fat transfer, please contact St. Charles Plastic Surgery today.