Body Fat Percentage Requirement for Fat Grafting?

If I'm interested in fat grafting, must I have a certain percentage of body fat for harvesting? I work out regularly and have low body fat. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 5

Body fat needed for fat grafting

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Usually there is enough fat found in the upper outer buttock or outer thigh that can be removed for small work. If someone needs a large amount of volume in the face, there may not be enough fat that can be removed. There are patients that I had to turn away from fat injections years ago, before the development of Sculptra, because they didn't have enough adipose donor tissue.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

The volume needed is more important than your body fat percentage

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Hi Emerald70117

There is no specific Body Fat Percentage required for Fat Grafting. The amount of fat required will depend more on "where" you are having the fat injected. If you are injecting this into areas of the face, you will not need to have much fat. If you are planning to have the fat transferred to your buttocks, this will require much much more!

Many women come in my office stating that they have been told that they don't have enough fat to use for The Brazilian Butt Lift (Fat Grafting to the buttocks) and in most cases I have found more than enough fat.

There is no scientifically measurable percentage that has been determined

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Studies looking into the percentage of body fat are not prevalent in the literature. So this hasn't been determined accurately. Because you work out regularly and have low body fat, you might not be the best candidate for a lot of fat grafting. I would reserve fat grafting for areas that are least likely to tolerate more permanent fillers or implants. These areas would be around the eyes and in the cheek hollow area. The alternative for the areas other than that are sculptra, silicone implants for a more semi permanent or permanent options.

Temporary fillers can be used everywhere essentially. Temple hollows, forehead volume loss, jaw shrinkage and sunken cheeks can be augmented with silicone implants as an option in the very thin or fit patient. Fat can then be used in the areas that cannot tolerate these implants.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fat Transfer and Body Weight

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There are two ways to look at it. If you have too much fat (like 50 pounds over weight), you might not be a good candidate because of swing in weight that could change my result. Also, if you are bone thin, I may not have enough fat to do the procedure. However, in about 85% of individuals who are beginning to age, they have enough fat (I don't need a lot) to do the work. just about 20 plus cc for someone in their 30s. and about 35 to 40 for someone in their late 40s as a comparison. i have written two books on fat transfer and it is my specialty. here is a video on understanding fat grafting. also there is a link to my fat grafting page with links to my before and after results along with a ton of videos on the subject.


sam lam

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

There is no specific body fat % needed for grafting

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 As long as you have some extra fat somewhere and have enough to harvest the amount you need for grafting, you can have the procedure.  Dr. Carraway in Norfolk is considered an expert by the way.

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