Institute for Plastic Surgery 
Phone: 217-545-6314
Fax: 217-545-2588
E-mail: plastics@siumed.edu 
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Fat Grafting

Having a fat grafting procedure can dramatically improve the appearance, helping to enhance facial features, reshape the waistline and even rejuvenate the hands. Liposuction is not only useful for the removal of fat but can also be used for transferring fat. The reason for this is that fat has many likeable qualities for certain applications.

Transplanting fat for cosmetic purposes has been popular since the 1980s, long before currently popular fillers were developed. Technologies for harvesting and placing fat have grown in sophistication over the past 10 to 15 years. Fat grafting has proved to be safe, reliable and long-lasting.

Our plastic surgeons first used fat grafting techniques 15 years ago to improve the appearance of scars, birth defects and injuries caused by trauma or radiation treatments. Now, we are targeting more cosmetically specific areas including the face (cheeks, jawline, eyelids and lips), hands, breasts and buttocks. Fat grafting procedures are more complex than procedures using fillers such as Juvederm® or Restylane®, but fat provides an added benefit – it is not temporary. Fat can actually serve as a permanent filler!

By inserting your own body fat into selected areas, it actually takes on the same texture of the tissue in which it is injected. Metabolic changes occur that result in improvements to appearance, contour and skin quality over a period of months. Fat cells contain stem cells and a number of growth factors that enhance their performance when compared to other fillers used today. As the blood supply to the fat is formalized, the overlying skin’s complexion and color can undergo remarkable changes. A fat graft procedure can enhance both one’s appearance and self-image, helping one to feel more confident.