fat grafting

Debunking Fat Grafting Myths

Christie Auyeung Plastic Surgery Leave a Comment

What in the world is a fat graft? Compared to a “breast lift” or “tummy tuck,” “fat graft” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it…

But hear us out for just one quick second — fat grafting involves removing excess fat from one area of your body, like your outer thighs, and injecting that fat into another area that has lost volume from aging, like your breasts, buttocks, or even your face.

What? A procedure that makes you slimmer AND helps you tap into the fountain of youth?

Yeah, you heard us right. And since it’s your own tissue that’s used for the procedure, there isn’t any danger of an allergic reaction, as there is with other artificial injections. Phew! One less thing to worry about.

Fat grafting is a safe, long-lasting procedure that produces natural-looking results. Thousands of people undergo successful fat grafting each year.

Should You Consider Fat Grafting?

You might want to consider fat grafting if you:

  • Have facial areas that appear creased or sunken
  • Want a more long-term solution than temporary fillers
  • Want to improve your body contour, reduce the appearance of scars, and/or fill facial depressions

4 Common Myths

There are a few misconceptions about facial fat grafting. But get ready — we’re about to debunk them for you.

Myth 1: Fat can be frozen and stored for later sessions

If any surgeon or facility offers to freeze and store your extracted fat for later sessions, beware! Many studies have shown that stored fat is not as effective and results in greater complications. Also, technically any facility that stores fat for grafting would have to be a licensed tissue bank. Almost no fat grafting facility is legally licensed as a tissue bank, so it’s definitely a red flag if they offer this service.

Myth 2: Fat grafting looks lumpy or makes you look fat

Fat grafting doesn’t look lumpy, as long as it is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon that places the graft in the proper place. Fat grafting also does not make you look fat. As long as there is no significant sagging beforehand, the procedure can improve the appearance of sunken or creased facial skin and can make you look fresher and more youthful.

Myth 3: Extracting fat is an extensive procedure

Nope. Fat can be taken from any area of the body that has a good amount of it – the hips, thighs, tummy, or buttocks – using just a bit of liposuction. Usually, you only need local anesthesia, though you can pair this with sedation to increase your comfort during the procedure.

Myth 4.: Fat grafting does not last

Well, this does have some truth to it, but it’s not completely accurate. In most cases, about 30-50% of the grafted fat remains permanently, and the body naturally reabsorbs the other 50-70%. For most patients, fat grafting is just a one-time procedure, but because of this bodily reabsorption of fat, some may opt for a second session to further enhance their results. While this may seem like a reason to not choose fat grafting, remember that using your own tissue also means you won’t have a negative reaction to the injection. It’s definitely a matter of weighing the pros and cons!

As always, your doctor can help you with the decision-making process and ensure your experience goes smoothly.

Been thinking about fat grafting and ready to move forward? Contact one of our world-class surgeons here to get started today.

Christie is a UChicago grad currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her free time, she enjoys tap dancing, learning to windsurf, and trying new foods.