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Are the results of Fat Transfer procedures permanent?

Monday, February 12, 2018

The decision to undergo plastic surgery is a choice many people make as a way to correct or improve an area of their body they’ve disliked or struggled with for many years. So it’s natural that prospective patients would hope their results be permanent, or that they’d last as long as possible.

However, it’s important to be aware that for many plastic surgery procedures, this is not the case. In particular, surgeries involving implants and injectables are not designed to be permanent, and while we can do our best to ensure the best longevity of the results you first see, it’s important to manage expectations when it comes to the length of time your results will last.

If you are after results that last, your best option may be procedures involving fat transfer. As Australian experts in autologous fat transfer techniques, we favour fat transfer as an approach to breast augmentation and facelift procedures for a range of different reasons, one being the permanence of their results.

What is Autologous Fat Transfer? 

Autologous Fat Transfer or ‘fat grafting’ is a surgical procedure involving harvesting fat cells from a patient’s own body and implanting them into other areas, such as the breasts or face. Because the procedure involves only your own live body tissue, it is of course a more natural and therefore safer approach than implanting foreign saline or silicone implants.

Fat cells are removed from long term storage areas in the body, such as the thighs, abdomen, hips and flanks, so fat transfer procedures can be an effective option for patients looking to rebalance their shape – removing fat from one area and transferring it to another. Once this fat has been transferred, the live cells expand and attach to this new area and are able to live permanently there as they are, after all, a natural part of your own body.

Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation

As the Australian experts in this technique, breast augmentation via fat grafting is by far our most popular procedure at Avenue Plastic Surgery.

While fat transfer to the face and other parts of the body has been commonplace for quite some time, it is only in recent years that advancements have allowed for successful breast augmentation using your own fat. This is because we are now able to extract greater volumes of fat, enabling surgeons to create a modest increase in breast size using this natural technique.

Fat transfer procedures have the potential to be completely permanent, as cells for transfer are carefully selected to achieve full survival. There is then also potential for breast volume to increase over time, as the fat cells grow.

Breast implants, however are not permanent and should not be considered so. Essentially, the longer the implants are in place, the greater the risk of developing a complication. Many surgeons recommend removal of silicone implants after only 10 years  as any foreign object in the body will deteriorate and replacement is the best way to mitigate risks of implants leaking or altering in shape.

The fat transfer surgery itself is less invasive than implant insertion, meaning less breast pain and recovery time for the patient – overall it is the safest, most natural way to increase breast volume, and the only way to achieve a permanent result.

Fat Transfer to the Face

Facelifts are another popular area for fat transfer, where this approach can offer far more permanence and longevity than other techniques.

If you are looking to add volume to areas of the face, or are hoping to restore lost volume and elasticity to reduce signs of aging, you may have considered having filler injections, but perhaps been deterred by their relatively short life span of just 12-18 months.

With fat transfer, by strategically injecting harvested cells of your own fat into areas of the face, we can restore lost volume to give you a more youthful, healthy looking appearance, and the results have full potential to be permanent.

Because facial fat grafting requires only a small amount of fat, we perform only a minor liposuction procedure to source fat cells to transfer into the areas where you would like to add facial volume. The procedure is minimally invasive and can performed under a local anaesthetic as a day procedure at our Windsor clinic.

While this procedure does require more downtime and is obviously more invasive than the use of dermal fillers, it has the potential to be completely permanent, and is an excellent option if you are after a more natural approach. With fat transfer, we can also achieve more volume than fillers allow for, so if you have experienced significant loss in facial volume due to aging or significant weight loss, or would like to make a more notable change to volume of your lips, lower eyelids, cheeks, or elsewhere on the face, it may be right for you.

If you are considering plastic surgery, and are after results that are as long lasting as possible fat transfer could be the most effective solution. Considered Australian experts in these techniques, the highly experienced surgeons at our Melbourne centre are here to discuss any questions you may have regarding fat transfer – speak to us today to find out whether these procedures are right for you.

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