Fat Grafting

Fat grafting, also referred to as fat transfer or fat injections, is the surgical process by which fat is transferred from one area of the body to another area. The surgical goal is to improve or augment the area where the fat is injected. The technique involves extracting adipose fat by liposuction, processing the fat, and then reinjecting purified fat into the area needing improvement.

Fat grafting is a way to improve and enhance the cosmetic appearance of the face, breast, hands, feet, hips, and buttocks.

What is done in this procedure?

The process of fat grafting involves three steps

  • extraction of the fat from the donor area with liposuction
  • decanting, centrifugation, and processing of the fat
  • reinjection of the purified fat into the area needing improvement

In the first step, fat is extracted from a donor area using liposuction techniques. This is best accomplished by manual methods using thin liposuction cannulas with small holes. Laser or ultrasonic liposuction should not be used for the extraction as it may destroy the fat cells.

The fat is then processed with decanting and centrifugation to separate debris, excess fluid, and dead cells from the viable adipose fat cells. An alternate method is to wash the fat with a sterile saline solution. The fat that is discarded are the fat cells which will likely not survive in the graft and they can even create problems for the good cells.

In the final step, the fat is reinjected in small droplets throughout the subcutaneous tissue of the recipient area. This is to ensure good blood supply to every fat droplet so that the fat graft can survive.

The amount of fat injected is measured in cc's and ultimately varies according to patient case specifics and the area of the body where the processed fat is being injected.

What is the outcome of fat grafting?


Buttocks (200cc-1300cc+, each side)

  • Makes buttocks appear perkier
  • Augments buttocks size (aka Brazilian butt lift)
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Breast (25cc-400cc, each breast)

  • Increases the breast size by one or two cup sizes
  • Corrects breast asymmetry
  • Repairs radiation tissue damage and can treat breast implant capsular contractures
  • Helps correct scar deformities from lumpectomy or breast reconstruction


  • Restores youthful appearance by adding volume to hollowed out or wrinkled areas such as the area below the eye and the nasolabial folds
  • Helps repair scars
  • Adds volume to the cheeks to create the appearance of higher cheekbones
  • Improves the texture and appearance of the skin
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Face (10cc – 100cc, total)

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Hips (100cc-300cc, each side)

  • Adds volume to achieve a more feminine profile and better waist-hip ratio

Hands and Feet

(5-10cc, per extremity)

  • Reduces wrinkles and rejuvenates appearance
  • Provides padding for bony feet

What type of anaesthesia is required for fat grafting?

Fat grafting is performed with a wide variety of anaesthetics. The choice of anaesthesia usually depends of the volume of fat that is extracted from the donor area via liposuction. Extraction of small volumes of fat can easily be tolerated using a local anaesthetic. However, larger volumes (>500cc) almost always require that the patient be sedated with IV anaesthesia or General Anaesthesia.

How many days the patient has to stay in the hospital?

It is a day care procedure and patient may be discharged on the day of surgery itself.

How many days the patient needs to take rest at home?

Complete rest is needed for one day after surgery.

How many days the patient needs to return to normal work?

Two days after surgery the patient may return to their normal work.

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