Structural fat grafting is a procedure that takes fat from one or more areas of the body and places it elsewhere. It can be used to enhance certain areas of the body while removing unwanted excess fat from others.
Structural fat grafting can make several different cosmetic improvements in males.
Is Structural Fat Grafting Right for Me?
If you are unhappy with the look and/or shape of your chest, structural fat grafting could help. You might be a candidate for structural fat grafting if you want:
- Pectoral implants: Structural fat grafting can enhance your pectoral muscles, making them larger and more defined.
- Gynecomastia repair: Gynecomastia removes excess chest tissue in men, but sometimes too much tissue can be taken, leaving an unnatural appearance. Structural fat grafting can use fat to smooth the area.
- Other repair: Structural fat grafting can cover up scars or other skin irregularities from surgery or injury.
- Pectus excavatum treatment: In pectus excavatum, portions of the sternum and ribs develop abnormally, leaving a sunken appearance. Structural fat grafting can be used to fill in sunken areas for a more natural look.
What Are the Risks of Fat Grafting?
Complications with structural fat grafting are rare, but there are some general risks. They include:
- Placing too much or too little fat
The surgical team will work to reduce the potential for such problems.
Before the Procedure
If you’re trying to restore your chest’s previous look, you should bring past photos of yourself to your first consultation. That will give the surgical team an idea of your goal. If you want your chest to look like another person’s, such as a friend or celebrity, bring photos of that person.
At your first consultation, a staff member will go over the structural fat grafting procedure and your medical history. He or she also will take several current photos of you. Your doctor will use those photos to create a blueprint for your surgery, including host and graft sites.
On the day of the procedure, members of the surgical team will mark the fat harvest and placement sites on your body with colored pens. This gives the surgeon a guide for the procedure.
For the chest, doctors usually take excess fat from the abdomen, love handles, and/or flank. They remove the fat by liposuction.
After removal, doctors remove unwanted components from the fat like oil, blood, and water by using a centrifuge. This makes it ready for placement. They then place the fat, small amounts at a time, in the new location, shaping the area as they go.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
Structural fat grafting procedures generally last between two and five hours. The exact length depends on the amount of fat transferred.
Type of Anesthesia Used for Structural Fat Grafting
For chest procedures, doctors usually use local anesthesia with sedation.
Recovery from Structural Fat Grafting
Your recovery will depend on the amount of fat taken and placed. You likely will experience bruising, swelling, and soreness in the donor and graft sites.
You should be able to return to work within a few days, but you should limit upper body workouts for two to three weeks. Most patients will see some results within three weeks, with final results expected within three months.
Swelling in the donor sites can last longer, sometimes taking up to six months to completely go away.
What Results Can I Expect from Structural Fat Grafting?
Although fat can be volatile tissue, structural fat grafting uses fat from your own body to improve the chances of acceptance. There are no studies for fat survival rates in humans, but the procedure has been used to fix a variety of problems.
You should expect the procedure to fix at least some of your chest’s cosmetic problems, hopefully giving you a more natural, defined looks.