Fat transfers have a long history of cosmetic use. For more than 100 years, they have been used to fill in facial flaws such as hollowed cheeks, sunken eyes or indented scars. Today, new fat transfer techniques are used to augment many other areas of the body, including the buttocks, biceps, triceps, calf muscles and breasts.
Because a fat transfer involves your own fat cells, it looks and feels more natural than a synthetic implant or injection. This also means that it’s biocompatible and may help eliminate the risk of allergic reaction or rejection.
The fat transfer procedure in Annandale varies depending upon the technique used and the area to be treated. The procedure can be described in three steps:
- Antiseptic and a topical anesthetic are applied to two areas: the location where the fat will be removed (donor site) and the treated area where the fat will be injected. The donor site is typically an area with extra fat such as the abdomen or thighs.
- The fat cells are harvested from the donor site through one of several types of liposuction.
- The fat cells are processed and purified before they are injected into the treated area.
It takes three to four days for the first tiny blood vessels (capillaries) to reach and supply the newly-transplanted fat cells with a blood supply. During this time, up to 60% of the transferred fat cells will die. For this reason, the treated area is usually overfilled. More than one treatment may be required to achieve the best results. Each time the procedure is repeated, more fat accumulates in the treated area. This tends to offer longer-lasting results.
After the fat transfer procedure, you will need someone to drive you home and you may need someone to help with daily activities during your recovery. Dr. Nickodem will provide you with specific post-op instructions.
The treated area may be red for the first 48 hours following your fat transfer. There is typically some swelling for several weeks; however, any bruising should subside within a few days. Scabs may also form at the injection site. Oral pain medications can help treat any discomfort. You should notice significant improvement in your appearance after the procedure, although ultimate results may not be evident for several months or more.
If you’re interested in fat transfer in Annandale and would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nickodem, contact Anne Nickodem, M.D., at 703-560-8711 or aestheticallyyours.com.