Q: Dr. Eppley, I recently got a fat transfer done to give my pecs more definition but I have noticed that as the swelling has gone down, my pecs have gotten smaller. I called the clinic up to ask them why this has happened but they said that this is normal and that the fat is volumizing.
A: Fat grafting for pectoral augmentation is an uncommon procedure but is part of the burgeoning expansion of injectable fat grafting use throughout the body. Unlike pectoral implants which produce an immediate volume that only goes through a swelling resolution phase, fat grafting is a more dynamic process that is associated with a triphasic recovery on the way to the result. There is phase one which is the immediate effect of the fat injections which are associated with the visible change in volume right surgery. As the fluid and some of the fat cells die and are resorbed in the first few weeks after surgery, the volume then goes down. (phase 2) If the fat cells take and multiple through preadipocyte conversion (stem cells) then the result will expand again in volume. (phase 3) This is what has been referred to as ‘volumizing’. This is the unpredictable phase of fat grafting and how effectively that occurs will not be known for months. Usually the result will be evident by three months after surgery but may take as long as six months. Certainly what you see by six months after surgery is the final result.
Dr. Barry Eppley