Fat grafting or fat transfer involves the harvesting of a patients own body fat from an area of excess and transferring that fat to another region of the body for reconstruction or cosmetic purposes.
Although fat grafting can be documented in medical literature for over 100 years, the procedure has only in recent years gained wide spread popularity and acceptance. More refined harvesting and transfer methods in the last decade are now yielding consistently good results.
Grafted fat can be used for a wide range of purposes. Fat is now commonly used as filler in facial cosmetic procedures to replace volume loss as a natural part of aging. Many surgeons are now using fat grafting as a finishing touch for procedures such as breast reconstruction or to correct body contour deformities that could the result of a previous trauma.
In my practice fat grafting is most commonly used for buttock augmentation. I prefer fat grafting or transfer for buttock augmentation because of the very natural appearance and feel that can be created. The patient also of course reaps the benefit of the liposuction procedure that is required to harvest the fat necessary for grafting.
Fat grafting procedures are usually performed as an outpatient surgery under general anesthesia. In some cases more that one grafting procedure is required to obtain the optimal result. These separate procedures are usually spaced 6 months or more apart. Only a portion of the grafted fat survives, but with advancing techniques and increased surgeon experience, the percentage of fat survival and the reliability of the surgical result are constantly improving.