Get the shape you want with a Fat Transfer
What woman hasn’t occasionally fantasized about taking the fat from her stomach and using it to boost the shape and size of her butt or breasts? Each year, more and more women (and men) are turning to fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, as a more natural approach to plastic surgery. While it’s not the right option for everyone, fat grafting is a versatile, safe, and effective method for facial rejuvenation and body contouring, helping many patients to reach their aesthetic goals each year.
Dr. Gabriel Salloum, M.D., F.A.C.S., of the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery is a double-board certified plastic surgeon known throughout Miami Beach and South Florida for his patients’ beautiful results from fat transfer to the body and face.
What is Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer, AKA fat grafting or fat injections, is a cosmetic surgical procedure that involves taking excess fat from one part of the body and transferring it to a more desirable area. Fat is often harvested from “problem areas” of the body where there is unwanted bulk, such as the thighs, stomach, or upper back in women. The harvested fat is then injected into areas like the breasts, buttocks, tops of the hands, and creases or hollows in the face.
Why patients choose Fat Transfer
Men or women may consider a fat transfer procedure in Miami Beach if they wish to improve their body contour or achieve a fuller, curvier appearance, such as with a Brazilian butt lift (BBL). BBL using fat grafting is one of the most common procedures Dr. Salloum performs in Miami Beach.
Other patients wish to rejuvenate age-related hollows in their face or hands and may turn to fat transfer as a more permanent and natural alternative to dermal fillers such as Juvederm. Fat injection is also frequently used in breast reconstruction or to provide additional contouring and to hide the edges of a breast implant.
Fat grafting offers many benefits. The procedure is:
Natural and safe – Since the fat is autologous, or coming from the patient’s own body, there is less chance that the body will reject it.
Long-lasting – The results of fat injections can be semi-permanent and last a very long time, whereas dermal fillers are temporary and absorbed by the body over a period of several months.
Minimally invasive – Fat transfer is a minimally invasive surgical alternative to many other plastic surgery procedures.
It’s important to also consider that fat transfer does have some limitations. Dr. Salloum will be able to let you know what is possible with fat transfer for your unique body and goals. When using fat transfer for breast augmentation or BBL, multiple sessions may be required.
Good candidates for Fat Transfer
Fat grafting is a good option for patients who are looking to rejuvenate and fill in areas of the face or body where more volume is desired. Ideal candidates for fat transfer in Miami Beach are patients looking to add natural volume in areas like the face, hands, buttocks, or breasts AND have sufficient fat deposits in another area.
A good candidate for fat grafting will be a healthy non-smoker with good skin tone and realistic expectations. Patients who smoke will need to quit well before surgery and for several months after the procedure to allow for proper healing and recovery.
Common Fat Transfer procedures
Fat grafting is used to rejuvenate both the face and body, including the following areas:
Laugh lines, under-eye area, lips, and cheeks – Facial fat transfer in Miami Beach is a popular procedure that Dr. Salloum performs. With age, people tend to lose volume in their cheeks and lips and hollows often form under the eyes. Nasolabial lines, deep static wrinkles, and areas of facial volume loss can all be treated with fat transfer. Your plastic surgeon may also be able to improve acne scars and other skin indentations.
Breasts – Women seeking breast augmentation with fat injections may want to consider fat grafting as a standalone procedure or combined with implants for added volume. Patients who want a moderate increase in their breast size and have good skin tone may be good candidates for a fat transfer augmentation.
Fat grafting is a great option for women who want to fill in irregularities or wish to achieve a smoother breast shape after getting implants. Plastic surgeons sometimes use fat transfer following mastectomy as part of breast reconstruction. Sometimes, several treatments are required for sufficient volume.
Brazilian Butt Lift – Dr. Salloum frequently uses fat transfer to perform one of Miami Beach’s most popular procedures, the Brazilian butt lift or BBL. Using liposuction and fat grafting, Dr. Salloum’s patients are able to achieve a full and naturally curvaceous bottom without the use of an implant.
Hands – Another common application of fat transfer is hand rejuvenation. Plastic surgeons use harvested, unwanted fat to plump the skin on the hands and conceal the blood vessels and bones that often show through as people age.
The consultation for Fat Grafting
It’s important to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Salloum in Miami Beach in order to determine your candidacy for the grafting treatment. During this meeting, you’ll be encouraged to discuss your goals and motivations for wanting surgery. You will also have the valuable opportunity to ask Dr. Salloum any questions you may have. Be prepared to share your medical history, including any current medications or recent surgeries.
Dr. Salloum will assess your skin, evaluate any risk factors, and consider your goals for surgery. Once he understands exactly what you want to achieve and have a clear idea of what is possible, he will suggest a treatment plan. This may include any alternate or supplemental procedures. The doctor will explain the likely outcomes, as well as the risks involved. He will go over your options for anesthesia—either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation—and create a treatment plan, determining the donor sites and recipient sites well in advance of the surgery.
What to expect on the day of your surgery
Fat transfer with Dr. Salloum is performed as an outpatient procedure at the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery in Miami Beach, FL. On the day of your surgery, it is important to get a ride to and from the surgical facility with a friend or family member. Medication will be taken as instructed and anesthesia will be administered. The type of anesthesia to be used will be discussed during the consultation.
During surgery, your vitals will be closely monitored for your safety. Dr. Salloum will follow the surgical plan as discussed prior to surgery. He may decide to combine certain techniques or change the technique during surgery to achieve the best result.
Following surgery, a compression garment will be placed over the donor site and a drain may be placed. Soreness is normal and medication will be administered to keep pain to a minimum. After observation, patients are able to go home to recover.
The Fat Transfer procedure
Fat transfer in Miami Beach, FL involves removing fat from one part of your body using liposuction techniques, purifying it, and then injecting it back into your body where additional volume is needed. This process may need to be repeated multiple times for the best results, but many patients need only one surgery.
First, the surgeon injects an anesthetic into the preselected donor site. He then makes a small incision in a discreet area and inserts a cannula (hollow tube) to carefully suction out the fat cells.
Once the donor fat has been extracted, Dr. Salloum will purify and clean it using a centrifuge or filtration process. He then transfers it to syringes, which will be used to inject the fat cells into the recipient area.
The area where the fat graft will be placed is then prepped. Dr. Salloum will carefully insert the needle filled with fat into the skin tissue and repeat the process until the ideal result is achieved.
The surgeon may massage the area to improve the body contour and will cover the grafted area with a dressing. He may slightly overfill the treatment areas to account for some expected fat resorption.
Dr. Salloum and his team of skilled medical professionals at the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery take pride in helping patients achieve beautiful results while making sure they are comfortable throughout the entire process.
Fat Grafting aftercare & recovery
Following fat transfer surgery in Miami Beach, patients will receive detailed aftercare instructions. These instructions should be followed closely and will include information about how to care for surgical drains if applicable and when you can go back to work and return to normal activities. Most patients are able to return to work after one to two weeks, but this varies from patient to patient.
Swelling and bruising are normal during the first week after surgery. At week two, bruising should subside greatly but the areas near the surgical sites will still be swollen. Dr. Salloum will go over which symptoms are normal and which are signs of complications. If complications should occur, patients should contact our office immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your plastic surgeon will provide detailed preoperative instructions which will outline what you need to do (and what you should stop doing) prior to surgery.
For example, you must stop taking certain medications like aspirin and NSAIDs before surgery since these meds can increase bleeding. Stop smoking well in advance of the surgery if you’re a smoker and avoid alcohol consumption.
Stay hydrated and follow all post- and pre-operative care instructions in order to ensure fast healing and to minimize any scarring. Prior to surgery, you’ll want to plan for someone to take you to and from your appointment. They should stay with you for at least the first night and longer if possible.
It is rare for patients to experience complications when the grafting procedure is performed by a reputable, board-certified plastic surgeon. During your consultation for fat grafting in Miami Beach, Dr. Salloum will assess any risk factors and go over potential complications with you.
It’s important to follow the surgeon’s pre- and post-operative care instructions to minimize any risks. Possible complications include hematoma, infection, scarring, poor reaction to anesthesia, and less than satisfactory results.
Choosing the right surgeon for fat transfer surgery is crucial to ensuring the most natural-looking results and for keeping risks to a minimum. Make sure that the doctor you choose is a board-certified plastic surgeon with plenty of experience in performing fat transfers.
Do your research. Take a look at each potential surgeon’s background, licensing, and board certifications. Then, check online reviews. Looking at photos of their work can give you a good idea of whether or not a surgeon will be able to achieve your desired results.
Dr. Gabriel Salloum, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in reconstructive plastic surgery, as well as body and facial restructuring. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Salloum in Miami Beach, call the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery at 305-405-6910.