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Fat Transfer

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Body Contouring

Fat Transfer

Fat transfer is one of the most commonly requested cosmetic surgeries today. With this procedure, patients are able to remove fat from a particular area of the body and transfer it to another region that is lacking shape or volume to provide natural augmentation. Patients frequently request a fat transfer in San Diego to increase volume in their breasts or buttocks, but it is also a very effective way to counteract age-related facial and hand volume loss. Dr. Daniel Brown is proud to offer this state-of-the-art procedure to his patients located in La Jolla, Coronado, and Del Mar.

To learn more about this transformational procedure, please contact either of our offices today and schedule a consultation.

About Fat Transfer

Fat transfer, otherwise known as fat grafting, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess fat from one area of the body and places it into another region of the body that lacks volume and/or shape. In general, a fat transfer procedure consists of three steps:

  • Liposuction
  • Purification
  • Reinjection

A major benefit of this procedure is that patients are not only able to enhance certain features of their body using their own fat, but it also gives patients the opportunity to slim down a region of the body to provide better contour. This procedure allows patients to naturally augment their body and sculpt a figure that will leave them feeling their best.

Benefits of Fat Transfer

  • Uses your body’s own materials for augmentation
  • Natural appearance and feel
  • No allergic reaction
  • Avoids the use of implants or fillers
  • Strengthens blood flow throughout the tissue
  • Short downtime
  • Long-term results
  • Provides multiple cosmetic enhancements in one procedure

Fat transfer allows people to customize and sculpt the body that they want without the additional risks of placing foreign materials into the body. Many men and women have been very satisfied with their fat transfer results and the long-term outcomes that it provides.

Common Fat Transfer Procedures

Fat transfer procedures can be used to enhance many different features of the body. Once the fat has been extracted and purified, it will then be repurposed into another area of the body to improve the shape, symmetry, and volume naturally. The most common fat transfer procedures are described in detail below.

Brazilian Butt Lift

Curvy behinds have gained much popularity within recent years. A Brazilian Butt Lift uses the body’s own fat to improve the shape and size of the buttock without implants or other forms of synthetic material. Patients can improve their body’s overall shape and contour through a Brazilian Butt Lift, or buttocks fat transfer.

Natural Breast Augmentation

A natural breast augmentation is ideal for women who are looking to slightly enhance the size and shape of their breasts. A breast fat transfer or fat transfer breast augmentation increases your breast size one to two cups, so patients who are looking for a drastic transformation may be better suited for a breast augmentation using implants. This procedure may also be beneficial for women who have either undergone a lumpectomy or a mastectomy.

Facial Fat Transfer

Facial fat transfer can be used as an alternative to dermal fillers. The extracted fat can be repurposed to add volume to the lips or cheeks, as well as to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Patients are able to avoid the use of synthetic materials and fight the signs of aging using their own fat.

Hand Rejuvenation

The back of the hands tend to form wrinkles and experience volume loss over time. Patients can avoid the use of dermal fillers to correct this sign of aging by injecting their own fat into the back of the hands. The fat that is injected will create its own blood supply, providing longer lasting results than that of dermal fillers.

About Donor Sites

Donor sites are areas of the body that have enough fat that can be extracted and used for the natural augmentation. The fat is harvested through a special liposuction technique which will help preserve the cells for injection. Fat transfer candidates should have areas of the body where excess fat deposits reside that are suitable for extraction. The most common regions of the body that are used as donor sites include:

  • Abdomen
  • Back
  • Flanks
  • Inner thighs
  • Outer thighs
  • Upper arms

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidates for a fat transfer procedure are men and women who are in good health and maintain a stable weight. These patients should have enough excess fat in one region of the body; however, fat can be extracted from multiple areas of the body if one location does not have an adequate amount.

Patients looking into this procedure should want to naturally augment an area of the body without the use of synthetic materials, such as implants, while also slimming down another region of the body.

Because this procedure uses the body’s own materials, the enhancement will not be as dramatic as through the use of implants. For this reason, we ask that patients have realistic expectations of their results. It is important to note that this procedure is not a substitute for diet and exercise. Men and women considering this procedure should have already tried obtaining the contour they desire but have been unsuccessful. Also, patients that are looking for drastically enhanced features may be better suited for a different procedure. To determine candidacy for this procedure, please contact our office today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Brown.


During the one-on-one consultation with Dr. Brown, he will ask the patient about their aesthetic concerns and what they are looking to achieve through fat transfer. He will then conduct a medical history evaluation to review the patient’s current health, routine medications, and any previous surgical procedure to ensure that this is a safe option to achieve the patient’s goals. A physical examination will then be performed by Dr. Brown to identify the patient’s concerns and make the final determinants of candidacy. If found a candidate, the patient will be able to schedule their fat transfer procedure before leaving the office if they desire to do so, but there is no obligation.

Fat Transfer Procedure

As stated above, the procedure itself is broken down into a three-step process: liposuction, purification of the fat, then injecting the fat back into the body.

The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis, meaning that patients are free to return to the comfort of their own home following the surgery. Depending on the extent of treatment needed, the procedure can take one to three hours from beginning to end.

Our certified anesthesiologist will administer the anesthesia; once the patient is asleep the procedure can begin. Dr. Brown will make the necessary incisions near the donor site(s). He will use liposuction to remove any excess fat from the donor site by inserting a cannula into the body. High power suction will extract the fat cells from the body, which the doctor will then place the fat in a centrifuge. During this time, the cells will undergo a purification process, separating the fat from any other unwanted materials.

Once this has been completed, Dr. Brown will place the cells into a syringe to easily inject the fat into a specific region of the body. After the doctor has obtained the desired shape and body contour, the incisions will be closed with sutures. Patients will be wrapped in compression garments and taken into the recovery area.


Before being released home, patients will be monitored for a couple hours by our medical staff. During this time, the patient will be given a list of recovery instructions that Dr. Brown recommends his patients follow to ensure the best healing possible. To alleviate any discomfort during the recovery process, patients will be given a prescription for pain medication. He advises his patients to try to walk the night of their procedure to help improve the body’s circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots from forming. The compression garments should be worn at all times during this stage to help minimize any swelling and any bruising that may arise.

Depending on the location where the fat was injected into, patients will be advised to not place direct pressure on that region for several weeks because it could negatively affect the blood supply being established by the new cells. Patients should refrain from daily activities for about one week following the procedure. More strenuous activities, such as working out, should be avoided for about 4 weeks. Depending on the extent of treatment or where the procedure was performed, the downtime may vary. During this time, if patients have any questions, we encourage them to contact our office and speak with our knowledgeable staff.


The transformational results of this fat transfer procedure can be seen immediately; however, the final results can be seen after any swelling and/or bruising dissipates; in about two to three weeks. Patients are able to enjoy their body’s new contour and the boost of confidence it provides!


The cost of a fat transfer procedure will vary from person to person depending on the area being treated, the extent of treatment, and if any additional procedures are needed to provide the patient with their desired results. During the initial consultation, Dr. Brown and the patient will work together to construct a treatment plan designed towards their exact concerns. Through this, he will be able to provide patients with a personalized fat transfer quote. To obtain a quote for this procedure, we encourage anyone who is interested to contact our office and schedule a private consultation with Dr. Brown.

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