Quick Summary of What I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Fat Transfer:
- Many areas of the body can be enhanced with fat transfer
- Place importance on choosing the right doctor
- Establish expectations with your doctor
- Fat transfers are not the same as fillers
- Expect some bruising and swelling
- Recovery lasts 2 or 3 weeks
- You’ll have to be patient with the results
- Fat transfers involve more than one injection
- Results last for longer than you think
- PRP and SCE are often part of fat transfer procedures
- Don’t worry if you get lumps. They’re temporary.
- The riskiest place to get a fat transfer is under the eyes
- Results are worth it
Are you thinking about getting a fat transfer? Hundreds of thousands of people have had it done. And lots of them, in hindsight, wish they had gone into it knowing a few things first. Learn from them and make your fat transfer experience the best it can be. We’ve compiled a list of points that are really important to know before getting a fat transfer. If you have questions or concerns, many (or all) of them will likely be answered here. Here are 13 things to know before undergoing treatment.
1. Many areas of the body can be enhanced with fat transfer
It’s a common misconception that fat transfer is only used to enhance one area of the body. Some people believe that only butts are enhanced with fat transfer. Or only breasts. Or only faces. This is not true. Fat transfers go beyond even those three examples. In most areas where your body is designed to store some level of fat, you can consider a fat transfer. Under the eyes, lips, cheeks, butt, breasts, hips, and more.
2. Place importance on choosing the right doctor
Don’t choose any ol’ doctor. Make sure that you do some research. Choose one that has a lot of fat transfer experience. It’s best to have an experienced, trustworthy doctor who has a well of knowledge to give proper advice. You want someone who will be honest with you if what you want is unrealistic or cannot be achieved. And you want your procedure to have the highest chance of being a wonderful success. The more experienced the doctor, the better the overall experience you’ll have.
If you’re considering a particular doctor, locate pictures of his past work and look at them. You can find our before and after gallery here. Unfortunately, there are doctors out there who make false claims in person or on their website. You can decrease the chances of unknowingly choosing a doctor like that by looking at photographic examples of their work. And, of course, if you know someone who’s had a fat transfer treatment and it looks great, find out who did it.
3. Establish expectations with your doctor
We don’t mean tell your doctor how to do his job. What we mean is that you communicate with your doctor about what you can expect pre and post-op. What can you realistically expect your results to look like? Will the final results be immediate or will there be swelling? Is there a contingency I should follow if I’m not satisfied with the results? Ask these kinds of questions so you don’t have any unnecessary surprises and understand all protocols. Also, make sure your doctor points out the injection points with a drawing so you know exactly where they’re going.
4. Fat transfers are not the same as fillers
A fat transfer procedure takes a lot longer than a dermal filler procedure. It’s more involved and requires more steps. First, the fat is removed from an area of the body via HD Body sculpting. This is referred to as harvesting. Then the harvested fat is injected into another area of the body. Most fat transfers require only local anesthetic.
5. Expect some bruising and swelling
Like after most invasive procedures, there is going to be some degree of bodily discomfort. Not much, but some. With fat transfers, the discomfort lies in the harvest area and the injection area. Experience shows that the stomach and thighs tend to be particularly prone to bruising and swelling. And the truth is that compared to dermal fillers, it tends to be a bit worse with fat transfers. But there’s a reason for this. Fat transfers involve multiple injection points to make sure the fat is evenly distributed and results in a smooth look.
6. Recovery lasts 2 or 3 weeks
Recovery time can vary a little bit depending on your age and what area is injected. But most of the time, it lasts between 2 and 3 weeks. To give you an idea, bruising that lasts around 10 days is normal after a facial fat transfer. For 3 or 4 days immediately after the procedure it’ll be worse. But give it a week plus a few days and it’ll start going away. After about 3 weeks it should be all but gone. Pain after a fat transfer is minimal. There are some medications that many patients say work well to decrease recovery time. Ask your doctor about what you can take. Arnica montana is one that seems to help a lot of people. Hydrocortisone cream on the bruised areas is said to work, as well, as is eating pineapple.
7. You’ll have to be patient with the results
The real results of a fat transfer don’t reveal themselves for 1-3 months on average. Even though the bruising and swelling subside much faster than that, physical results take a little longer to show. Many patients say that the fat absorption process happens incrementally over about 90 days.
8. Fat transfers involve more than one injection
It’s common for patients to go in for a second and sometimes a third procedure to get the intended look. This is because you can’t predict how much of the fat will survive the transfer process. Sometimes it works perfectly the first time. Other times, it takes an additional visit. This is completely normal. If you are required to go in for a second visit, this doesn’t mean the first procedure failed. It’s simply part of the risk involved with fat transfer. 100% of fat survival can’t be guaranteed after the first injection. Additional visits involve removing or adding fat in order to smooth everything out, fill in any hollows, etc. In fact, most people require two injections.
9. Results last for longer than you think
Fat transfer results can last for many years. It would be disingenuous of us to declare a particular amount of time, because everyone’s bodies are different. But it’ll more than likely last a very long time. Also, know that some areas of the body will maintain their new look longer than others. This will be the case in areas that don’t move much, like the cheeks, for example. The areas that won’t last quite as long are the ones that experience lots of movement, like around your mouth. After the procedure, it’ll be around a year or a year-and-a-half before the injections really take hold. From there, it will last a long time.
10. PRP and SCE are often part of fat transfer procedures
PRP is platelet-rich plasma and SCE is stem cell enrichment. In many cases, doctors who perform fat transfers will incorporate one or both of these other methods in the treatment. This is because they can improve the results! We’ll explain how PRP helps first. The doctor uses a syringe to take some of your blood. Then he extracts the PRP from the blood using a machine designed for just that purpose. The PRP is then mixed in with the fat before it’s injected into your body. This helps more fat survive the transfer.
How do stem cells help the procedure be more effective? Well, in your fat lives many stem cells. When these existing cells are enriched with by an injection of more stem cells, more of the fat will take. Here’s another thing about using PRP and SCE in a fat transfer procedure. Whatever fat these cells are extracted from has to be discarded afterward. This means that the person has to have extra fat available in order to utilize PRP and SCE. And one more thing. The use of these additional methods has given some patients more benefits. Such as improved skin quality and the repairing of damaged skin.
Though not all fat transfers need these additional treatments to work properly, some doctors incorporate them. Most do so on a case by case basis depending on if they feel there’s a need. Doctors will communicate this to you before doing it because it increases the cost of the procedure.
11. Don’t worry if you get lumps. They’re temporary.
Every once in a while, small lumps form in the injection area after the surgery. If this happens to you, don’t worry. Most of the time they go away on their own given a little bit of time. If they don’t, don’t try and massage them out. First talk to your doctor. In some cases, doctors will recommend that you massage them out. Other times, the lumps can be of a certain nature where massaging them will do more harm. If you have lumps but notice they’re getting smaller, that’s a good sign. They’ll likely continue to go down and disappear naturally.
If they aren’t going away, doctors use a technique called micro-aspiration to get the lumps out. It’s very simple. Another method to get rid of post-procedure lumps involves injecting steroids into the areas. This method is not used as much because it takes great precision and sometimes has negative results if done improperly. It sometimes makes the tissue atrophy which results in the skin looking veiny.
And, of course, doctors can go in and remove lumps manually if necessary. This involves making a little incision and getting it out.
12. The riskiest place to get a fat transfer is under the eyes
We don’t mean risky in the sense that it’s dangerous. It’s not dangerous at all. What we mean by risky is that of all the areas where fat can be injected, under the eyes is the most delicate. The skin is very thin which makes irregularities and lumps show up easily. The lumpiness is very common after fat transfers to areas under the eyes. If you’re considering a fat transfer to the eye area, be sure to look at photos of the doctor’s past work. Make sure you choose a doctor with lots of experience performing these procedures.
Don’t let what we’ve said here dissuade you from getting an under-the-eye fat transfer. Lots of people have had the procedure done and look amazing. Just understand that having fat transferred to this area is sort of a different ball game compared to other areas.
13. Results are worth it
Data shows that over 80% of people are happy with the results of their fat transfer. Now, just because the success rate is so high doesn’t mean you should jump right into it. Be sure to do your research. Talk to people who’ve had it done. Ask questions of multiple doctors. Learn as much as you can. Your whole experience will be so much more rewarding the more you know going in. You can read our patient testimonials here.
What I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Fat Transfer (13 Truths Revealed) – Conclusion
Fat transfer procedures are a wonderful result of ever-increasing technology in medical science. Hundreds of thousands of people have experienced its incredible benefits. If you’re considering getting a fat transfer to any part of your body and you have questions, reach out. We would love to talk to you. Our website also has lots of resources you can take advantage of. We’re constantly updating our blog with new and relevant information.
If you still have further questions, check out our FAQs page.