Fat Transfer in Pittsburgh

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Introduction to

Fat Transfer Pittsburgh

When people imagine the signs of aging, they usually think of wrinkling or sagging skin. However, the underlying cause of these problems is facial volume loss.

Fat transfers come to mind for people with thin, wrinkled lips as well as the loss of precious fat. Also called fat grafting, fat transfer is a minimally invasive surgical procedure which helps to restore skin volume and give the appearance of more youthful skin.

Dr. Pautler can restore fullness to the lips, cheeks, and other areas of the face with fine, precise injections of your own fat. Taken from other areas of your body – commonly the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks – the results of fat transfer can be quite long lasting, all without the risk of an allergic reaction.

Let’s discuss the procedure of facial fat transfer in more detail.

How Fat Transfer Works

Preparation for the Procedure

Prior to surgery, you will need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pautler. During this time, she will perform an initial examination of your body and ask about your medical history. This information is used to determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

During this time, a donor site will be determined to harvest the fat necessary for the procedure. The areas will be selected based on the amount of fat present and your overall aesthetic goals. Finally, Dr. Pautler will mark the areas on the face where the fat will be reinjected. Pictures will also be taken to have a clear before and after reference point.

The Fat Transfer Procedure

The first step in facial fat grafting is harvesting fat from a predetermined donor site. Dr. Pautler will determine the area of the body from which fat will be harvested. This is usually the hips, thighs, abdomen, buttocks or flanks. Before beginning, the area will be numbed and small incisions made on the site. If there is a need for larger volumes of fat, you may be recommended sedation or general anesthesia. A gentle liposuction technique will then be used to remove the desired amount of fat

Once the fat is harvested, it will then need to be purified before reinjection. This is a fairly quick step and takes about 10-15 minutes.In the final step, Dr. Pautler will use advanced injection methods to reinject fat into the desired locations on the face.

The procedure takes about an hour and depends on the size of the area being treated. Since it is performed as an outpatient procedure, you can safely return home the same day the treatment is performed.

Fat Transfer to the Face

Fat transfer to the face is a plastic surgery technique where fat is usually harvested from the abdomen and/or inner thigh and reinjected into the face – usually the cheeks around the eyes, temples, or along the jawline. Sometimes the lips can be augmented with fat as well. Very small instruments are used, and small amounts of fat are transferred in several layers to increase the amount of “take.” This can be done alone, or it can be done in conjunction with upper and lower eyelid surgery and/or facelifts.

First, the fat is aspirated with a 10 mm syringe and a small harvesting cannula. The syringes are left upside down so that any blood or bodily fluids are separated so the fat is purer. Then a very small cannula, larger than the needle used for Restylane® or Juvederm® but still very small, is used to inject the fat with multiple passes.

Bruising is extremely common after this, as is swelling. Several treatments may be needed to get the desired results since there is always a chance that some of the fat will be resolved. Prior to any surgery, patients should be non-smoking and in good health, able to tolerate some level of anesthesia, and free from any infection going on in the face. It is also preferable that the procedure be done several months before or after any kind of dental procedure or laser treatment where there is going to be some inflammation and stretching of the face.

Fat Transfer to the Breasts

Fat transfer to the breasts is a technique where fat is taken from other areas of the body to thicken or increase the volume of the breast. It works best for deflated breasts, like after having babies or removing an implant. Harvesting fat for this technique is completely different than liposuction. For fat grafting to the breasts, fat is removed with very small cannulas with a low-suction device, which is slower and gentler than liposuction. It allows for the best survival of fat in its new home – the breasts.

Dr. Pautler uses the Lipografter® device from MTF Biologics. Donor sites are usually the flanks, hips, abdomen, or thighs. Fat is carefully injected into the breast with a very small cannula with multiple passes. The goal is to maximize the survival of transferred fat so that each cell has access to the blood supply. The recipient site, the breast, cannot be overwhelmed with too much fat, or some of the fat will be crowded out of any nutrients, i.e., blood supply, and undergo tissue death. Death of fat results in small oil cysts or calcifications, which in and of themselves are not harmful to your health. However, they can sometimes be palpable under the breast skin and/or visible on a mammogram. In other words, the mammogram can be a little more difficult to read if there are multiple calcifications or oil cysts. There is a limit to how much fat the breast can accommodate at any single procedure.

Recovery and Results

As facial fat grafting is a minimally invasive procedure, the downtime required is quite limited. The results also show up relatively quickly. In fact, most people will see an improvement almost immediately. As time passes and natural collagen production increases, results will become more pronounced.

Most patients are able to resume daily activities the same day as surgery. In cases where a high amount of fat was harvested and transferred, there may be a need for a brief recovery period. It is advisable to avoid the sun for at least 48 hours after surgery. Minor swelling, bruising and reddening are to be expected. This is perfectly normal and will diminish as you heal.

You may also be advised to wear a compression garment on the areas from where the fat was removed.

Contact Our Office

To learn more about the non surgical procedure of Fat Transfer, please contact Dr. Pautler’s plastic surgery office for a consultation.

» Read more about fat transfer

* Prices are subject to change on all treatments and products.

» Read more about fat transfer to the face

Fat Transfer Photos

See the results for yourself

Featured Testimonials

Here’s what our clients have to say

"Dr. Pautler is an amazing person. I wanted to have a breast augmentation but was nervous. She took the time to fully explain everything to me. I never felt as if a question was stupid or not worth her time. I quickly realized that I had found the right doctor. My surgery went very well, thanks to the expert hands of Dr. Pautler. The first few days of my recovery were as expected. Then I noticed that my incisions were becoming increasingly itchy. On a Saturday morning, I called the number Dr. Pautler had given me. A little while later, she met me in her office. I was having a rare allergic reaction to the adhesive. She was able to treat me and told me to come into the office on Monday. I was very grateful for this weekend visit with her. Much to my surprise, I got a phone call the next day, from Dr. Pautler. It was a Sunday! She was calling to see how I was feeling. I would definitely recommend her to anyone. I wish more doctors were as caring and as compassionate as her.”

"I recently went to Dr. Pautler to have my first breast augmentation back in May 2017. Dr. Pautler is such an amazing women and surgeon. From the moment I walked into her office for my consultation to my last follow up appointment, every one in her office was so welcoming, professional, and made my experience so much better. She took a lot of time with me during our initial consultation to discuss all of my options. She was so honest with me from the get go and I instantly felt comfortable putting my personal appearance into her hands. I never once felt that she tried to pressure me into doing anything that I was not comfortable with. Her bedside manner is absolutely amazing...and I am a nurse who works on a post surgical unit and frequently see how surgeons do not always have the best bedside manner. The staff in her office are so friendly and remember you when you come in for all of your appointments...and that meant a lot to me that I was not just another patient. During my pre-op and post op stages at the hospital, all of the staff had great things to say about her. They often refer to her as "amazing", which made me feel so good! I am now completely healed from the surgery, and I could not be happier with my results. She made me feel so much better about my physical appearance and I have so much more confidence now thanks to her!”

"Worth the long drive. The local surgeons close to me have 2 hour long office waits, incompetent staff, change pricing and hospital locations at zero hour, and don't explain everything well. Dr. Pautler came recommended to me and I'm glad she was.”

"Wonderful doctor who is so caring! Having her perform my mommy makeover was the best decision of my life!! My body looks amazing thanks to her!”

"A lifetime of being thin and in shape and still... fat arms. At age 44 I was approaching 1,000 barre classes (yay!) and I told myself, if I still hate my arms after 1,000 barre classes, I will get the arm lipo. I had received quotes for the procedure twice before but chickened out - also my husband and even plastic surgeon has said 'you're thin and in great shape. You don't need it'”

"I was on the fence with going through a Breast Augmentation for a few years. There were obvious reasons on why I wanted one, but I knew that going through with this surgery would need to be done at the best time with the best doctor. After visiting a few doctors that I was uncomfortable with, someone I knew personally suggested trying her doctor, Dr. Pautler. I immediately called the office...”

"I recently went to Dr. Pautler to have my first breast augmentation back in May 2017. Dr. Pautler is such an amazing women and surgeon. From the moment I walked into her office for my consultation to my last follow up appointment, every one in her office was so welcoming, professional, and made my experience so much better. She took a lot of time with me during our initial consultation to...”

How Much Does a Fat Transfer Cost?

The cost of this procedure varies because it is a highly individualized surgery tailored for each patient. The overall price may include anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related expenses. Additional tests and imaging may also add to your total. Contact our Pittsburgh location for additional information.


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