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What is Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer—also called fat grafting or autologous fat transfer—is a procedure which uses a patient’s own fat to add volume to the breasts, buttocks, areas of the face, or other regions of the body. Excess fat is collected via liposuction, purified, and then carefully injected into the designated treatment area(s) to create smooth, long-lasting volume and improved shape.

What Are the Advantages of Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer is incredibly versatile and can accomplish a broad range of aesthetic improvements, from subtle adjustments to significant changes in shape and volume. The many benefits and applications of all-natural fat transfers can include:

  • Long-lasting results
  • Natural-looking outcomes
  • Creation of new volume and contours
  • Filling-in and softening of fat-depleted areas
  • Adding fat to enhance or correct the outcome of another cosmetic procedure
  • Reduction of unwanted fat in areas where fat cells are harvested with liposuction
  • Balancing asymmetry
  • Reconstructing areas affected by trauma or cancer
  • Custom-tailored treatment planning that suits your unique needs and goals
  • Augmentation without the need for implants or filler products

What Areas Can Be Treated with Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer can be performed almost anywhere on the body; however, the most common areas that Dr. Petti treats are the breasts, body and face:


Breasts can be augmented and/or reconstructed using fat grafting techniques. For breast augmentation with fat transfer, Dr. Petti uses fatty tissue harvested from elsewhere on the body to create larger breast volume and a more perfected shape. Placement of breast implants may also be combined with fat injections to create a softer, more natural appearance and/or correct asymmetry. Depending on the volume of fat required to achieve your goals, multiple fat transfer sessions may be necessary to create the desired effect.


The Brazilian butt lift involves augmentation of the buttocks using fat transfer techniques. Also called gluteal fat grafting, a Brazilian butt lift can be customized to achieve a variety of aesthetic goals related to the buttocks:

Ultimately, Dr. Petti aims to create a balanced figure, optimal proportions, and the symmetrical contours her buttocks augmentation patients desire. Multiple fat transfer treatments may need to be performed to achieve optimal buttocks size and shape.


Visible signs of facial aging are caused in large part by the depletion of facial fat. Using fat transfer techniques, Dr. Petti can restore volume to the cheeks, fill hollows around the eyes, reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles/creases, and/or augment the lips. When facial fat transfer is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Petti, the results can vastly outlast those achieved with dermal filler products. Many patients agree that the soft, smooth appearance and texture of transferred fat offers the most natural-looking results. Dr. Petti often incorporates fat transfer into comprehensive facial rejuvenation treatment plans that involve other surgical and non-surgical procedures, such as Vivace RF microneedling with PRP, facelift, fractional laser skin resurfacing, or eyelid lifts.

“I am so happy with my procedure. Dr. Petti and her staff are excellent!”
- Debbie C. D.

Who Is a Candidate for Fat Transfer?

Candidates for fat transfer procedures are in good overall health and have reasonable expectations about the results that can be achieved. Additionally, the patient must have an adequate volume of excess fat (in either one area or multiple areas of the body) that can be collected to accomplish the fat transfer. During a personal consultation, Dr. Petti will review your medical history, perform a physical examination, and listen attentively to your concerns and goals. She can then determine whether fat transfer is the procedure that is best suited for you.

What Happens During the Fat Transfer Procedure?

Each fat transfer procedure varies based on the locations the fat is being harvested from and then transferred to; however, many stages in the process are generally the same. Fat is typically collected from the abdomen, thighs, hips, or another area of the body with an adequate supply if excess fat. Dr. Petti precisely sculpts the area with liposuction to align with your body contouring goals. The fat removed during liposuction is then carefully purified to prepare a supply of healthy fat cells for transfer. Next, the purified fat is strategically injected into the designated treatment area to add volume. Since some of the transferred fat will naturally be absorbed by the body during the healing process, Dr. Petti generally overfills the area to compensate for these expected changes. Multiple fat transfer sessions may be necessary to reach your goals.

What is Recovery After Fat Transfer Like?

It is common to experience some bruising, swelling, and discomfort in the initial days of recovery, but these effects tend to fade quickly and medication can provide relief if necessary. Within seven to ten days, most patients experience a significant improvement in both the area from which the fat was harvested and where it was transferred. It is important to note that every patient’s recovery varies based on the details of the procedure and their unique rate of healing. Dr. Petti closely oversees the recovery process to monitor healing and advise on the best time to resume usual activities. As your body continues to heal, the results of your fat transfer will develop further. Usually, the final outcome is apparent after about three months. If you desire additional volume, Dr. Petti may recommend another round of fat transfer treatment for greater augmentation.

How Much Does Fat Transfer Cost?

At our practice, the overall price for fat transfer procedures can vary widely based on several factors:

During your consultation with Dr. Petti, she can develop a customized treatment plan aimed at achieving your cosmetic goals with beautiful results. Following the appointment, you will review a cost estimate based on the details included in your plan. At this time, you can ask our knowledgeable office team any questions you have about pricing and the methods of payment that we accept. If you are interested in financing the cost of plastic surgery, we work with several reputable third-party lenders who offer a variety of loan options. Qualified applicants may be approved by these lenders for affordable loans and flexible payment plans that can make the cost of treatment more budget-friendly.

If you are considering fat transfer and want to find out if you are a good candidate, we encourage you to contact our practice to schedule a consultation.

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