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Almost everyone has heard of liposuction, but not everyone knows the benefits of fat grafting—the process of strategically injecting your fat back into your body to improve your appearance. Fat grafting and liposuction should naturally go together. However, if you are interested in one or both procedures, there are some things you should know before you start the process on either one.
You Do Not Need Liposuction for a Fat Graft
Most fat grafting requires very small amounts of fat tissue for a successful sculpting of the recipient site. Because of this, liposuction techniques are not always used to harvest fat from a donor site. Instead, a surgeon may use a syringe to extract fat. However, for areas where more fat may be needed or wanted, such as the breasts or buttocks, it may be better to harvest a larger amount of fat with liposuction techniques.
Fat Grafting Should Be Discussed and Planned Before Major Liposuction
If you are getting liposuction, you should consider whether or not you would benefit from fat grafting, either now or in the future. Liposuction can often remove some of the best fat available for fat grafting, leaving you less ideal fat for any future grafting needs. If you plan to undergo major liposuction, especially in multiple areas, you should discuss whether you want fat grafting with your surgeon. If your liposuction surgeon does not offer fat grafting, it may be a good idea to get fat grafting completed first and then have your major liposuction later.
Liposuction and Fat Grafting May Be Completed During the Same Visit
Surgeons who specialize in both fat grafting and liposuction may be able to perform both procedures during one session. However, fat grafting often requires multiple sessions for ideal results. Because of this, you may want to either leave a harvesting area for future sessions or plan your liposuction over multiple visits.
One of the benefits of having liposuction and fat grafting done at the same time is that there is no need to store or freeze your fat cells. Using cells that have not been frozen often results in a better graft. Additionally, without the storage costs, the procedure should be less expensive for you.
You May Store Fat From Liposuction for Later Grafting
Although freezing fat from liposuction for future grafting is not ideal, it is possible. Unfortunately, most fat can only be successfully brought back to body temperature without damage for a few weeks or, at most, a few months after harvest. This means that you should plan to have the fat grafted as soon as possible after it is harvested, even if you do decide to freeze it. Grafting the fat sooner rather than later will improve your chances of a successful graft.
You Cannot Donate Your Fat to a Friend
Perhaps you want liposuction and a friend wants a fat graft. In theory, this would provide the perfect opportunity for you to get rid of some fat and your friend to use it without undergoing liposuction themselves. Unfortunately, fat tissue can be rejected, just like any other donor organ. Because of this, fat grafts are generally only done with fat from an individual's own body. If donor fat was from another body, extra costly measures would have to be taken to prevent rejection, which are not realistic for most people.
The good news is that most people, even skinny people, usually have enough fat for most types of fat grafting. The exception may be if an individual has had extensive liposuction in the past or if they want a large fat graft, such as a full reconstruction of the breast after a mastectomy.Share