How Long Does Fat Transfer Last?

When you invest in something, you normally want it to last. This applies to relationships, shoes, new cars, and that air fryer that you bought on a whim. It also applies to cosmetic procedures. You have brunches to attend, exes to subtweet about, and goals to crush; no one wants to spend all their time in a medspa getting their results touched up. 

This is why, when you Google “how long does fat transfer last?” you will probably be pleased with the answer. In short, a fat transfer can be permanent. In this article, Dr. Nadir Qazi of Qazi Cosmetic Clinic will break down everything you need to know about fat transfer results.

How Long Does Fat Transfer Last?

The results of a fat transfer are permanent. Once fat is successfully placed and absorbed by the treatment area, that fat will normally stay put. However, the results of your fat transfer can still be changed over time in the same way that the rest of your body normally goes through changes.

For example, gaining or losing weight for any reason can alter the appearance of your treatment area. Lifestyle changes like retirement, pregnancy, loss of a loved one, or a change in jobs can affect your results and your body size if you find yourself eating and moving differently than normal. 

When you ask, how long does fat transfer last? The honest answer is that it will depend on you. In this way, a fat transfer is more like a facelift than it is like dermal fillers. A facelift is permanent, but natural aging can slowly change your results and your look over time. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, will wear off as the body breaks down the filler material.

After you get a fat transfer, your body will not break down or dispose of the fat that has been successfully absorbed. That fat will stay in place until your body changes due to losing or gaining weight. 

What is a Fat Transfer?

A fat transfer is a safe and common procedure that has 2 distinct steps. First, liposuction is used to remove fat cells from the donor area of the body. Next, the fat cells are injected into a part of the body that you want to be more voluminous and defined. Once completed, a fat transfer can help contour your body and complete your look. 

Fat transfers are suitable for many different areas of the body:

Common Treatment Areas

  • Face – Dr. Qazi commonly transfers fat into the cheeks in order to reverse the appearance of sunkenness. It can make you look younger and more approachable. 
  • Lips – Big lips are in! Fat transfers are a great alternative to dermal fillers because they last longer, so there is no need for follow up appointments. 
  • Neck – In the same way that the face loses volume with age, the neck does too. A fat transfer can prevent your neck from giving away your age. 
  • Hands – It is normal for bones and tendons in the hands to become more pronounced with age, resulting in “horror movie hands.” A fat transfer can reverse this. 
  • Breasts – Fat transfers are a great alternative to breast implants because it uses your body’s natural materials to enhance the breasts
  • Buttocks – Also known as a Brazilian Butt Lift, a fat transfer is one of the best ways to increase the size of your butt without you having to spend hours in the gym. 
  • Thighs & Hips – The “thick” body shape is in! A fat transfer can add volume to your thighs and hips to balance your figure. The procedure can also treat the appearance of hip dips. 

Common Donor Areas

  • Abdomen – Belly fat is just one of those things that it is nearly impossible to fix with diet and exercise alone. A fat transfer can liposuction away your extra belly fat and transplant into a different area of the body. 
  • Waist – Everyone wants a “snatched” waist. A fat transfer can slim your wait while enhancing your chest. 
  • Thighs – The thighs normally have enough extra fat cells to be the donor area in a fat transfer. 
  • Back – Pockets of fat on the back are also difficult to get rid of with only diet and exercise. This makes the back ideal as a donor area. 

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    How To Prolong the Results of Your Fat Transfer

    Once Dr. Qazi tells patients that how long a fat transfer lasts will depend on them, their second question is normally “How do I prolong the results of my fat transfer?” There are several things that you can do to help your results last longer: 

    1. Avoid Losing Lots of Weight

    This means that you can’t do all those diets that you see in beauty magazines. Generally, if a diet tells you to eat 1200 calories a day, run the other direction. If you lose lots of weight, it will affect the results of your fat transfer. 

    As a general rule, avoid crash diets, health trends that encourage not eating, and starving yourself. The best way to make the results of your fat transfer last is to maintain a similar exercise and diet that you did before the procedure. 

    2. Avoid Gaining Significant Amounts of Weight

    In the same way that losing weight will affect your fat transfer results, gaining weight will do the same. The human body is supposed to change shape and size over time, especially with age, so some weight gain may be natural. Don’t beat yourself up if you gain some weight over time; it’s not a big deal.

    In general, try to maintain the same level of diet and exercise from before the procedure. Find ways to incorporate fruits and veggies into your meals in a way that is tasty and sustainable. When you exercise, find ways to move your body in a way that you enjoy; this will make it easier to sustain your exercise routine without dreading it. 

    3. Wear Your Compression Garment

    In addition to lifestyle in the months and years after the procedure, there are things you can do in the days after the procedure to help your results along. Dr. Qazi will give you instructions for how to care for your body after the procedure. Be sure to follow all his instructions to the letter for the best results. 

    When you are sent home after the procedure, you will be given a compression garment to wear. No matter how goofy it looks or how uncomfortable it is, you need to wear your compression garment 24/7 for the first 2 weeks. It will reduce swelling and help you heal faster. 

    4. Be Careful With the Treatment Area

    After any procedure, it can be very tempting to touch, poke, massage, and rub the treatment area. When you get a fat transfer, it is very important that you do not do that. Here’s why: after the fat is injected, it will need to be absorbed into the new area. This means that your body will establish a new blood supply to support the new fat cells. Touching, manipulating, and massaging the treatment area will disrupt the creation of this blood supply and limit the number of fat cells that can be properly absorbed into the treatment area. 

    You should also avoid laying or sitting on the treatment area. If you get a Brazilian Butt Lift, you will need to refrain from sitting directly on flat surfaces for at least a month. Instead, you should utilize an innertube-shaped seat support or rolled towels to elevate your body. If you had breast augmentation or fat transferred to your face, you should sleep on your back to avoid compressing the treatment area. 

    5. Stay Hydrated

    This one might seem simple, but it is actually very important. The key to preserving the transplanted fat cells is to ensure that they receive blood supply. Your body will do this naturally, but you can help it along by drinking plenty of water. 

    6. Don’t Smoke Tobacco Products

    If you have had any kind of procedure, it is extra important that you do not continue smoking or begin smoking. Cigarettes can affect the flow of oxygen and nutrients in your bloodstream, which will lower the quality of your blood and make it less likely that as many fat cells will be successfully absorbed. 

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      Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does Fat Transfer Last

      What can I expect when I get a fat transfer at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic?

      The first step to every procedure at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic in Newport Beach, CA is the consultation. During your consultation with Dr. Qazi, you can explain your goals, ask questions, and state your concerns. Dr. Qazi will then determine if the procedure is right for you and your goals. 

      Fat transfers can be performed under either local or general anesthesia. Once you are numb and comfortable, a small incision will be made in the donor area. This incision is used to access the underlying fat, so that it can be removed from the body using a cannula. 

      Once the extra fat cells have been removed, they must be purified. This process is important because it removes any extra blood or fluids from the fat cells. 

      The purified fat cells will then be injected into the treatment area of the body in order to create volume. 

      At the end of the procedure, your incisions will be dressed and you will be given a support garment. It is best if someone else drives you home because it is not safe to drive yourself after anesthesia.

      How much fat is absorbed in a fat transfer?

      You might have heard that not all the fat transplanted in a fat transfer is absorbed into the treatment area; this is absolutely true. It varies by person and by the area being treated, but usually only 30% to 50% of fat cells are absorbed. For this reason, it is a common practice for doctors to over inject to account for the loss. 

      When fat cells are properly absorbed, the body will integrate them into that area, build structures to support the cells, and provide blood flow. The cells that are not absorbed will be safely metabolized. 

      Due to the variability in how much fat is absorbed, fat transfers are not as precise as other procedures. For this reason, it may be necessary for you to undergo a second fat transfer in order to achieve your optimal results. 

      Who is a good candidate for a fat transfer?

      When you meet with Dr. Qazi during your consultation, he can help determine if a fat transfer is right for you. Generally, you may be a good candidate for a fat transfer if you:

      • Want to replace lost volume in the hands, face, neck, breasts, butt, or hips. 
      • Have enough extra fat cells in another area of your body to be transferred. 
      • Want long-lasting results. 
      • Are prepared for the procedure and the recovery. 
      • Have the ability to take some time off work to recover. 
      • Have realistic expectations for the procedure.
      • Want to contour your figure. 
      • Have been at a stable weight for at least a year.

      Learn More About Fat Transfers in Newport Beach, CA

      How long does fat transfer last? Is a fat transfer right for me? Should I get a fat transfer or breast implants? Is a BBL safe? If you have questions about fat transfers, Dr. Qazi is happy to answer them all! Schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic to learn if a fat transfer is right for you. 

      By: Dr. Nadir Qazi

      Dr. Nadir Qazi is a board certified physician specializing in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and an instructor for advanced injections and laser techniques.

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