Woman pinching fat on her sides for fat grafting or transfer
08 November 2017

Where Does the Fat Go After Liposuction? This May Surprise You.

Liposuction Removes Fat Permanently. Why You May Want it Back.

Liposuction is one of the oldest and most popular aesthetic procedures in the history of plastic surgery. It is used to remove fat from an area of the body that does not respond to diet and exercise. A medical instrument called a cannula is used to suction fat from the abdomen, thighs, arms, back, or waist. It can even be used on smaller areas, such as those pesky love handles, bra bulges, and muffin tops everyone loves to hate.

What has changed in liposuction procedures over the years is that they have become much less invasive, with less trauma and a shorter recovery time. The most revolutionary change may well have been the development of water-based liposuction systems. Instead of physical force to dislodge fat, water liposuction methods such as Aqualipo use the gentle force of water to remove and flush out fat.

At NuBody Concepts, we pride ourselves in getting our patients back to their regular activities after a short recovery. Most patients can return to normal daily activities in one to two days. NuBody Concepts offers a type of liposuction, called NuBody Lipo, that combines water-based and laser liposuction for an optimal outcome. It does not require general anesthesia or a hospital stay. While it will take 6-8 weeks and a little help from a so-called compression garment for the full results to become visible, the swelling and slight discomfort from the procedure go away after just a few days, meaning the patients are able to resume their regular lives. Liposuction permanently removes the unwanted fat, so no repeat procedures are needed.

What Happens to the Fat Removed in Liposuction?

Here is a question for the curious: What happens to the fat that is removed? While no one wants to visualize this fat, it can actually be very useful. Since it comes from your own body, it makes for an ideal filler that can be injected into other areas. At NuBody Concepts, we can not only remove your fat, we can add it back, safely and effectively!

Why in the world would you want to take the fat you’ve just gotten rid of back? The answer is obvious: There are areas, particularly for women, that we’d like to have more fullness in.

Let’s start with the obvious, women’s breasts. Breast augmentations are scheduled every day, whether for a lift or an increase in size. Then it has to be determined if saline or silicone implants, what size, etc. Many women do not like the idea of a foreign element inside of them, or may be nervous about the potential risks of an invasive procedure. Even though complications with such procedures are rare, they do exist.

Fat Transfer: An Alternative to Breast Implants

The alternative to using an implant? Fat grafting or transfer. Fat grafting is not a new concept, but it has become more effective with better harvesting and grafting methods. At NuBody Concepts, we have practiced liposuction over many years, which is how the fat is collected before it can be transferred. The technique for fat transfer is simple but requires a skilled physician. If the fat cells needed for transfer are damaged, the result will not last.

Once the fat is removed from the body, we first let it sit and settle. Then we draw up the intact, quality fat cells and prepare them for injection back into the body. This procedure can be done in office with just some medicine taken by mouth that helps to calm anxious nerves. You are awake and coherent. The entire time for the procedure is about 2 hours, with no hospital stay.

Meeting with the surgeon first to decide if you are a good candidate for fat transfer to the breast is the first step. If you are very trim, you may not be a good candidate for fat transfer, especially to the breasts. It takes a good bit of volume to make a significant difference. After the fat transfer, we ask you to refrain from exercise for one to two weeks and avoid wearing a bra with an underwire.

Other Candidates for Fat Transfer: The Hands and the Face

The breasts are obvious candidates, but also the hands and face are excellent options. As the body ages, the skin loses elasticity and vitality, resulting in a sagging, wrinkly look. The backs of our hands and our cheeks is where we most easily show our age. In the face in particular, the skin tends to become loose because of the fat pads underneath dissolving and dying with age. Using a procedure like NuBody Fat Transfer to inject the harvested fat into these areas can give your skin a healthier, plumper, and younger look.

One final note: The fat used in fat transfer is like any other injection, some of it will stay and some will not. The big advantage is that your body does not view the fat as “foreign,” so it will not reject it. If used as a filler in lieu of breast implants, the recovery will be much shorter than after breast augmentation.

If you have questions about liposuction or fat transfer, please call or contact us.