What is the Best Way to Obtain Fat for Fat Transfer?

i read on a doctor's site that it's vaser. is this true? I thought it was tumescent liposuction

Doctor Answers 6

Fat Transfer

For fat transfer the fat removed by liposuction should be removed very gently, without the use of any form of energy such as ultrasound and laser because these forms of energy will kill the fat cells.

The fat is removed by tumescent technique either by syringe liposuction or if the suction machine is used then it should be used at half the power. This is to ensure survival of the fat.

The technique used to purify the fat needs to be precise and gentle to assure survival of the fat cells.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fat transfer method

Dear boobies128,

  • The method of harvesting does not matter as long as it is done gently
  • You should focus more on the results of procedure rather than how it is done
  • The best method is just a matter of opinion

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

No best way

Though there are many different techniques to harvesting fat for injection, and many different companies marketing their method as "the best", there is currently no well designed scientific study done by unbiased researchers that has proven one technique to be better than another.

We all have anecdotal experiences in terms of "what works best in my hands".

Ask your surgeon for before and after results to see if their results are acceptable to you. Even then, there is no guarantee in surgery and results. What works for one person, may not in another.

We are too early in the "science" of fat grafting to be able to answer your question adequately. Most will agree that we should avoid machine assist liposuction to avoid traumatizing fat cells. Some feel that avoiding centrifuging the fat further decreases possible fat cell damage. Beyond that, we currently don't know one way or another.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Obtaining Viable Fat for Grafting

The difference between a 50% fat "take" of the past and the 80-90% take that we can obtain now is the technique for suctioning the fat and the processing of the fat to gently remove the tumescent fluid and most of the damaged/or ruptured fat cells. The second major difference is that it is realized that fat grafting should be a delicate and highly accurate procedure.  Delicacy is satisfied by obtaining the fat by using the most atraumatic of methods; this means tumescent liposuction with a 10cc syringe and a proper sized cannula. Next the fat is injected with careful technique to optimize the potential blood supply.

Paul S. Howard, MD, FACS
Hoover Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

What is the best way to obtain fat for fat transfer or grafting?

Given that there are so many methods there is not one that so far stands alone.  We know that smaller fat grats usually do better and we want to avoid clumping the graft together.

Best way to harvest fat for Autologous Fat Transfer

There are several methods for extracting fat from the body for the use of fat grafting. I have personally used standard or traditional tumescent liposuction, the tulip system (syringes), Lipivage, and the VASER system. All of these methods use low negative pressure. The first 3 methods tend to harvest some connective tissue with the fat. I prefer the VASER because the fat does not have a bunch of connective tissue dispersed within the grafting material. You don't want to put fat that has tough, fibrous tissue back in your body if you are fat grafting.

Surgeons choose their methods of fat harvesting based on ease of harvesting, as well as viability of the fat that is used for grafting. VASER has a study that shows that 85% of the fat that is harvested is viable. The ultrasonic energy that is used to loosen up the fat in the body prior to extraction is NOT harmful to the fat. The fat is still living tissue when it is harvested for grafting purposes.

Thanks for your question. 


Gregory C. Park, M.D.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 164 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.