Do you have stubborn pockets of fat that the strictest diet won’t melt away? Do you wish you could augment other regions of your body, like your buttocks or breasts? If so, a fat transfer may be right for you. If you’re considering a mommy makeover in the Fort Worth area, you won’t find better than Dustin C. Derrick, MD, the premiere cosmetic surgeon for mommy makeovers at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW in Fort Worth, TX.
This procedure works by using liposuction to harvest subcutaneous fat cells from one or more donor areas. Then, the removed fat cells are cleaned, and the strong, healthy, whole fat cells are prepared for injection into strategic locations in the areas targeted for augmentation. There are a number of considerations that need to be made to determine if surgery is right for you. Read on to learn more about fat grafting, including who is considered a good fit.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Fat Transfer?
A good fat transfer candidate generally has a body mass index falling somewhere within the normal or overweight range. You should not expect to qualify for this minimally invasive procedure if you are underweight or obese. You shouldn’t expect to qualify if you are underweight because there must be enough subcutaneous fat for harvesting. If you are obese, you may not qualify because the more excess fat you have, the less likely you are to achieve satisfactory results.
It is also very important that you are in pretty good health to qualify for fat grafting. One reason it is important to be healthy is that it takes a lot of energy to recover from surgery. It also takes a lot of energy to recover from an acute illness and fuel your immune system so it can protect you from other acute illnesses. Certain chronic illnesses, like hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, or heart disease can also disqualify you from fat grafting.
Will I Qualify for This Procedure If I Plan to Get Pregnant in the Future?
If you’re planning to become pregnant in the future, you will not be automatically disqualified from this procedure. However, to qualify for cosmetic surgery, it is vital that you have realistic expectations about the results. While the removal of fat cells from one or more regions of your body is permanent, you may need a follow-up procedure in the future.
Once you reach the age of 25, the number of fat cells in your body is set in stone without intervention from an aesthetic expert. When you operate at a caloric deficit, the fat cells storing excess energy shrink as you burn the fuel they hold inside. However, the fat cells themselves are not eliminated from the body. In the event of future excess calorie consumption, the fat cells that remain in the donor areas can expand with fat.
How Should I Prepare for My Fat Grafting Procedure?
Attend an Initial Consultation
Attending an initial consultation is the most important fat grafting preparation step. We will discuss your health and evaluate the skin in your areas of concern to verify that this procedure will be safe for you. Then, we will discuss your goals to ensure fat grafting is the most effective procedure for you. We will also advise you on other procedures that may help you improve your self-esteem, especially if you’ve experienced numerous contour changes due to pregnancy.
To be considered a good fit for fat grafting, you must be capable of following all pre-surgery preparation rules. For example, you must be able to not smoke or drink alcohol for 14 days prior to your procedure. You also must be able to abstain from alcohol consumption during that time. This will help to ensure your procedure and recovery go smoothly. There are also certain drugs and supplements you cannot take for several days pre-op for your safety.
Prepare for Your Recovery
The more prepared you are for your recovery, the smoother it will go. One vital preparation step to take is to ensure you have a ride home. Due to the use of anesthesia to keep you comfortable during your surgery, you will need to go at least 24 hours without operating heavy machinery, including motor vehicles. It is highly advisable to wear warm, comfortable clothes that are easy to put on. If incisions will be made on your upper body, you may want to wear a button-up shirt.
Alternatively, you may want to wear a loose dress that you can step into. You may not want to pull a t-shirt or dress on over your head if fat is being removed from your breasts, back, upper arms, flanks, or stomach. You also may want to go grocery shopping and have nutritious meals that are easy to prepare. If possible, have someone stay with you to help you take care of yourself and your household for at least the first 24 hours post-op.
It is extremely important that you maintain your weight during the first several weeks to months following your surgery. It will take a while for the fat cells added to your regions of low volume to settle in permanently. Some of the implanted fat cells will die during this time, and an unnecessarily large number of fat cells in your augmented regions may die if you eat at a caloric deficit.
If you feel like you have some weight to lose before you are satisfied with your body composition, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be losing weight during the first stages of your recovery process. You may want to lose a little weight before you schedule your surgery.
What Other Procedures Can Help Me Improve My Self-Confidence?
Women can gain fat anywhere during pregnancy. One of the most common places pregnant women gain fat is the upper arms. If you gained a significant amount of weight in your arms and proceeded to lose it after pregnancy, you may be worried about loose or excess skin. If you are, an arm lift, otherwise known as Brachioplasty, may be appropriate for you. This procedure can also result in a small amount of fat removal.
A tummy tuck, referred to in the medical community as abdominoplasty, is another incredibly common post-pregnancy procedure. Pregnancy is very hard on the midsection, sometimes causing such medical problems as ventral hernias or stress urinary incontinence. Furthermore, the abdominal walls can become torn during pregnancy, causing the lower abdomen to stick out like a kangaroo’s pouch regardless of fat deposits in the area.
There is an excellent chance you will be a good fit for a tummy tuck if your abdominal muscles were torn during pregnancy or labor. There is also a good chance this procedure will benefit you if you are experiencing loose or excess abdominal skin, a bit of stubborn belly fat, back pain, or urinary incontinence. During a full tummy tuck, the abdominal walls can be repaired, providing many benefits, including improved posture that results in less low back pain.
How Much Fat You Can Lose With a Tummy Tuck
Abdominoplasty is primarily designed to enhance the appearance of the abdomen by tightening the loose muscle and skin tissue while removing excess skin. Secondary benefits of this procedure include repositioning the navel in some cases and the excision of a small amount of fat. If you have quite a bit of abdominal fat but you’re not obese, you may benefit from targeting the abdomen as a donor region during a fat transfer.
If liposuction is used to remove abdominal fat, your body mass is a significant deciding factor in how much fat you can expect to lose. The amount of excess subcutaneous fat you have in your abdominal region is another significant factor affecting the results you can expect. Depending on your body mass, you can safely lose anywhere from one pound to nearly a dozen pounds of fat. However, you can only lose around a quarter of the targetable fat in a large area.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
You may be a good fat transfer candidate if you are neither underweight nor obese and concerned about the appearance of certain contours. If you’re curious about whether a mommy makeover will behoove you, you’re not alone; call us at 817-529-4314 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dustin C. Derrick at Cosmetic Surgery of DFW in Fort Worth, TX.