Implants vs. Fat Transfer

Conveniently located to serve Pensacola, FL.

Front desk photo of Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery office

In the cosmetic surgery industry, implants have been around for decades. People are most familiar with breast implants, but plastic surgeons also use lip implants, cheek implants, chin implants, butt implants, and others, to enhance the body. Through the years, implant technology has evolved and today’s implants offer a very natural look and feel.

However, surgeons can also use your own body’s tissue (namely fat) to increase the volume in the breast and booty, reduce the signs of aging in the face and hands, and plump the cheeks and lips. Fat transfer (or grafting) is a procedure that has been performed since the late 1800’s. In recent years, new techniques have made the procedure more effective, giving patients amazing results.

Every patient is different, and depending on the desired outcome, one option may be better than the other. While fat grafting offers some great benefits, it is important that the patients understands what is involved in the procedure. A skilled, board certified plastic surgeon will explain the process step-by-step and give patients an accurate idea of the results. Your doctor go through the pros and cons of implants and fat transfer so that you make the right choice for you.

When it comes to breast augmentation, using breast implants is the most popular and cost-effective option. However, if a patient prefers not to have an implant in her body and only wants a modest increase in breast volume, then fat transfer may be a good option.

Fat grafting for the breast can take longer than breast augmentation surgery because the fat has to be removed via liposuction, then it has to be separated into usable fat and then carefully placed in the breast to create a nice contour. It is standard in fat grafting for some of the fat won’t “stick”, meaning about 35-40% of the fat transferred to an area will be filtered out by the body. For this reason, more than one fat grafting session may be required for the desired outcome. With the liposuction, combined with the fat grafting sessions, there is typically more time required which can make this option less affordable than the breast implants.

Those looking for a shapelier behind, may want to consider a Brazilian Butt Lift, or BBL. In recent years, BBL’s have overtaken implants as the choice for butt augmentation. A BBL using fat transfer has a much lower risk of complications and infection. At Gulf Coast Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeons give our patients beautifully contoured waists, hips and butts through the fat transfer process. Check out our photo gallery to see some amazing before and after photos. Because of the amount of liposuction needed to secure the fat for a BBL, this procedure is done in an outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia.

Another part of the body that sees tremendous improvement through fat transfers as opposed to implants is the face. The cheeks, under eye areas, lips, even the nose and the chin, can be contoured using fat transfers creating stunning results. The amount of fat needed for fat transfer to the face is small, so it can usually be done in the office under local anesthesia. Because fat contains stem cells, many patients also see an overall improvement in their skin’s tone and texture after fat transfer.

If you’re looking to improve or contour certain parts of your body but you are not sure which is the best option for you, schedule a consultation with one of our award-winning, board-certified plastic surgeons.

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