R. Scott Haupt, M.D.

Utah Cosmetic Surgery (801) 293-8100
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(385) 321-0941

Fat Grafting

Much of the rage in Plastic Surgery is fat grafting.  At our primary conference, there are many lectures and presentations on the usefulness of transporting fat from one area of the body to another. 


The area we mostly utilize is fat grafting of the face, which loses volume as we age.  I am sure you notice the full face of youth.  It can be placed along the cheeks, jaw line, temples, cheek folds, under the eyes, forehead, and lips.


Some surgeons have noticed improvements in scars near the area of fat grafting.  So, we even recommend it for acne scars.
Plastic surgeons are also utilizing it for Buttock augmentation to help projection and roundness, breasts for small augmentations, breast reconstruction and even scar contractions of the skin.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

To be a good candidate for facial fat grafting, you have to be in good health, not have any active disease or pre-existing medical conditions.  Most important, you must have realistic expectations of the outcome. Discuss you goals with your surgeon so that both of you can reach an understanding of what can realistically be achieved.

 

What results can I expect?

Fat grafting has been performed by plastic surgeons for decades. With proper fat harvest and grafting techniques, fat injection to the mid-face and cheeks can result in volume that can last for years.

 

What is the recovery process like?

The recovery process can last about 1 or 2 weeks (each patient is different) with possibly swelling during that time but there is minimal discomfort and for many, they may return to work in just a few days (with still some residual swelling). Some patients report mild bruising. Most of the swelling may be gone in as little as 2 weeks, although some swelling may persist.

 

How long do the results last?

If the fat survives six months, it should last for years. 

What are the risks?

The standard risks of bleeding and infection are present.  Dimpling and irregularities may occur in the area of liposuction or grafting, and over or under placement or removal may occur at both areas also.  The fat may not take evenly or to a smaller degree than expected, so unmet expectations is always possible.

What is Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting is the process of taking small amounts of fat from one part of the body by liposuction and injecting it elsewhere, such as the nasolabial folds (the folds from the corners of your mouth to your nose), marionette lines (corners of the mouth), under eye areas, cheeks, lips and other parts of your face and body. It is minimally invasive and can help correct problems such as acne scars and restore a youthful look to an aging face.

How is it performed?

Fat will be removed from a site treated with a local anesthetic. Usually, the donor site will be the abdomen or flanks. The fat must go through a process to remove blood and other fluids. The fat then is infected using a separate small hypodermic needle. 

 

For small areas, we can numb up the lower abdomen, sides, or thighs.  From here we harvest enough fat with small liposuction cannulas.  The fat is concentrated and injected in areas of need in the face or body.  We over inject as not all the fat will survive.  The exact amount is unknown.   For larger areas, we take a patient to the operating room to harvest a larger volume of fat in an area that could use liposuction.  We transfer it to the buttock, breast, or other area of contour needs.