When it comes to all things fat-related, the plastic surgery industry has gone from hating fat to loving it. Perhaps hate is a strong word. It’s not that we ever hated fat, it’s just that we love it more when it’s in all the right places. Hence the growing popularity of fat transfer procedures from a facelift or breast augmentation with fat transfer to a Brazilian butt lift. When fat is exactly where it’s supposed to be, it’s gold.
That being said, fat can be finicky. Not all of it will survive once transferred, and it does age, because it’s a natural part of you. A fat transfer entails removing fat from one area of the body, preparing it, and then injecting it into another, meaning that your fat basically has to adapt to a new home in your body, and this can sometimes be tricky.
But there are ways to ensure that you get the most out of your fat transfer procedure and that your results are maintained for as long as possible.
Don’t Leave Your Fat Transfer Surgery Too Late
We are not ageist at The Plastic Surgery Clinic! In fact, if you’re one of our patients, then you know that we are the complete opposite. If you want to start Botox treatments in your 80s, we’re going to say: absolutely, it’s never too late!
With certain procedures, like those that include fat transfer, if you want to get the most out of it over time, and if you want to ensure the maximum amount of fat survival, then we would recommend not waiting too long before you decide to have your fat transfer surgery.
The reason for this is that when we remove fat from one area of the body and inject it into another, we want it to be the best quality fat we can get and when you’re younger you have a better blood supply that feeds your fat cells, and therefore healthier and more robust fat cells.
In addition, when we inject the harvested fat into an area such as the face, for instance, younger patients tend to have better skin integrity and elasticity, which improves the overall result, but also ensures a longer lasting one.
We’re not saying you can’t get a fat transfer procedure when you’re older and have fantastic results. We’re just saying the results may not last quite as long and so if you have the opportunity and desire to do it at an earlier point in time, you’ll likely get a great result that you can enjoy for even longer.
Choose a Plastic Surgeon Experienced in Fat Transfer
Choosing an experienced plastic surgeon for your procedure is the number one rule for any surgery. It is surgery after all, and putting best results and longevity aside, your safety is the most important thing.
When a fat transfer procedure is performed such as with a Brazilian butt lift, where fat is harvested from one area of the body and injected into target areas of the bum, technique and experience are so important.
Basically with any fat transfer procedure only about 50% of the fat transferred will survive. This is completely normal, and an experienced surgeon will account for the lost fat cells, but in order to ensure fat cell survival in a new area of the body, your surgeon needs to know exactly where and how to inject the new fat cells.
In addition, fat cells need to be properly cleansed and harvested before they are injected, and you want your surgeon to have the best harvesting tools at their disposal.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that although we’d like fat removed from areas where we have unwanted fat, the healthiest fat is often in areas around the abdomen and thighs, which is why an experienced surgeon will typically harvest from there.
Be Patient with Your Results and Recovery
What you see immediately following your fat transfer procedure won’t be your final result. There is generally quite a bit of swelling after surgery, so your immediate result may appear bigger than what it will actually be.
This can sometimes be disappointing with certain procedures like the breast augmentation with fat transfer or the BBL and it’s not totally uncommon to have touch ups done once you have recovered following your surgery. But it’s also important to have realistic expectations about how big you’ll truly be able to go with a fat transfer.
You do need to give your body time to adjust to fat cells being in a new area of the body. True results typically appear at about 3 months following your procedure but we like to give it from 6 months up to a full year for full results to be realized.
Also, how you recover and how closely you follow your surgeon’s post-recovery guidelines will make a world of difference for your final result and its longevity. Really take it easy following your surgery. You may also need to adjust your diet and exercise routine to your new body.
Eat Well and Stay Healthy
Fat cells don’t multiply, but they can shrink and grow. Any major weight fluctuations will have an effect on your result. If you lose weight the fat cells will shrink and if you gain weight they will grow, so we always recommend maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet, adjusting your exercise routine to your body goals, and keeping up a healthy lifestyle, trying to reduce stress as much as possible.
You also don’t want to smoke if you want to maintain healthy fat cells! Smoking significantly negatively affects blood circulation, and blood supply is really the lifeline for your fat cells.
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to get the most out of your fat transfer over time, your fat cells will age along with you, but the longer you’re happy and healthy, the longer they will be too.