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There is much talk, interest and activity surrounding the relocation of fat from one part of the body to another for the purposes of augmentation either of the buttock or the breast. The popular phrase is “fat transfer,” but a more realistic name for this procedure is fat grafting. “Transfer”sounds like a complete process, such as moving all the furniture to a new house, but grafting describes the process more accurately and realistically. Grafting requires the “take” of the fat in its new location. “Take” requires viable fat and viable recipient tissue with a good blood supply.

The placement of tissue such as fat (or skin grafting) is not 100% guaranteed. The acceptance of the graft depends on blood supply, tissue pressure, quality of the fat, surgical technique and post-op care. There is also a certain amount of fat loss over the first 6 months that might not be the same from one buttock or breast to another.

Fat grafting to the breast is limited by the area available to accept fat; and, therefore, a realistic breast augmentation with fat is a modest increase not comparable to the epic sizes with implants.

Buttock fat grafting has to respect certain important nerves and blood vessels and may on occasion require secondary surgeries to achieve the look and contour desired. Secondary grafting for breasts is also a possibility.

With patience fat grafting can be very rewarding as long as it is viewed realistically and not as a mechanical complete transfer. The result is augmentation that is your own tissue not requiring the care, maintenance and wear and tear of implants.

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