These are some questions that patients and lay public and even some doctors ask frequently. Kindly go through this section, our question may be answered here. You may also send specific queries by filling out the form under ‘Ask Your Questions’.
I have heard that fat can be removed from one area and put in where it is needed. Is this true?
Absolutely. This is an source of excitement in the plastic surgery field because this humble fat seems to pack quite a punch in terms of possibilities for correcting many problems. Fat is rich in stem cells, those ‘smart cells’ that can multiply and morph into other cell types. The fat cells aspirated by gentle liposuction can be used as a biological filler, bio-rejuvenator and repair material for difficult areas of tissue damage.
What are the areas where fat can be put in (grafted)?
The future holds a lot of promise in this field. Currently fat has been approved or has been used safely in the following areas: Cheeks, eyebrow area, side of head, lips, chin, female breast, genital area, penis, buttocks, calf, hands.
What are the commonest areas where fat is grafted?
I have heard that fat graft is temporary and has to be repeated after 6 months?
This is a classic case of mis-quotation. The fact is fat grafting CAN be repeated after 6 months if needed. Present evidence indicates that fat graft is permanent. However the success of fat grafting is technique dependent, hence it is very likely that fat grafted by bad technique can disappear. Further, just like plants usually grow when seeds are planted in soil, every farmer knows that this is not guaranteed. It depends on the quality of seed, quality and type of soil, the care taken, the spacing given between seeds, the right amount of watering done and the environment when the sapling is young. Continuing on the same analogy, fat grafts [seeds] have to be harvested well from fat rich areas, planted in the right manner with spacing between graft pellets to allow nutrition to reach all the ‘seeds’, in areas well supplied by blood [the soil and watering], in a healthy person [good environment] eating a healthy diet. Smoking is injurious to fat grafts.
If I don’t like it, can fat grafts be removed?
Yes and NO. In some areas, the amount can be reduced by subsequent liposuction. In other areas it may be difficult. Hence a mature decision must be taken BEFORE grafting.
Can breasts be enlarged by fat grafting. Can implants be avoided?
Breast implants are still the gold standard f breast enlargement. However, in selected individuals, fat grafting may give good improvement. Multiple sessions may be needed to transfer sufficient fat since there are limits to how much grafting can be done in one session.
Are there any newer improvements on fat grafting to make it more predictable.
Yes, I now routinely use patient’s own platelets mixed with fat to improve the survival of the fat grafts. Platelets are tiny cells present in the blood and are packed full of chemical messengers and growth factors. These chemicals released by platelets improve the take rate of fat cells.
How many days off is needed if one goes for face fat grafting?
Bruising and swelling may last one week. With the PRP mixture, this is reduced to 3-5 days.
Is it possible to improve one area of the body by liposuction and also transfer fat to another area at same time.
Yes this is possible, so one gets a double benefit.