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Fat grafting – also known as fat transfer – involves removing body fat through liposuction, processing it in a laboratory setting, and then re-injecting it into a desired area of the body in one office visit. Fat is a living substance, and patients can lose up to 60% of what is initially removed, so more is removed than is needed to enhance an area.

Any surgical procedure has associated risks, but those attached to fat grafting are fairly rare. Some side effects include:

  • Swelling (which takes longer to subside in the face in particular)
  • Lumps
  • Oil cysts
  • Partial loss of fat volume and asymmetry
  • Irritation and minor scarring around incision sites
  • Baggy or rippling skin
  • Permanent color changes in skin
  • Damage to the nerves and skin

On the other hand, the benefits of fat grafting include:

  • Less invasive than a full surgical procedure
  • Quick recovery because the removal and injection sites are very small
  • No risk of tissue rejection
  • Long-term results
  • No foreign object or substances in the body

Always weigh the pros and cons before undergoing any surgical procedure and talk with your plastic surgeon about any concerns you may have.

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