close up of a man's abs with no shirt on posing for a picture

Male Fat grafting uses fat from areas of the body to augment the contour and shape of other areas. For male candidates, this usually entails moving fat from areas like the abdomen or love-handles, and transferring it to the pectoral muscles, biceps, calves, buttock, and others area men typically want filled out.

Male fat transfer procedures vary greatly depending on your goals, but for many they can be a welcome alternative to more invasive surgical options. Fat grafting procedures usually have less of a recovery time than things like implants and often look more natural.

Not everyone is a good candidate for fat grafting, however. Whether the procedure is right for you is highly contingent on your personal goals. Below, we will explore the pros and cons of fat grafting to help you make an informed decision.

What Are The Prerequisites For Male Fat Grafting?

The prerequisites for male fat grafting are similar to any other cosmetic procedure. You will have to undergo a physical exam and do routine blood work to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo the surgery. Your surgeon will also discuss your goals and expectations with you to make sure fat grafting is right for you.

As with procedures such as liposuction, fat grafting is designed for those at a healthy weight. It is not a weight loss technique.

What Can Fat Grafting Accomplish?

Often, those who opt for fat grafting have reached a plateau with diet and exercise. They are unable to lose excess fat in areas like the love handles or stomach. At the same time, they are unable to build more muscles in the arms, biceps, calves, or abdomen. Fat grafting can remove unwanted fat from one area and use it to augment another.  

Fat grafting is not always just for cosmetic reasons. It can also treat certain medical conditions.

Pectus excavatum is a condition where the ribs and parts of the sternum develop abnormally. This creates a sunken appearance and fat grafting can be used to fill in the deficit. Other uses are for significant muscle asymmetries caused by injury, as well as to help difficult wounds heal.  

Male fat grafting may not be right for you if you want more extreme results. This is especially true if you are trying to fill out your calves. Calf implants usually yield much more dramatic results than calf fat grafting. However, if you are opposed to an implant, repeated fat grafting sessions to the calf can provide more significant size, similar to an implant.

Are There Risks With Fat Transfer?

Every medical procedure carries certain risks, but fat grafting is very safe for healthy adults. Working with a board-certified plastic surgeon and following medical instructions carefully is the best way to avoid complications.

Side effects can include bleeding, infection, pain, and swelling. Usually, these issues clear up on their own within a few days. Rarely, patients end up with considerable scarring or an irregular appearance that may require follow-up treatment.

What Happens During A Fat Grafting Appointment?

Fat grafting can be performed with either local anesthesia and sedation, or general anesthesia depending on patient personal preference and the extent and quantity of areas treated.

Your surgeon removes fat via liposuction. The fat is then purified to remove things like oil, blood, and fluid.The surgeon will then place the fat in the desired area and shape it as needed.

The entire procedure time varies greatly depending on number of areas treated, but can take as little as one hour. You can go home the same day you receive treatment.

What Is Recovery Like?

Recovery from fat grafting is usually mild. You will experience some tightness and discomfort in the area where fat was grafted. In the area where liposuction was performed, you may experience bruising and swelling. This should subside on its own. Pain can be managed with oral pain medication and ice packs.

After fat grafting, you can resume most daily activities within a few days. You should not have to take more than two to three days off of work, however this also depends how many areas are treated at once. You will need to limit workouts for two to three weeks. Make sure to talk to your surgeon about your exact timeline for recovery.

Most people can see final results within three months when the swelling goes down. However, everyone’s body is different. In rare cases, it can take up to six months for final results to be visible.

Male Fat Grafting: The Bottom Line

Male fat grafting can be a good solution if you want to remove fat from some areas while filling out others. It is less invasive than many body sculpting procedures and comes with a relatively short recovery time.

It can be extremely frustrating when fat deposits do not respond to exercise or when you cannot build muscle in certain areas. Fat grafting can help you surpass plateaus and get the body you want. This can help improve your self-esteem and self-image. Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering male fat grafting, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.

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