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Fat Grafting

Make the most of what you have with fat transfer surgery

What is “fat grafting”?

Fat grafting can also be called “fat transfer” or “fat injections”. The basic idea is that fat from one part of your body can be put into another part of your body. For example, there may be some areas that you want fat to be taken away from, such as the tummy and love handles. The extra fat from these areas can then be injected into body areas that you want plumped, such as the buttocks or breasts. Sounds like the perfect solution, doesn’t it? Please read to find out more.

What are the benefits of fat grafting?

The benefits of fat grafting surgery are:

  • Use liposuction to take away the fat from problem areas like the tummy, love handles, back rolls and thighs.
  • Put the fat into areas that you want plumped like the face, buttocks, breasts or back of the hands.
  • The fat that is successfully grafted will be permanent and it will be your own natural cells, nothing artificial. 

How much does fat grafting surgery cost?

The cost of fat grafting surgery may vary greatly depending on how much fat you plan to graft and where you want to graft it to. Typically, fat grafting to the buttock will cost more than fat grafting to the face, for example. Once you get a consult from one of our surgeons, our Cosmetic Coordinator will give you the quote for the procedure. 

Many people choose to finance part or all of their surgery. Our Cosmetic Coordinator will help you find a finance option that fits into your budget.

How is a fat grafting surgery performed?

You and your surgeon will decide on which areas will be liposuctioned in order to harvest the fat cells. Most commonly, the tummy, love handles, back rolls and thighs are chosen. After those areas are liposuctioned, the fat cells are processed in order to make them ready for their new home. Several different processing methods are available. Your surgeon can tell you which technique they prefer. 

After the fat cells are processed, they are injected into the area that needs plumping, such as the buttock. Specialized equipment is used for this process. Our surgeons use their artistry to sculpt that area into a beautiful shape. Extra care is given to make the results smooth and even. 

After surgery you may be given a specialized garment to wear and a list of “do’s” and “don’t’s”. Please follow your instructions carefully in order to get the best results out of your surgery.

What does the recovery process look like?

You can expect swelling, bruising and discomfort after the surgery. The swelling may first get worse before it eventually goes down. You may leak fluid from the areas that have been liposuctioned. Initially, there may be bumps and an uneven surface. Remember that much can change in the early months after surgery. It is best to be patient and follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter. 

It is very important to walk after the surgery since we want to keep the blood flow circulating normally. It is also important to drink plenty of liquids to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated. 

What are the common risks & complications?

Asymmetry

The body does not not have perfect symmetry to begin with and after fat grafting there may be differences between one side and the other. Sometimes, additional fat grafting can be done to improve these areas.

Weight fluctuations

Because the grafted fat cells are a living part of you, they will change in size with your weight fluctuations. If you lose weight, the fat cells may shrink and give you less volume. If you gain weight, the fat cells may enlarge. Rarely, if an excessive amount of weight is gained, the enlarged fat cells can distort the appearance of areas such as the face. After fat grafting, it is best not to gain a great deal of weight in order to avoid this from occurring. 

Firmness, lumps and bumps

Sometimes, as the fat cells try to heal, they can become scarred down causing firm areas, lumps and bumps. In some areas, the fat cells might not survive while in other areas, they flourish. This may also lead to uneven areas. Usually these areas are mild. Additional fat grafting may help even out some of these areas. 

Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the recovery time for fat grafting?
A:The fat graft is like a skin graft. Once you put the fat in its new home, it has to connect with the blood vessels there in order to survive. Some of the fat cells may not be able to find a good blood supply. These fat cells will liquefy and become absorbed by your body. But some fat cells will connect with the new blood vessels and become permanent. 

How many fat cells die and how many survive depends on many factors, including your individual characteristics, the quality of the fat harvested and the quality of the fat cell’s new home, surgical technique, and how well you take care of yourself after surgery.

So the short answer is, the fat cells that survive in its new home should last forever

Q: How much fat can be grafted at one time?
A: The short answer is, quite a bit. Sometimes, it will depend on how much fat our surgeon is able to harvest. Most importantly, our surgeon will put just as much fat as needed to get a beautiful result. The goal is not too little, not too much, but “just right”. 

Q: What is the recovery time for fat grafting?
A: A lot of it depends on where you get the fat grafted to and how much fat is grafted. The recovery process is usually not painful but the area might be swollen for a while. For places like the buttock and breast, even if they are swollen, these areas can be hidden by clothes and enable you to get back to work faster. Fat injection to the face might keep you out of work for 2-3 weeks if you are sensitive to showing the swelling or bruising to coworkers. Because each situation is different, it’s best to ask your surgeon about the recovery time.

Q: Is fat grafting an inpatient or outpatient procedure?
A: Outpatient.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Our surgeons would love to meet and go over everything you need to know about fat grafting surgery with you. Just give us a call at 951-699-9201 or use the link below. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Our doctors.

From medical school to plastic surgery residency, they have trained rigorously to be the best in the field. Their surgical experience and artistic expressions have provided extensive leadership in plastic surgery in Temecula, Murrieta, Redlands, Loma Linda, and beyond. 

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Yoonah Kim, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Andy Wongworawat, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Zachary Filip, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Grace Yu, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Duncan Miles, MD

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Patient ratings and reviews.

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Reviews from verified AIPS patients

★★★★★

Mary Hanson

I have been a patient with Dr. Kim for over 10 years.

She is very kind, honest and thorough in discussing procedures. Dr. Kim truly cares about her patients. Her staff is always friendly and helpful...

I'm very happy with my results! I would highly recommend Advanced Institute for Plastic Surgery!

★★★★★

J.G.

Dr. Wongworawat is so amazing, he has changed my life!

I can not tell you how he has changed my life. He has given me a new look, and new view on life!!!!!

The staff is also great, I do know that when I want to have more work done I am going back.

I tell all my friends how great he is!!!!

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The complete experience far exceeded my expectations.

Dr. Filip is professional, sensitive, skilled, and gives the patient the confidence that he will ensure positive results.

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Too much here? Too little there? It’s a simple give and take. It’s time to tell your fat exactly where to go! We’ll help make it possible.

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