What is meant by fat injections?
It is the procedure where excess fat is removed from areas such as the abdomen,
flanks, hips or thighs and, after special preparation, injected into areas of the body that
need filling. The surgeon specializes in the use of the micro fat grafting technique.
The process requires gentle fat removal using low-vacuum liposuction and the use of
thin, delicate, non-traumatic cannulas to protect the survival of each harvested living
fat cell. The fat cells are then purified and slowly injected through tiny skin incisions
into the tissue of the recipient site utilizing a small syringe and cannula. Tiny droplets
are placed throughout the tissues assuring that each transferred fat cell will have an
adequate blood supply to achieve the permanent survival of the injected fat cells.
What is the indication why fat transfer to the labia major?
As women age, after childbirth or with weight gain or loss, this area can change,
becoming enlarged or have redundant skin. In some women with aging the labia
majora may undergo a significant atrophy and the dermis under the skin thins out. As
a result of these changes the labia majora becomes flat, saggy, wrinkled, and
darkened. The surgeon can drastically rejuvenate the labia majora with micro fat
grafting. The fat injections add fat to the areas beneath the skin, creating fullness
where needed that results in a lasting, youthful appearance of the labia majora.
How is the fat transfer procedure performed?
Fat is harvested through a small incision made in the planned donor area. For
instance, fat taken from the abdomen involves the use of a small incision made within
the umbilicus (belly button). The fat is harvested using specialized liposuction
techniques. Narrow liposuction cannulas that are specifically engineered for use in fat
transfer allow for gentler removal of the fat. In most cases, suction is created using a
hand-held liposuction device rather than the normal suction machine. Using the hand-
held liposuction device, the fat is less likely to be damaged by undue negative suction
pressure and more likely to survive.
Once removed, the fat is then cleansed and concentrated using a special technique that
minimizes potential damage to the fat cells. The fat is placed into individual syringes
and injected using a micro-injection technique. This technique involves the use of
specialized injection cannulas that are approximately 1mm in width. The fat is
deposited into the area of concern using literally hundreds of different droplets of fat
dispersed along multiple tissue layers. This micro-injection technique of fat transfer
maximizes the chances that the fat being placed will have an optimal blood supply to
survive. In most cases, more than enough fat is placed in each area (termed
overcorrection). This is done because of the fact that some degree of fat resorption
will take place over the following weeks. It is somewhat difficult to predict just how
much fat will be lost in any particular patient. Due to this fact, most patients require a
series of fat transfer sessions to ultimately achieve the desired level of augmentation.
Are there risks or complications with fat transfer?
Though all types of surgery carry potential risks, fat transfer is a relatively safe
procedure. In rare cases, patients may note lumping of the fat in a particular area
which is often more a reflection of the body’s healing process rather than a technical
issue with the procedure. If this occurs, gentle massage may help to smooth the
contour. Alternatively, steroid injections and/or lipodissolve injections may provide