Yes, it is possible to transfer fat from one area of the body to another, but there are some caveats. First, it has to be YOUR FAT.
Patients often ask if their sister/girlfriend/husband can donate the fat. The answer is no. Your body recognizes your own cell type, and if someone else’s fat was transplanted into your body, your body would reject those cells and the result would be catastrophe.
If you have an identical twin, it is possible to transfer fat between the two individuals, but this is not commonly done.
Another caveat is that the amount of fat to be transferred is limited by:
- The amount of fat you have: skinny people don’t have much fat to donate
- How tight the skin envelop is to receive the fat: someone with very firm skin will not be able to stretch their skin to accommodate a large amount of fat. Conversely, a person with some sagging skin may actually be better since they have the room to put the fat.
The last caveat is that fat is a little unpredictable in terms of ‘take’ as it requires blood flow. If you put in an implant, the increase of volume in the implanted area is going to be exactly the size of the implant.
For fat grafting, not every ounce of fat will survive, and the amount that survives is less predictable. So, the final results need some time before being seen.
The lovely part of fat grafting is that whatever fat ‘takes’ in an area now lives there forever!
- Christopher Knotts, MD