As an alternative to implants, body fat grafting (fat transfer) is rapidly gaining popularity. New techniques enable fat harvested from one area of the body to be injected into another area where it assimilates with existing fat and creates an environment for expansion of blood vessels. The procedure is safe as there are no foreign objects or materials used. In other words, your new shape achieved with body fat grafting is indeed, all you.
Body fat grafting has been around for decades but was traditionally seen as appropriate for small, localised problem areas. Implants have for some time been used to fill larger areas. This perception has changed with the evolution of technology and medical science, and plastic surgeons are becoming aware of the much broader potential for body fat grafting. Both grafting and implants have useful functions, and an in-depth discussion with Dr Ellis Choy will assist you to make decisions that are right for you.
An initial consideration
Body fat grafting is biocompatible with your own bodily systems, thus reducing the risk of rejection or allergic reaction. The finished result is a body that looks and feels natural, toned and soft. The downside of fat grafting is one of percentages. Body fat transfer is achieved by injection and some fat is simply absorbed back into the body, with the successful fat uptake of around 50 percent. This percentage varies from person to person and is also dependent on the expertise of your surgeon. Dr Ellis Choy has vast experience in fat grafting and will ensure that you get the natural body results you’re looking for.
Suitability for body fat grafting
Although we can’t all look perfect, looking your best is very achievable today. Only so much can be attained with exercise, and over time our appearance will be affected by ageing, with gravity taking its toll on even the most statuesque person. Genetics also plays its part, and some people mature to discover their fat is unevenly distributed in places it shouldn’t be.
Prior to middle-age, many people start losing shape and volume in certain areas while gaining it in other unwanted places. Body fat grafting is an opportunity to realign your body, and when coupled with healthy habits and exercise, can last for many years to come. Prior to fat transfer surgery, it’s important to be in good physical health. The surgery should also be done with realistic expectations. Potential patients will also need to have enough available fat deposits for grafting.
The fat grafting procedure
Dr Ellis Choy performs fat graft transfers at his purpose-built clinic, or in a hospital or outpatient centre, depending on your location in Sydney or regional NSW. He will perform the procedure using medications that numb the area to be worked on, or in some cases where more invasive procedures are combined with fat grafting, general anaesthesia may be administered. There are a few simple steps involved:
- A topical anaesthetic and antiseptic are applied to the fat removal area (donor site) and the area to be treated (fat injected).
- Fat is usually harvested from the abdomen, thighs or buttocks by liposuction.
- Harvested fat cells are purified prior to injection. A centrifuge spin or straining method is utilised to treat the fat cells, ensuring only healthy fat is injected.
Within a few days, blood vessels will begin to manifest around the newly injected fat. Due to the delay in the body creating new blood supply, some fat cells will die so it’s normal to compensate for the loss by overfilling the treated area with grafted fat. In some cases, several treatments are required to gain the desired amount of healthy fat cells. The results can last a lifetime.
Recovery from body fat grafting
Your consultation with Dr Choy will give you a good understanding of what to expect, and he will provide all the information and resources required for a timely recovery. As body fat grafting is an outpatient operation, you will need the assistance of a family member or friend to drive you home, and possibly stay with you for a day or two while you start recovery.
Any bandages are usually removed within a couple of days and showering can commence. Bruising should subside within the first few days, although swelling may take a little longer to recede. It’s important to refrain from work or strenuous activities for several weeks, post-operation, while new blood vessels manifest and the fat transfer takes hold. Dr Choy will ensure that you’re comfortable during recovery and will prescribe suitable pain relief medication and advice that will encourage optimum results and surgical success.
The cost of body fat grafting is determined by the amount of area to be filled, the time it takes, the cost of anaesthesia and the facility used. Cutting costs shouldn’t be an option as your body deserves only the best treatment by a highly qualified surgeon, like Dr Choy.
The results of body fat grafting will be noticeable for all to appreciate, and will also be reflected in your new-found confidence and self-esteem. There will be nothing artificial about your new body. It’s all you.