Fat Transfer for Calf Augmentation

I am considering a fat transfer to correct a scar caused by a compound fracture to my lower leg, where the injury left an indention on the inside of my calf.

During a consult with a cosmetic surgeon, the doctor said that he could do a fat transfer to help even the contour to match my other calf. I am concerned because he wants to take fat from my inner thighs even though I mentioned that my hips and stomach are the only areas that I have fat deposits that I don't like (I have great thighs). He mentioned that the risk for lipo-related scarring is lower for the inner thigh area. Does anyone have any helpful feedback? Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.

Doctor Answers 10

I would respectfully disagree with what your physician...

I would respectfully disagree with what your physician has told you. I think the inner thigh can be a very difficult place to achieve a good contour after fat harvesting, mainly because the skin is very thin and there are lots of lymphatics in this area. I tend to prefer the abdomen or hips, but the key points are that it can be from anywhere you have extra fat (no one area has any significant advantages over another) and that the surgeon should not only harvest the fat, but achieve good contour and symmetry from the area of harvest.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Fat transfer donor sites

I believe I have the longest experience in the United States in fat grafting . Dr. Coleman began fat grafting after seeing one of my lectures. The inner thigh can get irregular ...correct not a good donor. The abdomen fat changes readily with weight change.The back area behind the ilium is the best donor site. It never is ripply, the fat is a different thicker consistency and it doesn't vary with weight gain.It is closely related to the "brown fat" bears use for hibernation.I rarely when  using this site and utilizing many other techniques from my experience need to redo fat grafting.

Richard Ellenbogen, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat transfer for leg scar

In my opinion, the inner thigh is pretty unforgiving with liposuction.  The skin tone is usually not very good in that area.  I'm not sure why your doctor would not use the areas you prefer to harvest the fat.  If I had great thighs, believe me, I would not want anyone using them for a donor site if other areas are available. 

You referred to your doctor as a "cosmetic surgeon".  Make sure he is the real deal, i.e. a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Scar revision with fat grafting

It is possible to perform a scar revision with the injection of fat under a depressed area. If you're interested in this procedure, it is essential to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon was a great deal of experience with fat grafting. The reason is that this area of your body has a great deal of fibrous tissue and scar. This scar will need to be released and enough space will be created under this car so that the transplanted fat can easily be added and without pressure.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Abdomen and flanks are excellent fat graft donor sites

While it is true that inner thigh liposuction scars are well concealed, most surgeons experienced with fat grafting use the flanks and abdomen (especially in female patients) as primary donor sites. All scars can be concealed beneath your underwear lines. If your skin elasticity is good, it would be reasonable to have a liposuction done at the time of your fat transfer procedure, which will improve your overall body contour.

Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for a consultation.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Fat injections

The donor site for fat transfer could be any where there is enough fat to harvest.

The abdomen is a common area, the flanks and hips are other areas.

Fat transfer to scared areas is more difficult because the scar may be adherent to underlying tissue, also scars need to be released, that can be done by a method called Meshing the scar and depositing the fat in these tunnels

I do not see a reason to insist on the medial thighs.

The important part when harvesting fat is not to leave the area deformed compared to the opposite side. Therefore it should be treated as if you are doing liposuction for cosmetic reasons. You just can not take the fat from an area in the body and not consider what you are leaving behind, otherwise you will need another surgery to correct the donor site.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fat transfers for surgical scars and contour defects

A fat transfer sounds like an appropriate technique for your condition, and I have had great results treating traumatic or post-surgical contour depressions and divots with it. I tend to take the fat from the abdomen on outer thigh as those areas, even on a thin person, usually have enough fat to take safely. The success of the procedure depends mostly on the skill and artistry of the surgeon using a gentle technique and proper instrumentation. The risk for lipo-related scarring, no matter where the fat is taken from, should be exteremely low for a surgeon who knows what he or she is doing.

Douglas J. Mackenzie, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fat transfers

Fat transfers can be harvested from anywhere there is excess fat. I find the best fat is usually the lower abdomen or the hip region.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Fat transfer for calf augmentation

I believe that fat transfer to the area in question (calf) does very well but the easiest area to obtain fat from without irregularities is typically the flanks and abdomen but each patient is different. The first choice should be from the area the patient wants it removed from.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 319 reviews

While I perform fat transfers only to the head and neck...

While I perform fat transfers only to the head and neck area, I tend to obtain fat from the abdomen (stomach) or outer thigh area. Most people tend to have excess fat of the abdomen that they aren't afraid to lose. I generally deal with fairly small amounts of fat when transferred to the face and have not found scarring to be a problem from the donor site. With the transfer you are describing there may be need for larger quanities making removal from another donor area necessary. As with any procedure though, if you are not comfortable with the physician's suggestions, get a second opinion from another qualified doctor.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 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.