Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or fat injection, has broad applications in aesthetic plastic surgery. Fat can be injected to enhance volume in tissues where fat has diminished. Fat grafting involves harvesting fat from one part of the body, washing and purifying it, and then carefully re-injecting it into the areas requiring augmentation. Many of Dr. Charles Hsu’s Beverly Hills plastic surgery patients choose to do what is commonly called a Brazilian Butt Lift, which involves a fat transfer to their buttocks. The procedure may need to be repeated several times to achieve the desired result but can produce long-lasting and natural-appearing results.
The purpose of fat grafting is to augment or fill in volume-deficient areas. Common treatment areas include:
- Buttocks augmentation: Many people who desire a fuller, more rounded buttock will opt for a Brazilian butt lift, which uses fat transfer instead of an implant.
- Hand rejuvenation: Fat grafting into the hands is effective for adding volume, plumping up wrinkled areas, covering underlying vessels and tendons, and improving the quality of the skin.
"I purchased a groupon certificate for a procedure with Dr. Hu. I really did not do any research about him, but when I came to his cozy and pleasant office, I saw that his credentials from medical school and other certifications were stellar. His staff, Leah and Mim were warm and welcoming as well as extremely professional. I did not wait very long before Mimi, his PA, par excellence thoroughly explained the procedure I was having. The only waiting I had to do was wait for the numbing cream to do its work. There was no pain and during the entire time, Mimi explained further what would be happening. I was a bit red (like a sunburn), as they mentioned and the next day I was fine...I could use concealer if I wanted. Now, 2 weeks later, my skin looks smooth and many of my larger pores have reduced. I was very impressed with the entire office and the staff. I will definitely return for other procedures they offer."- J.O. / Yelp / Dec 29, 2017
"I had work done on my eyes by Dr. Hsu, he did a wonderful job I am very pleased with his work. I advise anyone who would like to get cosmetic surgery go to Dr. Hsu you will be very pleased. Thank you, Wanda Williams"- W.W. / Yelp / May 06, 2015
"Great office environment; staff friendly and helpful! They make you feel so comfortable and NP Mimi is awesome!!! Thanks for helping me 'plump' up my look :-) so I don't feel 50 (LOL)!!! I love this place!!! Very discreet! Highly recommend anyone to this place. Keep up the good work ladies of Hsu Plastic Surgery!!Thanks for such wonderful service and great products! I'll be back soon..... next, a chemical peel!!!!! :-)"- A.P. / Yelp / Dec 21, 2017
"Great office environment; staff friendly and helpful! They make you feel so comfortable and NP Mimi is awesome!!! Thanks for helping me 'plump' up my look :-) so I don't feel 50 (LOL)!!! I love this place!!! Very discreet! Highly recommend anyone to this place. Keep up the good work ladies of Hsu Plastic Surgery!!Thanks for such wonderful service and great products! I'll be back soon..... next, a chemical peel!!!!! :-)"- M.A. / Google / Dec 11, 2017
"Mimi is amazing . I had a micro-needling facial here and botox and each time my skin looked perfect ! Highly recommended. They use very high quality product here. And are not trying to rip you off like some other places I went to in the past. Looking forward to my next apt !"- M.L. / Yelp / Oct 21, 2017
During the consultation, Dr. Hsu will first ask about the patient’s goals, and specifically what areas of the body the patient would like to remove the fat from, and what areas they would like to put it into. He will also ask about medical history to determine if the patient is a good candidate, Dr. Hsu will explain the next steps in going forth with the procedure. In order to reach the best results, the patient and Dr. Hsu will decide all the necessary details and options together.
After liposuction is performed to remove fat ,the fat is purified and then washed with an antibiotic rinse, placed in sterile syringes, and then injected in small doses to the chosen area. Dr. Hsu's technique is to carefully inject various areas in very small deposits, which ensures that the fat cells receive enough blood supply to live and heal properly. One limitation of the fat transfer is how much fat Dr. Hsu can use from liposuction. The volume of the fat transfer depends highly on the amount of available fat after liposuction.
Recovery & Post-Op
The patient will be put in a compression garment that must be worn at all times for the first two weeks to ensure the fat remains where it was injected. Patients will need to keep the treated areas dry and avoid pressure by sleeping on their stomach and using a large pillow when sitting. Patients usually return to work after 2 weeks when the swelling and bruising have decreased. While patients should walk frequently during the recovery period to promote healing and prevent blood clots, strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least 6 weeks.
From Dr. Hsu
“Fat grafting has gotten more popular over the past ten years as there has been more recognition among plastic surgeons that there are changes in fatty tissue volume as the body changes. Central among these has been a rise in popularity of fat grafting to the buttocks, also termed a Brazilian lift. In reality, the skin is not being lifted, but the increase in volume from fat grafting gives an appearance of a lift to the area, and hence the name.
As with liposuction, this works well for patients who have specific areas that they would like improved. There is a limit on the amount of fat that can be transferred safely, so it is best used when the fat can be directed to specific areas in the buttocks. A large number of my patients for fat grafting to the buttocks mention specific hollows in the outer areas of the buttocks, particularly that they have noticed over time. In these patients, directed fat grafting to these areas can be very successful.
Fat transfer does require patience for the areas to soften. The increase in volume can be seen right away, and patients can usually get around without difficulty by two weeks after surgery. It can take some time for small areas of firmness to be softened up with the use of massage, so I always advise patience when it comes to this.”
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 6 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 6-12 Months
- Procedure Recovery Location
Fat Grafting FAQs
Patients can expect the areas to which the fat was transferred to appear softer and fuller, giving a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. Some patients even notice an improvement in skin texture. The survival of the fat and longevity of the results depend on how the fat was harvested and purified, and how and where it was injected. To be performed successfully, fat grafting requires a surgeon, like Dr. Hsu, with highly developed skills based on experience and knowledge of the technique.
Dr. Hsu will select a site for fat removal based on his consultation with the patient and will inject it with a local anesthetic. Dr. Hsu will then create a small incision in the area for fat removal and, using a sterile technique, insert a cannula connected to a syringe to carefully extract fat.
For the purification, Dr. Hsu will process the removed fat to prepare the fat cells for transfer to small syringes that will be used for fat injection. Purification may require the use of a centrifuge to spin the fat or a filtration process to remove impurities.
To place the fat, Dr. Hsu will prepare the area designated to receive the graft. Dr. Hsu will insert a needle or cannula into the incision point of the site being augmented. The injection needle is usually passed in and out of the areas to be augmented multiple times, in what is known as microfat grafting. Dr. Hsu’s goal is to help patients achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as to make the surgical experience as easy and comfortable as possible.