Know All About Fat Implants

CONTENTS

How Can I Trasfer Fat?

Wrinkles, sunken cheeks and eye bags can create a tired look on the face. Sometimes, buttocks and breasts sag, implying ageing and a loss of volume. At most times, there exists areas of your body where you have excess fat, like thighs, that can be put into areas that have less of it. Many people desire wider hips, fuller hands and a perked up lips. All these problems can be solved by the simple process of transferring body fat. 


What Are Fat Implants?

Loss of volume in the cheeks, jaw and temples, can create a gaunt and tired look. In fat grafting, unwanted fat is harvested through liposuction from other parts of the body and injected into areas that need extra volume. This volumetric restoration not only adds instant fullness, but also helps reorganize elastin fibers underneath the skin. Fat grafts can give one a more youthful look as a stand alone procedure, or it may be performed in conjunction with a face lift.

Fat Reduction, Fat Loss Treatment & Fat Implants are done through Fat Transfer.


Who Are The Ideal Candidates For Fat Implants?

You will be required to attend a consultation with the surgeon will be performing the procedure, preferably before the day of your surgery or sooner. Your candidacy will be assessed and the surgeon will determine whether or not it is safe for you to undergo this cosmetic procedure. 

 

Volume loss due to aging, flat or deflated cheeks, or hollow cheeks.

Asymmetrical cheeks, breasts and buttocks.

Loss of contour in cheeks by aging, lack of defined cheekbones from birth

Small breasts

Loss of breast volume following weight loss, pregnancy or nursing

Breast reconstruction following cancer removal

People whose bottom has started to sag due to aging

Those who have lost a great deal of weight and are left with pendulous, sagging skin


What Are The Different Types Of Fat Implants?

A fat implantation is performed under local anaesthetic and may take upto 2 hours, depending on the body area treated and the quantity of fat involved. To ‘harvest’ the fat, the surgeon selects an area from the thigh or abdomen and makes a small incision. A metal tube (cannula) is inserted. 
The fat is extracted through the cannula using a needle or a vacuum pump. The fat is sometimes washed before being injected with a needle into the new area. If the fat is being implanted in the face, a series of tiny needles are used.
There are different kinds of collection and reinjection techniques of fat like using cannulas, needles, suction pressures, and centrifugation.

A local/general anesthetic may be used. The fat transfer can be made in different areas like breasts, buttocks, face, neck and belly.


What To Do Before A Fat Implant Procedure? 

Before you opt for implant surgery, some important issues to think about include:

  • The results of any synthetic (saline/glycerine etc) implant surgery are permanent, but fat implants are considered to be semi-permanent. The body can sometimes re-absorb the injected fat and top-up injections may be required.

  • Some scarring will be visible, although it should fade during the recovery stages.

  • Cosmetic surgery does not usually qualify for rebates from any health insurance, however, it is covered in medical tourism insurance.

  • Smokers are at an increased risk of complications. If you are serious about undergoing cosmetic surgery, you should quit smoking at least 6 weeks before the surgery, and it is not to be resumed until all the stages of healing aftery surgery are complete.


 

What Is The Post Operative Care For Fat Implants? 

  • After the operation, you may expect to have:

    • a drainage tube in the wound to help prevent fluid/blood accumulation

    • bruising and swelling

    • numbness

    • pain and discomfort

    • dressings or bandages  

    • compression garments to help minimise swelling, provide support and contour

These are common, temporary conditions that subside soon.

  • Fat implants have a fast recovery time, usually a few days. For buttock or pectoral implants, recovery may take at least 6 weeks. Follow your surgeon’s after care instructions, but general self-care suggestions include:

  • Carefully tend to your wounds and incision site for better and complete recovery.

  • Avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting.

  • Avoid sitting on your bottom for about 2 weeks if you have had buttock implants. Instead, lie on your stomach.

  • Wear your compression garment for several weeks to prevent sagging and for support.

  • Consult your surgeon regarding any bleeding, severe pain or unusual symptoms during the after care.


What Is The Post-operative Diet For A Fat Implant Surgery?

A healthy diet and exercise regimen should be incorporated into your daily routine. Make sure that you have enough protein and vitamins in your diet to promote good wound healing.

Reduce/Cut your carbohydrate intake -- have eggs instead of oatmeal in the morning. Do not have protein shakes, and in general, avoid processed food.

Eat whole vegetables and berries, along with chicken, eggs, and occasional beef.


What Are The Realistic Expectations From A Fat Implant Procedure?

A fat implant procedure adds fat to parts of the body which lack in volume such as face, breasts, buttocks, hips and arms. This fat is extracted from areas where it is in excess such as the thighs. You should set realistic expectations from the procedure, like:

  • Fat implants will help you in improving the contour of your body. You can expect the body part to which fat is transferred to appear fuller. This will give you a rejuvenated appearance.

  • The longevity of the results will depend upon how skilfully the procedure has been performed by your surgeon. When done successfully, the results may even last for a lifetime .

  • There are chances that some portion of the grafted fat gets reabsorbed by the body and you may lose some volume. This may cause you to undergo 4-5 sittings to achieve the desired results.

  • It is possible that the site of fat transfer may not accept the fat fully and hence the results may be less drastic than you expect them to be.

  • It is essential to keep in mind that the fat which has been transferred may expand/shrink as and when you gain/lose weight. In order to maintain the results, you should try to avoid any weight fluctuations. 

  • A successful fat implant procedure will give a boost to your self esteem and confidence.


What Are The Pros And Cons Of Fat Implants?

  • Pros

  • Cons

  • Benefit of fast recovery time owing to minimal invasion (usually a few days)

  • Breast fat implant: Fuller bosoms with fat implants instead of synthetic ones

  • Hip fat implant: Makes hip more elastic, toned and voluminous

  • Lip Impant: Plumper lips

  • Dent temples: Increase natural volume of temples for a younger look

  • Advantage of giving a fuller shape of target areas 

  • Skin becomes smoother 

  • Some scarring will always be visible, although it fades over time.

  • The size of the butt may be increased, but there is little improvement of the overall shape. 

  • Implants carry risks of infection though rare and internal scarring.This occurs when the procedure is performed under unsterile conditions, or is not performed properly. Hence it is important that you do a fair amount of research before choosing a destination for getting the procedure done.

    • Ensure that you choose a location that regularly sterilizes its operating theatres as well as the outpatient procedure rooms and all equipment used.

    • You must also be careful while choosing an experienced, skilled surgeon for performing the procedure.

    • Check if the facility has a proper infection control protocol

  • The results of a fat implant are only semi-permanent, as the body can sometimes absorb the injected fat. Top-up injections in repeat procedures may be required.


Who Should Avoid Undergoing Fat Implants?

People who find themselves befitting the following categories should avoid undergoing a fat implant procedure:

  • People who have a weak immune system or are suffering from any serious medical conditions like heart diseases, diabetes should not opt for this procedure.

  • People who are intolerant to anesthesia are not ideal candidates as it may create complications such as nausea, vomiting and allergic reactions. 

  • People who do not have sufficient fat to be harvested from any area of their body may not see the desired results. 

  • People who have faced problems with healing and unnatural scar formation in the past might not be ideal candidates for fat implant surgery. 


What Are The Alternatives To Fat Implants?

Cosmetic implant surgery

Based on the location and quantity of fat involved, different procedures are as follows:
Buttock implant surgery - The time it takes to complete the procedure depends on the size of the implants. The surgeon will make small incisions (cuts) in the buttock and create a cavity under the skin/muscle. Solid silicone implants are inserted into the cavities and the incisions are stitched closed.

Pectoral implant surgery - The surgeon makes a small incision underneath the armpit, creates a cavity beneath the muscle and inserts the implant. For men, pectoral implants are made of solid silicone, unlike breast implants for women, which are softer. Incisions are closed with stitches.


Weight gain and weight training 

Most people choose to have implants because they think their body part (buttocks, pectoral, thigh, abdomen, breast etc) looks too small or flat. Yet, this may be due to the structure of the person’s body rather than the shape of the body part itself. Weight training is a temporary and and long drawn alternative to a fat transfer surgery.


Does Fat Implants Lead To Scarring? 

Getting silicone implants in your buttocks or chest will immediately change and define the body part’s shape and size. The results and scarring are permanent. The results of a fat implant, however, are only semi-permanent because the body can sometimes re-absorb the injected fat. Top-up injections may be required.

A scar due to any implant procedure generally won't be noticeable. A cosmetic surgeon will make every effort to keep incisions as minimal as possible and try to hide them in the natural lines, creases and folds of the skin. The scars will fade over time in around a year.


What Are The Temporary Side-effects Of Fat Implants?

The risks related to a fat implant procedure depend on the area where it is performed. Some of the general complications are :

Bruising- As a fat implant is a surgical procedure, though minimally invasive, some bruising is bound to occur. This is likely to fade away once the healing process begins after 2-3 days of the surgery.

Scarring- Since fat cells are sucked out by liposuction, which involves minimal incisions, the scars are small and barely noticeable. They will fade away in a short time and will be barely perceptible.

Numbness- It is common to have numbness or tingling sensations in the treated area. The fat which is grafted can cause the neighbouring nerves to swell, leading to the numb sensation. This will get better in 2 weeks when the nerves begin to settle.

Swelling-  A fat implant procedure can often be accompanied by swelling. The larger the volume of the fat grafted, the more pronounced the swelling is likely to be. This can occur both at the harvested area and the area where the fat has been transferred. The swelling will go down as the healing completes.


How To Choose A Surgeon For A Fat Implants Procedure? 

After deciding to undergo a fat implant surgery, it is crucial to choose the right surgeon. While the risks associated with  fat implant are minimal, choosing a skilled surgeon is necessary to have the desired outcome. Also, the duration for which your results will last depends on the skill of your surgeon. You should carefully look into the educational qualifications of the surgeon and the techniques he employs for carrying out the surgery. It would be wise to choose one who has good experience in fat implants. 

An ideal surgeon would be the one who carefully analyses your imperfections and discusses the pros and cons for your undergoing the procedure. Since a crucial part of the surgery is extracting the fat to be transferred, he should be an expert in fat removal. 

As a fat implant surgery can be performed on different areas of the body, there can be fat implant specialists for different body parts. Make sure that you choose the surgeon who specialises in performing the fat implant surgery in the particular area that you have chosen. 

A good way to ensure that you choose the right surgeon is by choosing an accredited hospital. A medical facility, accredited by organisations such as the JCI will not hire doctors who are not sufficiently qualified to perform the procedure with precision. This will also ensure that the procedure will be carried out using the latest techniques and all safety standards would be in place. In medical tourism destinations like Thailand, UAE, India, Malaysia, hospitals have surgeons who have been trained in the best medical institutions of the west. 

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