One of the most exciting advances in cosmetic enhancement is the option to use your own surplus fat to fill in areas of the face/body that need volume and shape. This is an advanced technique that demands the expertise of a board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Dr. Abdullah is a well-known Midwest fat transfer surgeon who consistently produces natural-looking, long-lasting results.
Candidates for Fat Transfer
You may be a good candidate for fat transfer if you desire natural-looking, volume and fullness in a specific area of your face or body — for example, your cheeks, hands, breast or buttocks — but are leery of using an artificial implant. Fat transfer is also becoming increasingly popular among breast reconstruction patients.
To qualify for fat transfer, you should be in good general health and not have any chronic uncontrolled health problems. Of course, you must have sufficient donor fat (usually in your abdomen or thighs). Dr. Abdullah will ask you about your goals for the procedure during your pre-operative consultation. Fat transfer surgery is often a welcomed alternative for patients who are not interested in other injectable treatments such as Botox. It is also an option for patients who are looking for cosmetic enhancement, but do not need the dramatic results of a facelift or browlift. Dr. Abdullah will also explain the surgery and what it entails, so you have a thorough understanding of what to expect on the day of your procedure and afterward.
The Fat Transfer Procedure
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Anesthesia medications will be used for your comfort.
Fat transfer may be used to augment the following areas of the face and body:
- Face: fill in laugh lines, smile lines or crow’s feet; improve the appearance of sunken-in facial features, such as the under-eye area or cheeks.
- Breasts: add shape and volume to small or asymmetrical breasts; reconstruct the breast mound after mastectomy. Can be used in conjunction with implants.
- Buttocks: enhance the fullness and roundness of the backside with or without the use of an implant.
- Hands: plump up wrinkled areas, cover up blood vessels and tendons.
- cars or skin depressions
First, Dr. Abdullah harvests the surplus fat from the donor area (e.g., the abdomen or thighs) using liposuction techniques. He will wash and purify the fat to prepare it for injection. Then, he injects the fat into the treatment area, strategically placing the injections to provide the most natural-looking results. The number of injections and amount of fat that Dr. Abdullah uses depends on the desired results. Once he has completed the injections, he places surgical dressings over the grafted area.
Recovering from Fat Transfer
Dr. Abdullah and his team will provide detailed post-operative instructions after surgery, including when/what medications to take, how to care for the surgical incisions and when to return for follow-up visits. The team is also available at any time to answer questions or address any concerns.
Every patient recovers differently; in general, most take a week or two to recover. Swelling and bruising are normal side effects and will gradually subside.
During your post-operative follow-up visits, Dr. Abdullah will advise when you can return to work, exercise, driving and your normal level of activity.
Once the swelling and bruising have disappeared, you can begin to enjoy your fat transfer results. In addition to the soft and natural-looking volume in the treated area, you will also notice that the donor area from which the fat was harvested looks slimmer.
When the injected fat develops a new blood supply, the results are often permanent. However, in any fat transfer procedure, some of the fat may not “take.” Dr. Abdullah is conscious of this and may over-inject the treatment area to compensate.
Luckily, fat transfer complications are rare. Most patients tolerate the procedure very well and are able to enjoy their results for years to come.