Will fat Injections for Hip Augmentation Work?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a consult for hip augmentation by fat injection and was told I would need to gain weight for the surgery. Do you think I will have enough fat to do the procedure? Can the back between and around the shoulder blades be used for harvest? Is the use of postoperative compression helpful for making the fat survive better?

A: In answer to your questions:

1) Despite having gained weight the reality is that the amount of fat available for the hips is not going to ‘significant”. (but better than not gaining the weight) The term ‘skinny BBL’ is just a nice way of saying you really don’t have enough fat to do the surgery but we will do it anyway…just don’t expect much of a result. When you factor in the important concept of ‘halving’ when it comes to fat transfer the reality of the potential result becomes more apparent. (50% of what is harvested is removed for concentration, that amount is then split in half for each hip injection, and if one is lucky 50% or half will survive. (in the hips it will be less) Mathematically use 1,000cc of aspirate harvest (you will be very lucky to get that amount) and then cut it half for concentration (500cc), divide in half for each hip injection (250ccs) and then at best 50% will survive. (125cc)

2) The harvest sites are the abdomen and flanks. The back (shoulder blades) are not viable harvest sites.

3) No one knows how to make fat survive the best. Every doctor thinks they do. But the reality is that fat injection grafting is modern day alchemy. The biology of fat grafting by injection remains poorly understood in terms of what makes some fat cells survive and why others don’t. Thus postoperative compression vs non-compression is a perception not an established scientific method.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon