What is fat necrosis during fat transfer?

What is fat necrosis during fat transfer?

12th Mar 2017

Necrosis is the death of a cell, cell formation, or organic tissue. Fat necrosis is a complication that can occur in the case of fat transfer to any part of the body. It can look like nodules under the surface of the skin, and can be subdued in time with massage. If the fat necrosis is on a bigger scale, surgical intervention might be needed, but this is only recommended in rare cases.

Autologous fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is a plastic surgery procedure used for breast reconstruction, buttock enhancement, and to give more volume to areas like the face, lips, chin, and even the backs of the hands. Different contour imperfections can be eliminated with the help of this common and popular method. Fat is collected from areas of the body where it is in excess, like the tummy, buttocks, or thighs, processed and turned into liquid, and then injected into the area that needs the reconstruction.

Fat necrosis occurs when the injected fat cells die. Aside from the lumps that can occur in this scenario, other symptoms associated with fat necrosis include pain, bleeding, numbness, and skin changing color to blue or even black. While fat necrosis can occur after any type of fat transfer, in most cases it will disappear on its own in time.

It is essential to keep in touch with the doctor who performed the procedure so he or she can monitor the results and effects over time. If you feel or see any changes that resemble the symptoms of fat necrosis, report them to your doctor, who will be able to diagnose it and prescribe a treatment. However, as mentioned before, sometimes it is just a question of giving the body enough time to readjust and eliminate it on its own.

It is also important to understand that the area injected with the fat will look a bit red, and edemas can occur for a few days. The area where the fat was extracted can present swelling for four to six weeks. Following the doctor’s suggestions and wearing the elastic corset after the procedure will diminish the swelling and help with the healing process. Keep this in mind when self-assessing your post-surgery condition: bruising and swelling are not necessarily signs of fat necrosis. They are natural effects of the surgery, as the body will need time to recover and heal.


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