Also known as fat grafting, a fat transfer is a procedure that uses liposuction to remove fat from an area on the body where the fat layer is thick. These fats deposits are collected and purified, then reinstated into another part of the body that needs volume. Common areas on the body where a fat transfer may be performed include the breasts, buttocks, lips and face. Fat transfers are performed to meet an aesthetic purpose. While the results are natural, beautiful and can last for years, some of the fat may be absorbed back into the body over time which is why Dr. Fernau uses the HydraSolve® system for liposuction. HydraSolve removes the fat in a liquid form there are no lumps or bumps, so it is ideally suited for buttock grafting, breast enhancement, facial liquid facelift, and hand rejuvenation. Patients who desire a permanent result may consider silicone implants instead. Pittsburgh plastic surgeon, Dr. James Fernau has studied the fat transfer process for many years. He has perfected his technique and has created outstanding outcomes for countless patients.
Fat Transfer Reviews
"My Awesome Breast Augmentation - Pittsburgh, PA - With Dr. Fernau, you instantly know that he is seeing the best “you” that you can possibly be 'as he’s talking with you'. He had great suggestions and ideas on what I could do to improve my look based on my personal priorities. I had asked his opinion as to what he felt he could help me improve upon. Glad I did! I hadn't known about fat transfers before him. He pulled out materials, books, diagrams, and explained everything in detail...and there was no rushing. Sheila, the RN, is so knowledgeable, thorough, PATIENT and kind.. (AND too beautiful, lol!). I was well cared for from start to finish!"- M. / RealSelf / Dec 15, 2015
"Dr Fernau did a Brazilian Buttock Lift with great results. He far exceded my expectations. I had multiple areas of liposuction and I am smooth everywhere. The fat was grafted into my buttocks. Over one year has passed and my results are great ! He augmented my breasts with fat and I went from an A to a C cup. Everything looks so natural !"- B. / Wellness / Mar 07, 2015
"Dr Fernau did an anatomical calf augmentation with Implantech implants with perfection fat grafting in the fat layer and the results are far better than I expected. They are completely natural. He is a perfectionist and really cares about his patients. I could reach him on his cell after surgery with any questions. A really really great doctor."- Anonymous / RateMDs / Aug 04, 2016
"Dr Fernau gets great results. He did a an anatomical calf augmentation with Implantech implants over the medial and lateral gastrocnemius muscles and fat grafted for perfection. Very natural result. Minimal downtime with use of Exparel. Great doctor, great results."- C.W. / Vitals / Aug 04, 2016
"Dr Fernau did such a great job using an anatomical calf implant augmentation. He also used fat grafting for perfection. I had no downtime. He used Exp ..."- C. . / Vitals / Aug 04, 2016
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 part where shape and contour are needed. During the injection process, the area will be slowly massaged so the fat deposits settle in 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.
Fat Transfer Video
Fat transfer treatment is 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.
The cost for a fat transfer will vary. Again, it will depend on the size of the area treated and how much fat was removed and transferred. The price can range as low as $2,500-$4,500, and can go as high as $11,000.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $2,500 - $4,500
- Recovery Time
- 2-4 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 2 Weeks
- Procedure Recovery Location
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 techniques in terms of fat layering. There is an ongoing research study that promises long-term stability of these grafted fat tissues, which involves Platelet Rich Plasma to enhance fat cells before transplanting them into the body.
Loss of Volume?
When properly performed, a fat transfer can last a long time. In areas where the fat does get resorbed, the area can continue to be 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 using an implant.
How About Scarring?
Scarring is minimal during a fat transfer procedure. Any scars that remain will be small (either where the cannula or the syringe was inserted for the transfer). The incisions are usually placed in areas where they can be concealed by clothing.
For loss of facial volume, there are treatments that may be considered that 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 during the initial consultation.