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Structural Fat Grafting for Legs

Fat grafting has revolutionized how doctors can improve the contour of calves and thighs and correct other soft tissue issues on the legs. Structural fat grafting involves the harvesting of fat from various areas on your body. That fat is then injected into your legs to create your desired effect.

For legs, fat grafting can:

  • Revise problems from liposuction
  • Fix soft tissue problems caused by injuries, surgeries, and injections
  • Enhance or shape

Who Is a Candidate for Structural Fat Grafting?

Structural fat grafting moves fat between different spots on the body. Because there is no risk of rejection or an allergic reaction, the procedure isn’t limited to any specific candidates. Both men and women who are dissatisfied with the shape and appearance of their legs, or who have issues stemming from trauma or congenital disease, can benefit from structural fat grafting.

What Are the Risks of Fat Grafting?

Structural fat grafting is less invasive and carries fewer risks than traditional plastic surgery, such as a calf implant. However, there are potential complications and side effects that include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infections
  • Scarring
  • Irregularities
  • Placing too much or too little fat
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

The surgical team will work to reduce the potential for such problems.

Before the Procedure

Before undergoing your procedure, you will meet with your doctor who will share information about the procedure, review your medical history and address any concerns you may have.

A member of the surgical team will take several photos of your body from different angles. Your surgeon will use these photos to create the plan for the procedure and discuss it with you. You can request changes to that plan.

Procedure Details

Before the procedure, the surgical team will mark the donation and graft sites with colored pens to highlight where fat will be harvested and placed. The surgeon may harvest fat from one location or several.

After harvesting the fat, the team uses a centrifuge to remove unwanted components like oil, water, and blood from the fat. That process refines and concentrates the fat, making it ideal for grafting.

When placing the fat in its new location, the surgical team uses a sculpting method for the best look.

How Long Does the Procedure Take?

The length of the procedure depends on the number, size, and location of the donation and graft areas. It can take anywhere from under two hours to five hours.

Type of Anesthesia for Fat Grafting

Surgeons typically use general anesthesia, but they can choose local anesthesia with sedation in more minor cases.

Recovering from Structural Fat Grafting

The recovery from structural fat grafting depends on the number and size of treated areas.

In cases involving the arms and legs, the recovery process can happen more quickly, and patients can return to work within days.

There will be some swelling in both the donor and graft sites. All swelling should be resolved within three to six months, with the donor sites taking longer to subside.

What Results Can I Expect from Fat Grafting?

Fat can be easily damaged after grafting. There is not yet a study for fat survival rate in humans, but the procedure can correct a large variety of problems.