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Austin Fat Transfer Correction AirSculpt®

Addressing Hard Lumps After Fat Grafting: Causes and Treatment Options

shocked young woman in yellow swimsuit looking away isolated on pink

A fat transfer is a popular breast and buttock augmentation technique because it uses a patient's fat tissue to sculpt the breasts without using a synthetic device such as an implant

While fat grafting is generally a safe and effective procedure, some patients may experience the development of hard lumps or nodules in the treated area. This treatment can also lead to complications if performed by inexperienced practitioners or using antiquated tools and technology.

This article will explore the causes of hard lumps after fat grafting and available treatment options.

Causes of Hard Lumps After Fat Grafting

Improper Technique 

There are several reasons why hard lumps may develop after fat grafting.

One of the most common causes is improper transfer technique. If the fat is injected too deeply or in large clumps, it can form hard lumps, resulting in a botched fat transfer

Fat Necrosis: A Benign, But Noticeable Condition

Another cause is the presence of scar tissue or calcifications in the area where the fat was injected. Scar tissue can form due to trauma or injury to the site, while calcifications are small deposits of calcium that can form in the fat tissue.

Fat necrosis is when fat tissue in the breast or other organs is damaged by injury, surgery, or another cause. A cyst or scar tissue may replace the fat tissue, which may feel like a round, firm lump.

The formation of fat necrosis after undergoing natural breast augmentation is a benign event that is more of an aesthetic issue and is not a severe or life-threatening medical concern. Still, many patients want these lumps removed if their results are negatively affected. 

While neither fat necrosis nor an improperly performed fat transfer is dangerous, they can cause patients pain and make the breasts look uneven. An experienced surgeon can check and remove these types of bumps or asymmetrical results with a combination of fat removal and transfer. 

Symptoms of Hard Lumps After a Fat Transfer 

Common fat necrosis symptoms are:

  1. A firm lump of mass in the breast post-fat transfer.
  2. Redness surrounding the bump
  3. Bruising surrounding the bump

How To Prevent Lumps Due to Fat Necrosis or Other Reasons 

Since fat necrosis is often a byproduct of a poorly performed fat graft, picking a qualified surgeon and minimally invasive technique that ensures the transferred fat remains healthy can help significantly. 

While it's not always possible to prevent the development of hard lumps after fat grafting if they form due to necrosis, there are some steps you can take to minimize your risk. These include: 

  1. Choosing a Qualified Plastic Surgeon: A qualified plastic surgeon is one of the most critical factors in preventing hard lumps after fat grafting. Be sure to do your research and choose a well-trained surgeon experienced in fat grafting procedures.
  2. Following Post-Operative Instructions: Following your surgeon's post-operative instructions is crucial in preventing complications like hard lumps. Be sure to wear your compression garment for the prescribed period, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the recommended amount of time, and follow any other instructions provided by your surgeon.
  3. Monitoring Your Symptoms: If you notice any unusual symptoms after your procedure, such as hard lumps or pain, contact your surgeon immediately. Early intervention can help prevent more serious complications from developing.

The AirSculpt® Up a Cup™ is our patented breast enhancement, designed to precisely remove fat from one area of the body and place it into your breasts. Fat extraction and injection are done cell by cell, ensuring the highest fat quality is transferred without invasive surgical tools and techniques.

How To Treat Hard Lumps After a Fat Transfer  

If you develop hard lumps after fat grafting, seeking treatment from a qualified plastic surgeon is important. After your doctor establishes that the masses in your breast are caused by fat necrosis and not malignant cells, you can treat them or wait to see if they go away on their own. However, surgical removal may be necessary if the mass is causing substantial discomfort or aesthetic issues.

The treatment options will depend on the cause of the lumps and the severity of the symptoms. Some of the most common treatment options include:

  1. Massage Therapy: Massage therapy can effectively break up small, localized areas of scar tissue or calcifications. Your surgeon may recommend regular massages to the affected area to help promote healing and reduce the appearance of lumps.
  2. Steroid Injections: If the bumps are caused by inflammation, your surgeon may recommend steroid injections to help reduce swelling and inflammation. These injections can be administered directly into the affected area and provide rapid relief from symptoms.
  3. Surgical Removal: In some cases, surgical removal of the lumps may be necessary. This procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia and involves removing the affected tissue and any scar tissue or calcifications.
  4. Corrective AirSculpt®: You can obtain the best aesthetic revision with Corrective AirSculpt®, a patented technology designed to fix issues stemming from a previous fat transfer procedure. This process combines permanent fat removal and transfer to resolve mistakes like asymmetrical results without using scalpels, stitches, needles, or general anesthesia. The AirSculpt® device's mechanical movement allows harder-to-remove fibrous tissue, including areas containing scar tissue from a previous procedure, to be seamlessly accessed and sculpted.

Work With AirSculpt® To Obtain Your Ideal Aesthetic

While hard lumps after fat grafting can be a concerning complication, effective treatment options are available. If you're experiencing symptoms like hard lumps or nodules after fat grafting, seek treatment from a qualified plastic surgeon. With proper care and attention, you can achieve the best possible results from your fat grafting procedure.

Patients that want to make significant changes to their bodies but don't want to undergo the discomfort associated with traditional liposuction or implants can expect outstanding results with AirSculpt®. This wide-awake treatment delivers permanent fat removal and all-natural fat transfer results with a seamless procedure. 

To achieve your ideal figure with our body sculpting experts, call our Austin body contouring office or one of the 25+ locations across North America and Europe for your complimentary consultation.


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