Fat Transfer

Fat Transfer

A fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is a surgical procedure in which fat is transferred from one area of the body to another. The fat is first removed from another area of the body through liposuction. The fat is processed and then reinjected into the desired area. The hips, face, buttocks, breasts, hands, and feet are common areas of fat grafting. A Brazilian butt lift is a common procedure, where fat is taken from the stomach, thighs, or back, and is then transferred to the butt. 

Fat Transfer To The Face

What is fat transfer to the face? With normal aging, there is fat loss in the face.  This can be replaced with one’s own fat or fillers such as hyaluronic acids or similar products.  Fat is often used when replacement is needed in multiple areas of the face.  The volume replacement helps give a more youthful appearance.  Fat transfer to the face is often used in conjunction with a face lift or by itself.  As with fat transfer in other areas of the body, it is important to follow post-operative instructions for optimal fat survival. 


Liposuction is a way to shape and contour the body, producing dramatic changes in a small amount of time by removing stubborn fatty deposits under the skin. Although liposuction is most often associated with the thighs and abdomen, liposuction can be performed on many places of the body, such as the thighs, abdomen, arms, back, and chin.

Vaser Liposuction

Vaser liposuction (ultrasonic) and Smartlipo (laser) are types of liposuction that use heat to liquefy the fat prior to removal. The heat promotes collagen production and skin tightening.

Brazilian Butt Lift

A Brazilian butt lift, also known as a BBL, is a surgical procedure that transfers fat from other parts of the body to the buttocks, as well as shaping the butt. Fat is taken usually from the stomach, thighs, or back, and transferred to the butt. This procedure increases the size of the butt without the use of implants. Liposuction is used to remove fat from unwanted areas of the body and is reinserted into the buttocks. This gives the butt a rounder and fuller appearance, resulting in a curvier appearance to the figure. A Brazilian butt lift does not specifically address loose skin on the butt.

Who is a good candidate for fat transfer?

Someone is an ideal candidate for fat transfer if:

  • They are looking for a procedure that will remove excess fat, as well as help shape the contours of the body.
  • They are generally in good health.
  • They do not smoke or drink excessively.
  • They do not have any medical conditions that can impair or slow the healing process.
  • They have realistic goals for the outcome of the surgery. Dr. Hardaway will work with patients to determine which path will be best to meet their needs.

If you have any specific medical conditions, please inform Dr. Hardaway. She will find a course of treatment that is right for you. Call 248-855-6030 to schedule a consultation

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does fat transfer cost?

The cost of the surgery varies depending on the needs and wants of each specific patient. Dr. Hardaway will help you find a procedure and payment plan that suits your needs.

How is a fat transfer performed? 

 Fat transfer can be performed under various types of anesthesia: general, local or local with IV sedation.  This depends on the amount of fat needed for transfer and the location where the fat is placed. Small incisions are made near the areas of treatment and a very thin tube called a cannula is inserted under the skin to reach fat deposits. The cannula is attached to a vacuum, and the doctor will move the tube under the skin, to suction out fatty deposits. The fat is then processed, purified, and reinjected into the desired area of the body. 

How long is recovery from a fat transfer?

 Liposuction with fat transfer is an outpatient treatment, so no hospital stay is required unless the patient has a medical history that requires hospitalization. There will be some bruising and swelling after the procedure. Swelling should fully subside 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, as some of the grafted fat is absorbed. A compression garment is required after liposuction. This should be worn for 3 to 6 weeks, except when showering. Patients can normally return to work several days after the procedure, depending on the physical intensity of the job. Normal physical activity can be resumed when cleared by the doctor, normally two to three weeks after surgery. Do not resume normal physical activity or return to work until cleared by the doctor.

How long do results from a fat transfer last?

 Results from a fat transfer surgery will last for many years. After surgery, some of the transferred fat will merge with the surrounding tissues for up to six weeks after the procedure. All of the transferred fat does not survive; therefore, it is important to follow post-operative instructions to optimize fat survival. Fluctuations in weight and changes to the body such as pregnancy can alter the results. Maintaining a stable weight and practicing healthy habits through diet and exercise will help prolong results.

What are the risks of a fat transfer?

The most common risks of surgery include bruising and swelling after the procedure. As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection if not taken care of properly. Blood clots and nerve damage are other risks from the procedure but are uncommon. Strictly following the doctor’s instructions for aftercare can help decrease the chance of these risks. Following the doctor’s instructions closely after surgery will help decrease the chance of these risks.