Fat Transfer to Face, Breast, Hands, Buttocks

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Fat transfer surgery is a hot topic among today’s elite plastic surgeons. Dr. Mess researched and trained in fat transfer during her six-year residency at Georgetown University Hospital and incorporated the procedure early in her practice. She has refined her technique to offer the advantages of fat transfer to augment and reconstruct. Dr. Mess performs fat transfer to the face, breast, hands, and buttocks to add volume and fullness and restore a youthful and vigorous appearance.

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Ideal Candidates for Fat Transfer

Candidates should be in good physical health and have realistic expectations of the procedure. Fat transfer surgery can be used to:

  • Improve facial contour and provide facial rejuvenation
  • Provide natural breast augmentation without implants
  • Lift and shape the buttocks (Brazilian Butt Lift, Thong Lift, Butt Augmentation)
  • Correct congenital or trauma induced defects
  • Enhance outcomes of breast reconstruction after mastectomy
  • Breast augmentation in conjunction with implants
  • Add fullness to hands for a more youthful appearance
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Fat Transfer Surgery – The Procedure

Dr. Mess receives patients from many in Washington DC, DMV and nearby cities. She performs the fat transfer in her office in Columbia, MD, at Northwest Hospital near Baltimore, and at Howard County General Hospital. There are different techniques for fat transfer depending on the area being treated; small volume to face and hands vs. medium volume to enhance breast reconstruction vs. large volume to enhance buttocks and augment breast without implants. Common donor sites are the patient’s abdomen, thighs, or love handles. The fat is suctioned by hand for small volume and by liposuction machine for large volume. The fat is gently separated to concentrate the viable fat from fluid and nonessential matter. The concentrated fat is re-injected into the desired area with small cannulas designed to maximize the survival of the transferred fat. Dr. Sarah Mess has spent years refining her fat transfer technique to offer her patients outstanding fat transfer outcomes.

Preparing for Fat Transfer

Dr. Mess will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. If you smoke or take any anti-inflammatory medication such as aspirin, it is best that you discontinue these habits at least four weeks before the procedure since they can hinder blood flow to the skin as well as disrupt the healing process.

Fat Grafting to the Face, Head, Neck, and Hands

Dr. Mess performs fat transfer to the face to fill facial hollows and lines as a standalone procedure or in addition to neck lift or blepharoplasty. Fat transfer to the face is a more permanent and more natural alternative to fillers. Fat transfer to the hands can restore volume and provide a more youthful-looking hand. During your consultation, you will discuss your goals and expectations and review photographs to understand the plan.

Harvesting & Refinement

Dr. Mess typically harvests fat from the abdomen through a tiny incision in the belly button using state-of-the-art cannulas specifically designed to create small particle size for greater accuracy and for maximal fat cell viability. If the patient does not have adequate abdominal fat she may harvest from the thighs, love handles or other sites. The fat will be placed in a centrifuge where the fat will be separated from fluids and non-essential elements. The fat will then be transferred to the recipient site using precisely placed injections on multiple plains to achieve the structure and look you desire. On the day of the procedure, donor and graft sites will be laid out and marked following the plan designed during your consultation. Dr. Mess uses markers to map the surgery and distinguish between donor and recipient sites.

Fat Grafting Surgery to the Breast

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation is Dr. Mess’ specialty. If you are interested in learning more about natural breast augmentation with fat transfer please visit our Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation page and the Breast Fat Transfer before and after photo gallery.

Learn More About Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

View Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Patient Photos

Recovery for Fat Transfer

Recovery for Fat Transfer to the Face and Hands

Patients go home after the procedure and elevate their head or hands. Ice is not recommended for the face or hands following fat transfer. Temporary bruising and swelling are expected, and patients may take prescribed medication to alleviate pain following fat transfer.

Recovery for Fat Transfer to the Buttock and Breast

Recovery from fat transfer to the buttock (Brazilian Butt lift) requires two weeks off work to avoid sitting and limited activity to ensure the viability of the transferred fat. Proper planning and preparation for recovery are critical to the success of the procedure.

Recovery from fat transfer to the breast is relatively short. Patients will be advised on post-procedure bras and will have regular follow up with Dr. Mess. There will also be some recovery from the liposuction part of the transfer. In general, patients can return to normal activities in 2-3 weeks but are advised to avoid strenuous activity and any “fat burning” exercises for up to 6 weeks.

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I've been seeing Dr. Mess and her staff for almost 2 years now. If you're looking into fat transfer of any sort, look no further. I chose Dr. Mess for her expertise in fat transfer, aesthetics, and natural-looking results.

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Fat Transfer to the Hands and Chest with Dr. Mess

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How Much Does Fat Transfer Cost?

The costs associated with a fat transfer include:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Surgical facility costs
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Post-surgery garments

It is important to remember that your ultimate satisfaction will be based on a lot more than fee. Dr. Mess combines the training, experience and dedicated care to provide exceptional results for patients seeking fat transfer.


Brazilian Butt Lift Fat Transfer: $15,000-$18,000

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation: $12,000-$18,000

Results After Fat Transfer Surgery

Due to swelling and bruising, the results of a fat transfer may not be apparent immediately. As swelling and symptoms subside over the next couple of weeks, patients will begin to appreciate the fullness of the fat transfer site as well as the effects of lipo on the donor sites.

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Dr. Sarah Mess is a board certified plastic surgeon. She is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). She is dedicated to providing each of her patients with the results they desire while making sure that they are cared for with the utmost safety.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Mess, please contact us or call (410) 609-5639 today.

Dr. Sarah Mess has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Page Updated

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Rejuvenate Your Face and Body

Many patients come to see Dr. Sarah Mess from the Baltimore, and Washington DC areas because of her ability to provide their face and body with a revitalized look that appears naturally youthful. For all of your cosmetic needs, please call (410) 559-9468 or use the form below to request a consultation.

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