Can You Borrow Fat from a Friend?

WriterMama on 25 Jun 2012 at 8:00am

fat transfer

Fat transfer is a natural, effective way to redistribute your body fat—to shrink some areas, and plump up others. But what if you don't have enough fat to transfer? If you're small-chested, can you “borrow” some from your bustier friends? Can doctors harvest fat from other women—like they do with egg donors—and give it to you for a Brazilian butt lift?

Doctors say: No way

Every plastic surgeon who's answered the borrowed-fat question on RealSelf states that harvesting fat from someone else for your fat transfer is a big no-no. But why not? It's just fat, right?

“Fat cells are living tissue,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Chad Wheeler. “Your immune system will attack anything that is not your own unless it has exactly the same markers on the cell membrane. This is the reason why all organ transplants have to be on life long immunosuppression.”

Plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken expands on the consequences, saying, “Your body would reject the fat and it could cause a serious infection."

One remote possibility was mentioned by several surgeons, including Dr. David Shafer. “The only exception would be from an identical twin to yourself,” he says. However, Dr. Shafer also cautions that “even in this case, you would be navigating on unchartered waters.”

So even if you have a handy and generous identical twin, using someone else's fat is a risk you just can't afford. Also, no reputable plastic surgeon would agree to perform the procedure—so if you are an identical twin, you're still out of luck.

This myth is busted

Though it could be a win-win situation for both parties if it worked out, unfortunately, you can't get your friends or family to donate unwanted fat for your lean frame.

The good news is that the right candidates do have other options like implants, or gaining weight specifically for the transfer.

Photo credit: Tyler Olson/Deposit Photos