Below, Dr. Gabbay answers the questions we are commonly asked about fat transfer for butt augmentation.
Question: Why would a physician suggest fat transfer over implants for a patient?
A: With fat transfer, we are able to completely customize the augmentation of the patient’s buttocks with material from their own body. Because of this, the augmentation occurs where the patient needs it, rather than merely where the implant sits. With buttock augmentation, there is a much more customizable geometry that should be addressed because most people require augmentation in distinctly different places. Having implants placed in the buttocks also puts the patient at risk for complications, such as significant movement of the implants and encapsulation of the implants. Additionally, fat is naturally accepted by the body, which means there is no rejection process.
Question: Are both options generally available to all patients?
A: While both options are available to patients, some thin patients might not have enough fat to transfer to the buttocks. Although thin patients have traditionally been seen as the ideal candidate for implant augmentation, they are at even greater risk for augmentation with implants because they have no significant “cushion” of soft tissue coverage for the implant. This puts thin patients at greater risk for complications down the road. For very thin patients who do not have the appropriate donor fat for transfer to the buttocks, we typically use Renuva or Sculptra for long-term, but temporary buttock augmentation. The patient will then come back for treatment every few years.
Question: What is the recovery process like for a fat transfer procedure?
A: The recovery from fat transfer is typically dependent on the two components that make up the operation: the liposuction to obtain the fat, and the transfer of the fat to the buttocks. The procedure can be done either awake or under anesthesia. Depending on the techniques used for the procedure, bruising and inflammation can range from mild to significant. Immediate pain and mobility issues can last a couple of days to a few weeks.
Generally, patients wear a compression garment, like spanks, for anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks after the procedure. This helps reduce swelling and compresses the skin down back onto the muscular frame after the procedure.
In general, the buttocks are “overfilled” with fat during the transfer procedure. It is expected that between 30% and 50% of the fat/volume added will be reabsorbed by the body. In order to protect the fat from excessive pressure, which can be toxic to the newly transferred fat, it is typically recommended to stay off of the buttocks for the first two to eight weeks.
Patients usually sit on a special pillow that sits directly under the thighs and lets the buttocks hang over the back. We also recommend that patients sleep on their stomach instead of their back or sides during the recovery period.
Question: How long can patients expect results to last?
A: In general, the fat that survives after the first three months can be expected to survive over the long term. What we have found is that the volume of the fat typically does stay for the long run, but over several years, the firmness of the fat may change a little bit and the buttock may soften somewhat.
Question: Should patients anticipate needing any routine revision procedures in the future?
A: With time, a patient’s overall fat content may fluctuate, and with that, so does the buttock shape. Some patients choose to have additional fat grafting done in the future, but most have a one-time procedure.
Question: Are there any steps patients can take before the procedure to help with a smooth recovery?
A: The best thing to do prior to a fat transfer procedure is to be healthy! The stronger you are going into a procedure, the more easily you will be able to move after the procedure. Also, it is best to be at a stable weight prior to the procedure so that you have a reasonable expectation of the amount of fat that can be transferred and will remain in your body.
Question: Are there potential risks with this particular procedure?
A: Recent data has shown a troubling trend in the increasing death rate associated with this procedure. The general consensus is that the greater risk is related to the method of transfer of fat to the buttocks. By employing several safety steps, the most important of which is ensuring that we only transfer fat into the fat of the buttocks, not the muscles, we can significantly diminish the risk of the procedure.
Speak to a Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, our team of medical professionals are here to answer your questions and discuss your concerns so that you understand what you are getting into when you choose fat transfer butt augmentation. Our experienced surgeon, Dr. Gabbay, is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and is committed to serving patients throughout Beverly Hills. Let us assist you today.
Call (310) 928-2558 to request your complementary consultation with Dr. Gabbay to learn more about fat transfer for butt augmentation.