Fat Transfer

Many people from Walnut Creek and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area have heard about fat transfer used in cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Fat transfer, which is also called fat grafting, is a technique that’s been around for decades and involves moving fat from one part of the body to another. At Persons Plastic Surgery, Dr. Barbara Persons uses fat transfer to give Lafayette and Brentwood patients natural facial rejuvenation and breast enhancement—with excellent results.

What Is Fat Transfer?

A fat grafting procedure involves surgically harvesting or collecting fat from an area of the body where it’s unwanted and transplanting or injecting it into a site such as the buttocks, face, or breasts. Dr. Persons uses liposuction to collect excess fat and then places the fat in a device called a centrifuge, which spins the fat to separate impurities from fat cells. The purified fat is then transferred with small, blunt needles called cannulas into the recipient site.

Because not all fat cells survive the transfer process, Dr. Persons typically over-injects the site with about 20% more fat to compensate for some inevitable volume loss.

Barbara L. Persons, MD, FACS

Barbara L. Persons, MD, FACS

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

As a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon whose personal connection to plastic surgery inspired her to pursue this career as a lifelong calling, Dr. Persons engages with each of her patients on a very personal level. She's known for creating results that look natural and brings a woman's perspective that patients appreciate.

Meet Dr. Persons Dr. Persons credentials

Three weeks ago I had Dr. Persons do Lipo and fat transfer. I was told that the healing phase would take a bit, but I would see milestones at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, etc… the results I have at 3 weeks are beyond my expectations. I can’t imagine how it could get any better!  Dr. Persons is an artist, a perfectionist, and quite frankly an angel.*

Mia P., Yelp

*Each patient’s experience is unique and yours may be different.

Benefits of Fat Transfer

Patients who want to avoid having implants used for body contouring or breast augmentation, or who don’t want to have facial fillers, can choose fat transfer. This procedure uses the patient’s own fat, so it’s completely natural.

Fat Transfer Procedures

Fat transfer is often considered the best of both worlds because it reduces fat in one area of the body and augments another area. Dr. Persons most commonly uses fat grafting for breast and buttock enhancement. She also uses it as a facial filler, especially to improve the appearance of depressed scars and deep facial creases and wrinkles.

Breast Enhancement

Sometimes called natural breast augmentation, fat transfer can be used to enlarge the breasts as an alternative to breast implants. Ideal candidates for this procedure are women who want a minimal increase in the size of their breasts (1 cup size or less). Fat can also be used for patients getting breast implants to soften the areas near the skin. Dr. Persons also uses fat transfer for women getting breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Brazilian Butt Lift

The name of this procedure is a bit misleading because it’s designed to augment, rather than lift, the buttocks. This is accomplished by carefully injecting fat harvested using liposuction from another area of the body.

Facial Fat Grafting

Lost volume is as much a part of the aging process as sagging skin, which is why fillers have become so popular. Fat transfer can create:

  • fuller, more youthful lips
  • uplifted, defined cheeks
  • a smooth, refreshed under-eye area

How Long Does Fat Grafting Last?

There is every indication that fat transplanted from one part of the body can permanently live in another part of the body. One can generally expect a 40 to 80% survival rate of the fat Dr. Persons re-injects into those problem areas. Uncommonly, lower survival rates of fat are observed. This is in marked contrast to fillers, which are completely reabsorbed in 4 to 12 months. Depending upon the area and type of fat transfer, extra fat is harvested during the surgery and stored in cold storage. This can then be transplanted 12 weeks after the first procedure and then again 12 weeks later, if needed. This technique can, in certain instances, increase the survival rate of the fat cells and improve the overall result.

If you’re interested in learning more about fat transfer procedures and whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment, request an appointment with Dr. Persons using the online form or call our office at (925) 283-4012 to schedule an appointment.

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