Fat Grafting – How to Tell if You’re a Good Candidate

Published: June 3, 2022
Category: Blog

Fat Grafting, sometimes referred to as fat transfer, is becoming an increasingly popular option for patients who wish to enhance the shape of their bodies without the use of implants and the youthfulness of their faces without dermal fillers. This procedure harvests fat from one area of the body and transfers it to another site where more volume is desired. At Edina Plastic Surgery, Fat Grafting can be performed during a Facelift, Breast Enhancement Surgery, and/or a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL). Although the idea of adding shape and fullness to the breasts or buttocks is an appealing one to many patients, not all people are suitable candidates for fat grafting. Here are the details that may help determine if you may be a good candidate for a Fat Grafting procedure.

What is Fat Grafting?

Fat Grafting is a surgical process during which your plastic surgeon removes fat from one area of the body via Liposuction, purifies and processes it, and then transfers it to another area of the body where extra volume is desired, such as the face, breasts, or buttocks,” explains Dr. Christine Stewart, a partner, and board-certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery. “Our goal is to naturally enhance the fullness, shape, and contour of the area that harvested fat is transferred to.”

What Steps are Involved in Fat Grafting?

Whether performed as a stand-alone procedure or added to enhance the results of another surgery, Fat Grafting involves three steps:

  1. Fat is extracted from the abdomen, inner/outer thighs, lower back, flanks, or other areas of the body with sufficient stores with liposuction.
  2. Fat is decanted, spun down in a centrifuge, and cleaned and processed to safely transfer back into the body.
  3. Purified fat is reinjected into the face, breasts, or buttocks to improve volume and shape.

What are the Benefits of Fat Grafting?

There are many good reasons why a patient may want to consider Fat Grafting,” says Dr. Stewart. “When used during Facelift Surgery, Fat Grafting can help smooth wrinkles and restore youthful fullness and contour to the face with much longer-lasting results than dermal fillers can provide. Breast Fat Grafting allows women to naturally enhance the size and shape of their breasts without implants. There is virtually no risk of a patient’s body reacting to a foreign substance with Fat Grafting because the procedure uses tissues from your own body. Patients love the versatility and incredibly natural-looking results that Fat Grafting offers.”

What Factors Make Someone a Good Candidate for Fat Grafting?

To be deemed a good candidate for Fat Grafting, prospective patients need to meet a few criteria. As with any surgery, all candidates should be in good physical and mental health before undergoing surgery and have realistic expectations of what can be accomplished through this technique. If you have preexisting conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity, you may be at a higher risk of developing surgical complications. Nicotine usage also makes a patient ineligible for these procedures.

“One of the most important factors that makes someone a good candidate for Fat Grafting is their Body Mass Index, or BMI,” explains Dr. Stewart. “Your BMI helps your plastic surgeon determine if there will be sufficient fat to harvest from one area of your body to achieve the desired fullness and shape to the area it is transferred to. BMI is generally not as big of a concern for Facial Fat Grafting because so little fat is needed to improve the volume of the face significantly. But, an adequate amount of fat will need to be available to achieve optimal results with Breast Fat Grafting and Brazilian Butt Lift surgery. As surgeons, we ideally want to work with candidates with a BMI of 25 or above for these procedures. This body composition allows us to harvest enough fat to overfill the treatment area slightly and account for fat cells that may die in the weeks following your surgery.”

Setting Realistic Expectations for Breast Fat Grafting Results

Although Breast Fat Grafting can give a natural boost in the size of the breasts, it is not directly interchangeable with breast implants.

“If a patient desires subtle, natural-looking results with a modest increase in breast size, Breast Fat Grafting is a great option,” says Dr. Stewart. “But, it’s important to remember that fat transfer does have limitations and can’t achieve the same increase in size and fullness that a breast implant can. Expect a volume increase of ½ cup to 1 cup size with Breast Fat Grafting. If a patient is looking for a wildly dramatic shift in bust size, a traditional breast augmentation may be more effective for their goals. Fat grafting to the breasts also produces a more natural breast shape that is more teardrop-shaped. It does not give the upper pole fullness or increased projection to the breast that an implant gives.”

Ideal candidates for breast fat grafting include women who:

  • Are interested in an alternative to implant-based augmentation
  • Are seeking modest volume enhancement
  • Are desiring a more naturally shaped breast
  • Want to achieve more symmetrical breasts
  • Have sufficient fat stores in other parts of the body to transfer

“Regardless of whether you seek Fat Grafting to improve the volume of your face, breasts, or buttocks, the true allure of this procedure is the beautiful, natural-looking, AND natural feeling results it affords,” adds Dr. Stewart.  A fuller, more youthful-looking face and a shapelier body can be attained by using something that already exists in a patient’s body. I still find that incredible and feel fortunate to be able to offer this as an option at Edina Plastic Surgery to help patients feel more confident in their appearance!”

Are you interested in naturally rejuvenating your face with fat transfer? Do you have a BMI of 25 or above and like the idea of enhancing the size of your breasts or the shape of your buttocks with Fat Grafting? Set up a complimentary consultation to discuss the results you’d like to achieve by calling (612) 688-3177, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICK HERE!

Schedule A Consultation