• The Cutting Edge of Your Fat


    There’s No Sexy Way to Say “Fat Grafting

    You’re Too Sexy For This Fat Grafting

    Finally!  A Sexy Name-  “Brazillian Butt-Lift

    A Real Graft in the Face

    Fat Grafting for Breast Augmentation

    Fat Grafting to Fix Unsatisfactory Liposuction

    Fat Grafting for Reconstructive Plastic Surgery


    There’s No Sexy Way to Say “Fat Grafting

    Words like “lift,” and “contour,” are really the preferred parlance of the plastic surgeon.  Nobody wants a procedure that refers to fat or involves “grafting.”  Well, that is, until they really understand it for the versatile miracle technique it is.  So what do you need to know about at-fay-afting-gray other than its unfortunate name?  Actually, it’s quite simple.


    Fat grafting = a surgeon removing your fat, processing it, and then injecting it back into your face and body.

    Fat grafting is not a stem-cell transfer, even though the greatest abundance of stem cells in your body is in your fat, and it can rejuvenate the areas into which it is injected.  Your friendly neighborhood plastic surgeon possesses the skills to process your fat and get a higher concentration of stem cells. But I do NOT attempt to chemically obtain stem cells in the fat grafting process.  Why?

    The FDA aggressively pursues doctors who conduct this highly experimental process.  It is regulated, and you need a pharmaceutical license to do it on a patient.  I’m not big pharma; I just graft fat.  (Dangit. No matter how many times you say it, it remains anti-sexy.)

    However, just by transferring processed and filtered fat, you are actually providing stem cells into areas that need the help.  Anecdotal evidence suggests patients who have fat grafting to the face don’t just have plumped up wrinkles and cheeks, their skin tone actually appears more youthful after their procedure.  Read more about fat grafting and stem cells in my blog post here.


    You’re Too Sexy For This Fat Grafting

    Typically, your fat is obtained for grafting, by traditional liposuction.  This process is known as fat harvesting.  (If you have insufficient fat, then your surgeon won’t be able to harvest enough for the procedure. Read more here.  )

    Fat which is removed from your body s called “aspirate”, and is kept sterile, filtered, and processed to obtain the pure fat cells.  While I check email (kidding!), my surgical tech places the purified fat into large syringes, and then I inject (graft) the fat back into your body.  Using your own tissue to reshape your body prevents the risk of rejection.

    Here’s an actual photo someone took for me during a fat grafting case.  Note how beautiful and pure the yellow fat looks.  (OK, maybe it’s beautiful and pure to geeky plastic surgeons, but I digress.)


    Very small amounts of fat are needed to fill lines in your face and larger amounts are required for larger areas of your body, such as your buttocks or breasts.  Not all of the grafted fat will last.  Some will be absorbed by your body.  This partial absorption is a natural, unavoidable process.


    Finally!  A Sexy Name-  “Brazillian Butt-Lift

    One of the most common fat grafting procedures is buttock augmentation using autogenous material.  BO-RING.  Instead we call this a Brazillian Butt Lift.

    Brazil is a pretty sexy country, so this sounds a lot snazzier.  The purpose is to reduce sagging and generally create a more shapely rear view.

    After consultation about your specific wishes, your surgeon puts your fat back into your buttocks in just the right places, helping you achieve the exact kind of sexy you are looking for.  Your butt will have a better contour, sag less and be less flat.

    Interestingly, the more fat you have elsewhere that needs liposuction, the more fat can be harvested and strategically grafted back into you-  resulting in a more dramatically sexy contour.  This is one of my favorite procedures, and my patients have been very happy with the results.

    This procedure is far superior to using gluteal implants, in my opinion, because implants feel harder than your own fat.  I see fat grafting to the buttocks only increasing in popularity over time.


    A Real Graft in the Face

    Dermal fillers in the wrinkles around your face (ie:the nasolabial folds) are among the most popular office procedures in the world.   Wrinkles between your eyebrows, and hollow or sagging cheeks are also popular reasons to get dermal fillers.

    If you dislike maintenance injections, fat grafting those wrinkles is a great and more permanent alternative to dermal fillers.  Typically only about 5-10 minutes of liposuction is needed to harvest sufficient fat for facial grafting procedures.

    Fat grafting along with a facelift is also very popular.  A facelift alone will help with loose skin, but there’s a limit as to how much improvement to your facial contour can be achieved with just a facelift.  Your own fat provides a more natural, rejuvenated and youthful contour.


    Fat Grafting for Breast Augmentation

    Breast augmentation using your own fat sounds like the perfect two-fer.  Almost like the punchline of an old joke.  Get rid of your fat, AND get larger, more beautifully shaped breasts.

    In reality, this procedure is not common, because most women don’t have enough fat to really get the volume they want.  Also, the best results still require a generous amount of harvested fat, and a commitment to wearing a Brava device for about 6-12 weeks total.  A longer article about this procedure is here.


    Fat Grafting to Fix Unsatisfactory Liposuction

    Take too much out last time?  I can put some back in.

    If you’ve had previous liposuction, you may rarely develop an indentation on your body.  This occurs when your body simply formed too much scar tissue, or perhaps a little too much fat was removed from a specific area of your body.  If that’s the case, there is hope.

    Liposuction can be performed around your indentation (or elsewhere), and the fat grafted into the area of indentation.  Often, one must slightly overfill the area of indentation, and then long-term, the area should smooth over and have the same contour as the surrounding body.


    Fat Grafting for Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

    I occasionally do fat grafting for patients who have had significant soft tissue injuries from trauma, car accidents, and the like.  It’s also becoming more common in breast reconstruction.

    If you’re a patient who has had breast reconstruction after breast cancer, you may have issue with lack of breast contour even with breast implants, or asymmetry, because you may have had reconstruction only only one breast.  Fat grafting over and around your reconstructed breast will make it look more natural, feel more natural, and mask some of the soft tissue effects of radiation therapy.

    This technique is often not covered by insurance, and is considered “experimental by some health insurance companies.  Check with your insurance provider to see if this is covered.


    Interested in a certain fat grafting procedure?  Do you have any questions or comments?  Feel free to share this article, or contact my office at info@drkim.com or 415 362 1846 for questions or a consultation.  I look forward to hearing from you. 



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