Real Patient Results

Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer, is a three-step procedure that consists of using liposuction to remove unwanted fat (also called adipose tissue), processing the fat and then redistributing it into low volume areas. The most common areas for fat grafting include the butt (Brazilian butt lift), breast, face and hands.

At Butts By Design®, fat grafting is our number one choice for creating your ideal hourglass figure. Learn how a body fat transfer can transform and sculpt your body.

What Is the Fat Transfer Process?

A fat transfer procedure begins with liposuction. Liposuction can be performed anywhere there is excess fat, but most commonly, patients choose the abdomen, flanks and back.

Because the body is roughly 60% fluid, we need to isolate the harvested fat cells from the fluid to ensure the best results possible. We do this by sending the fat through a processing stage that includes filtering, cleaning and purification. Without purification, the resorption rate for the fat transfer goes up, which means more of the transferred fat will be absorbed by the body and diminish the result. 

When the fat is correctly purified and injected, it develops a new blood supply. This allows the cells to grow and thrive in their new home indefinitely as living tissue. Some fat cells are absorbed by the body (anywhere from 10-50%) no matter what, which is why we take precautions by transferring more fat than is needed to the area. This helps patients achieve the results they are looking for.

In the final stage of a fat transfer procedure, the purified fat is injected into the area needing improvement. This is done with the utmost attention to aesthetics and patient safety.

Does Fat Transfer Really Work?

Fat transfer is a major advance in plastic surgery. The ability to use liposuction to remove fat from one area and then transfer it to a different area, improving the contours of both areas simultaneously, is one of the most powerful single procedures we can perform as plastic surgeons. In addition to enhancing two areas at once, the benefits of fat transfer include:

  • Permanent results
  • Reduced discomfort and recovery time compared to implant-based procedures
  • No risk of allergic reaction or rejection

Fat transfer continues to gain popularity and increase in different applications because it works.    

Fat Transfer to the Breast (Breast Augmentation)

Fat transfers to the breast are great for patients who want to rid certain areas of excess fat and increase their breast size at the same time. This technique has both positive and negative differences from traditional breast augmentations (implants).

Let’s start with the positives. First, breast fat grafting provides more natural and softer-looking results. Second, it does not involve the long-term maintenance associated with implants. Lastly, the procedure is permanent, because the fat cells that survive the transfer will grow and thrive in your breasts.

However, there are limitations with fat transfer that we do not have with breast implant augmentations. First, there are limits to breast size. While breast implants can significantly increase breast volume, fat transfer is more subtle and at most enlarges the breasts by about one cup size. Second, fat transfer does not create upper pole volume as well as breast implants. Third, fat transfer does not create the same roundness as breast implants. 

Read our Fat Transfer to the Breast page to learn more about the procedure.

Fat Transfer to the Butt (Brazilian Butt Lift aka BBL)

Brazilian butt lifts are one of the top trending plastic surgery procedures. They are great for patients who want to create an hourglass figure and increase the size of the butt and/or hips.

Through this fat grafting procedure, fat harvested with liposuction is transferred to your hips and butt and contoured to your shape. The liposuction portion of the procedure is crucial for sculpting your body in the hourglass shape, as shrinking and defining the waist further emphasizes the enhanced butt and hips.

Learn more about fat transfers to the butt by reading our Brazilian Butt Lift page.

What Are the Risks of Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer involves the injection of fat cells into soft tissue. The major risk is that the fat can be injected into blood vessels and cause a fat clot (fat embolism), a potentially fatal condition. The likelihood of this risk increases when fat is injected into muscles. Therefore, we do not perform fat transfers into the muscle. The risk of fat embolism is extremely low with our technique.

Infection from fat transfer, while also rare, is more common than a fat embolism. More common risks from fat transfer include scarring, firmness, fat hardness and lumpiness. The old adage “anything is possible” applies to surgery, and it’s important to be fully informed of the risks and complications associated with any procedure.   

Can Your Body Reject a Fat Transfer? 

The fat transferred in this procedure is your fat that has been cleaned and reinjected. Since we are using organic material from your own body, you cannot be allergic or reject the transferred fat. 

How Long Does Fat Transfer Last?

Fat transfer is a permanent procedure. Typically, there is a period of fat reabsorption that lasts for about six weeks. Maximum fat reabsorption takes place at two weeks after surgery. In general, 20 to 50% of the fat transferred disappears. The less pressure you place on the fat during the first six weeks, the more fat stays. The fat cells that survive the transfer will last indefinitely.

Interested In a Fat Transfer Procedure?

If you feel you are a good candidate for fat grafting to your butt or breasts (or both!), be sure to schedule a consultation at one of our office locations in Newport Beach or Upland, California, to learn more. Consultations can take place in either office or virtually. Call (949) 416-0038 or fill out our online contact form today to speak with our team about setting up a consultation.