Fat Transfer

woman in a swimsuit

Fat can help you look great...if it's in the right places! By relocating fat from your "problem areas" to places where you want more fullness, a fat transfer procedure can help you get the shapely contours you desire.



Body Fat Transfer in Richmond, VA

A beautiful body is all about shape and proportion, but achieving your desired shape can be difficult through diet and exercise alone. Thanks to genetics, we tend to store fat in certain locations, such as the belly, hips, and thighs. At the same time, we may lack curves where we want them, such as the breasts and buttocks.

As we age, things only get more challenging—stubborn body fat is more difficult to shed, while we tend to lose youthful fat where it was doing us good, in the face and hands.

Fat grafting, also known as a fat transfer, can help even the playing field with fat distribution by removing fat from “problem areas” and injecting a portion of this fat back into the areas where we want to restore or enhance volume. A fat transfer can be performed for the body or face.

How fat grafting works to improve body contours

A fat transfer involves both liposuction and fat injections. First, liposuction is performed to remove excess, unwanted fat where your body stores it disproportionately and sculpt a smooth, natural contour to the area: the tummy, hips, thighs, or lower back are common locations for liposuction.

Next, a portion of the fat removed with liposuction is purified and injected into different locations on the body, such as the breasts or buttocks, to enhance your natural proportions.

It’s a two-step body contouring procedure that achieves three important goals:

  • Reduces bothersome fat deposits for a more svelte appearance
  • Enhances the breasts or buttocks for more shapely curves
  • Improves overall proportions by slimming some areas and enhancing others

Common goals with body fat grafting

No two fat transfer procedures are exactly the same; the surgery is personalized to address your concerns, meet your goals, and achieve the most natural looking results for your anatomy. Common goals include:

  • Achieving a fuller, rounder buttock contour (a.k.a. a Brazilian butt lift)
  • Minimizing depression scars
  • Subtly enhancing breast size and shape without implants
  • Restoring youthful softness to aging hands

Recovery & results after fat grafting

Depending on the extent and locations of the fat transfer, typical recovery time is similar to what you might expect after liposuction, although you may need to make additional modifications to your activity to avoid putting pressure on the fat injection sites for the first few weeks.

Results can last for many years; however, it’s important to understand that a portion of the fat injected will be reabsorbed by the body, so your results may initially appear fuller than you expect. Final results are typically in place about 6 months after surgery.

Dr. Chen can perform additional fat injections to make subtle adjustments to your appearance as needed after this initial adjustment period. Additionally, significant weight fluctuation can affect your results, so maintain a stable weight to keep your new shape looking its best.

Choosing Dr. Chen for your fat transfer procedure

Fat grafting can achieve beautiful, lasting improvements in body contours, but a safe surgery and excellent results require a plastic surgeon with extensive knowledge and experience with fat transfer procedures. Not all fat will survive the transfer process, so a surgeon must have the skill and experience to know not only where to remove and relocate fat, but also the precise amount of fat to inject to achieve the desired final outcome.

As a board certified plastic surgeon who has undergone advanced training in fat grafting for the face and body, Dr. Stephen Chen has developed the keen aesthetic eye for detail and proportion necessary to achieve naturally appealing results. His extensive experience helps him determine the optimal points for safe, successful fat removal and injection.

Dr. Chen is also experienced in VASER LipoSelection, a less invasive liposuction technology that results in less tissue trauma, which not only helps reduce post-operative swelling and discomfort, but also improves the percentage of fat that survives a fat transfer.

If you would like to learn more about your fat transfer options in Richmond, please call our office at 804-285-4115 or contact us using the form below. We look forward to helping you improve your shape and self-confidence!