A fat transfer procedure is a fairly simple and easy to understand process. The physician removes fat from one area of the body and puts it in another. The art of fat transfer is a little more complicated and cosmetic surgeons are learning more about it all the time - how to make the fat survive better, where to take the fat from, using stem cells to improve the results. The most critical component of a successful fat graft procedure remains the same however, you have to start with the right patient.
"You can't be very thin and then want a large buttock if you're going to try to do fat transfer," says Dr. Louis Cole, a cosmetic surgeon in the Atlanta, GA area. "You have to have either some hip fat or some abdominal fat that can be removed to make an effective transfer. Depending on the size of the patient, you need about 300 to 800 ccs per buttock so you need to have a moderate amount of fat available."
Actual results of fat transfer by Dr. Louis Cole
Most commonly, patients have fat transferred to one of four places - the face, the buttocks, the breasts, and the hands. Dr. Cole also says that it's important to have the proper expectations about what the procedure can acheive, especially when considering natural breast augmentation. "This procedure is very good for people in their 40's - women that have had children and they've lost some of the upper fullness in their breast and they're sagging or they have some loose skin. The fat transfer to the breast won't increase the size much more than one cup size, you're not going to go from A to a C or D like you would with implant."
Patients should also bear in mind that if they plan to lose weight following the surgery, they will lose weight from the implanted areas as well so it's best to make sure you are at an ideal weight before undergoing fat transfer. "It's your own body fat so if you actually lose weight you're going lose weight globally. That would be in your buttocks, your legs, your arms, your belly and obviously some in your breast."