Fat Transfer…Is it for you?
I liked the idea of using my own fat to fill in the lines and wrinkles on my face, and even more, the idea of having fat sucked out of my stomach or thigh sounded like an added bonus. However, after much research it turns out that fat transfer has some downsides, including pain, bruising, swelling, downtime and the fat harvested is too small an amount to reduce the size of the stomach or thighs that it is taken from.
It is considered fairly permanent and there is virtually no chance of allergy due to the fact that you're using your own tissue. Many contend that it looks very natural (more so than the other injectables such as Restylane and collagen) when a skilled cosmetic surgeon performs the procedure. It is considered an 'office procedure' but many prominent surgeons prefer to use the operating room and sterile environment. The optimal scenario seems to be when one is already undergoing liposuction and the surgeon can harvest the fat right then and use some of the fat removed to inject. Or perhaps another favorable scenario might be when one is already undergoing another cosmetic surgery and the fat can be harvested and transferred while the patient is already under anesthesia and in an sterile environment and was already anticipating downtime.
It can be done in the office but it's not like the quick little fillers you may be used to. You don't get to go back to work right afterward and it is much more painful and there are two sites that bruise and swell. First the fat must be harvested from an area such as your stomach, and then injected into the area of treatment. As stated earlier the amount of fat that is taken is so small that you won't notice a smaller stomach. Many are thrilled with the results but you just need to be prepared for a downtime of up to a week. There is usually significant enough swelling that you may not want to be seen in public for quite a few days.
One of the most interesting things I learned about fat transfer is that when the patient gains a significant amount of weight, those areas gain as well. In other words, they are still your fat cells and still react as they would have if they were still in the original area they were harvested from. So imagine how odd that could potentially look. As for me, I don't think I'll be divorcing Restylane or Juvederm anytime soon.