Best Area to Take Fat from for Fat Transfer?

Thighs or abdomen?

Doctor Answers 8

Best area: where there is excess fat

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The there is no best area.  The area that would benefit most from fat removal should be first in line.  Areas that have not had liposuction previously should be next.  Finally, I prefer the abdomen if all things being equal as I have found the fat here to be a little softer. 

All the best,

Dr Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Best areas to harvest fat

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Hi there-

This would be individually variable, but in general, fat grafted from the areas of your body where it is the most "stubborn" and difficult for you to get rid of with exercise should be the most successful.

Successful fat transfers

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Successful fat transfers depend on 4 things:

  1. Collecting the fat in a way that will keep most fat cells alive.
  2. Processing the fat in a way that gets rid of unnecessary elements, such as dead cells or excess fluids.
  3. Injecting the cells in a way that will optimize fat graft survival.
  4. Protecting the cells after they have been injected.

At the 2010 IFATs conference, Dr. Coleman presented a paper which determined that some parts of the centrifuged fat contain higher numbers of stem cells. In particular, he quantified how after centrifugation of the fat, the middle part of the tube, known to plastic surgeons as the ‘fat cake,’ is not one single entity, but has two sections of fat in the tube. The bottom part of the fat cake has a higher density of stem cells than the top part. Additionally, Dr. Coleman concluded that the high density fractions of lipoaspirate are superior to the low density fractions in terms of fat survival.

So, basically, fat grafts with a higher population of adipose stem cells survive longer, regardless of which part of the body the fat is actually taken from.

The body has places where it prefers to store stubborn, or slow-burning, fat. This varies from individual to individual and those bulges of slow-burning fat give the figure its particular shape (whether it be an hourglass or a pear). Those areas can be hard to get rid of, even with diet and exercise so liposuction can specifically target those areas.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Best area for fat grafting

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There are studies that have shown that no areas dominate in regards to fat survival with fat grafting. I have found certain areas that are better. The side of the legs has been great but so has the abdomen. It really depends on your body type.  There are many things that also go into making fat grafting work.  It takes experience.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Best place to harvest fat for fat grafting

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There's no one place that the best location to harvest fat for facial fat grafting. Ideally, the harvest location is easily accessible during the procedure whlie at the same time providing a plentiful source of fat. Many times this includes the abdomen, inner thighs or hips.

I like to ask patients what areas they feel have "stubborn" fat as this is often an indication that the fat will be less susceptible to weigh loss fluctuations.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Best fat for transfer is stubborn fat

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Fat cells from different parts of the body will behave differently depending on the individual, and they retain this characteristic after transfer. For example, if you have  "pear" body, the outer thighs will have stubborn fat that should last well when transferred.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Best Area to Harvest Fat for Grafting

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Each surgeon will have his/her preferences, but my first choice is the lower abdomen followed by the inner thigh.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Best area to harvest fat

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In general, I try to harvest fat from an area that has fat available that would be non-deforming to take, resists shrinking with weight loss, and is readily accessible with the patient lying on their back.

Usually, lower belly is my first choice, with outer thighs being #2.



Mike Nayak

Laxmeesh Mike Nayak, MD
Saint Louis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.