Why Plastic Surgeons are Choosing Fat Grafting vs. Implants

Why Plastic Surgeons are Choosing Fat Grafting vs. Implants

Fat grafting is growing in popularity. According to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, last year there were 18,135 fat grafting procedures to the breast, 18,487 to the buttocks, and 48,059 to the face. Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Constantino Mendieta who is based in Miami, FL, explains the difference in what can be achieved with fat versus implants when contouring one’s body, and their limitations.

“In terms of volume enhancement in plastic surgery, meaning you are augmenting the breast or the buttock and in men the pectoral muscles or the shoulders, we used to use implants for those procedures. But implants have a high rate of complications,” he notes.

Dr. Mendieta points out complications that can occur with implants include hardening, shifting, developing fluid around the implants, and in some cases infections that will need the implant to be removed. Using a patients’ own body fat eliminates the risks that could potentially occur with implants.

“Fat allows me to reshape while the implant allows me to augment. It’s not about size, it’s about shape; if I made something that is not attractive bigger, it just becomes a bigger, unattractive body part,” explains Dr. Mendieta. “The only way I am able to reshape is by using body fat. I am removing it from areas that don’t need it and adding it to areas that do need it to create a more beautiful shape.”

Dr. Mendieta explains only using implants when a patient is lacking a sufficient amount of body fat. “I try to avoid using implants as much as I can, so if I have the fat I am going to augment with fat, but if the patient does not have enough body fat then I would use the fat to reshape and the implant to augment.”

For more information on fat grafting, visit the procedure page.