What is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting,also known as Autologous Fat Transfer (AFT), is a surgical procedure. Here “Autologous” means obtained from your own body. Basically fat is taken from one area of your body and transferred (grafted) to another area of your body.
Should I have Fat Grafting?
One of the commonest reason for Fat Grafting is for buttock enhancement, also known as Brazilian Butt Lift. Fat grafting is also used for breast enhancement and to bulk out skinny legs. It can be also Grafted in the face to enhance areas like cheek, chin or lips , to fill out depression such as under the eye and to fill out lines on the face such as the smile lines.
What type of anaesthesia will I need?
For small fat grafting, like for lip or cheek enhancement or filling out the smile lines, local anaesthesia can be used. In local anaesthesia you are awake and only the area from where fat is removed and area where it is injected will be made numb. If you are anxious about needles and being awake during the procedure then injections can be given to make you little sleepy (local anaesthesia with sedation).
For large Fat Grafting such as buttock or breast enhancement general anaesthesia is used, where you are put to sleep.
How is Fat grafting done?
Fat grafting is always done in hospital setup. If done under local anaesthesia then you are not admitted. However when general anaesthesia is used then you are admitted and hospital stay will be for approximately 1 or 2 days.
Fat is removed from areas of your body where there is excess,for instance, the tummy area, thigh, back and arms. Removal or harvesting of fat is done with liposuction. Through small punctures ,needle, connected to vacuum pump, is introduced into area of fat excess. The negative pressure in the pump sucks out the fat in liquid form. The fat is processed to remove any impurities and then injected with needle into areas where fat grafting is to be done.
What is the recovery period?
Swelling and bruising both at the liposuction and fat grafted site can happen and usually take 2 to 4 weeks to resolve. Light activity, such as household work can be started immediately after small fat grafting and may take longer with large fat grafting. Return to work will again vary from immediately with small fat grafting to few days to weeks for large fat grafting.
Pain is more like discomfort and gets easier with each passing day. It is further controlled with pain killer which you may need to take for a week.
Does Fat Grafting last?
In majority of the patient the grafted fat survives indefinitely Small percentage of cases the volume of grafted fat may reduce due to resorption of the fat. One has to follow healthy lifestyle in the form of diet and exercise to maintain the result as excessive weight gain or loss will also lead to gain and loss respectively in the fat grafted area.
If fat grafting of breast is done, generally the size can increase by maximum 1 cup size. If you wish to have the breast increase by more than 1 cup size then further session of fat grafting can be carried out after a minimum gap of few months.
Similarly if you experience loss of fat in the grafted areas repeat fat grafting can be done.All the above are approximate guidelines and detailed discussion with a qualified plastic surgeon is mandatory before making any decision.