STARS Plastic Surgery
8042 Wurzbach Road, Suite 130 San Antonio, TX 78229
Fat Transfer

Fat Transfer in San Antonio, TX

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A fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, involves removing fat from an area of the body with excess fat through liposuction and placing it in an area with deficient volume. First, Dr. Chan will remove fat with a cannula, or steel tube, from usually the waist, stomach, or thighs. The fat will then be processed to purify it before it’s placed into an area of the body with insufficient volume. Since fat grafting is minimally invasive, many patients find it an attractive option. Results are generally consistent, since the patient’s own fat is used which provides a low chance of the body rejecting it.

Surgical Technique

During this procedure, fat is removed from the donor sites via liposuction. An antibiotic solution is used which allows for a complete separation of the fat so that only healthy tissue is used for reinjection. This fat is prepared in syringes and slowly reinstated into the body parts where shape and contour are needed. During the injection process, the area will be slowly massaged so the fat deposits settle into compact layers for the best contour finish possible. Normally, multiple injections are necessary to create an even spread of fat and achieve an ideal outcome.

During/After Surgery

Fat transfer treatments are performed with general anesthesia when it covers larger areas, while local anesthesia or IV sedation is used if the area to be treated is small. Both methods will be treated as an outpatient treatment at an accredited surgical facility. The procedure will cause swelling and bruising on both the removal and injection sites. These side effects will subside in a few days. Recovery time depends on several factors, including how many body parts were involved in the surgery, as well as how much fat was transferred. Scarring is generally minimal with this procedure, as the incisions made are just big enough for the cannula to be inserted. 

Fat Transfer FAQs

How Long do the Results Last?

A fat transfer procedure can give results that will last for years. While the concern of fat reabsorption is something to consider, a skilled surgeon will be able to maximize the outcome by using the tested technique of fat layering. There is an ongoing research study that promises long-term stability of these grafted fat tissues, which involves using Platelet Rich Plasma to enhance fat cells before transplanting them into the body.

Loss of Voluma?

When properly performed, a fat transfer can last a long time. In areas where the fat does get reabsorbed by the body, the area can be further tweaked. For patients who want to continue to have volume enhancement, but desire natural results (i.e., lip enhancement), this is an ideal procedure. This is especially the case for those who are not comfortable getting implants.

How About Scarring?

Scarring is minimal during a fat transfer procedure. Any scars that remain will be very small (either where the cannula or the syringe was inserted for the transfer). Incisions are usually made in areas where they can be concealed by clothing. 

Other Treatments?

For a lack of facial volume, there are treatments that may be considered which will also produce positive results. For wrinkle problems, an injectable filler may be suitable. These fillers may include collagen or hyaluronic acid. For long-term results, patients may consider PMMA, an injectable filler that offers a semi-permanent solution. Every option can be discussed in detail with your surgeon during the initial consultation.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.