Foot fat grafting is an innovative procedure that offers tremendous functional and aesthetic benefits for women and men. The technique offers hope for new levels of sustained relief for those suffering from chronic foot pain. If you are dealing with discomfort in high heels, foot fat grafting can have you smiling in your stilettos. Finally, the technique can be used for cosmetic foot rejuvenation. Dr. Darren Smith, a board-certified plastic surgeon, performs this comfortable office-based procedure in under an hour.
What is foot fat grafting and how does it work?
Your feet are subjected significant repetitive forces each and every day. Fortunately, you have a built-in shock absorber in the form of fat pads (the “pedal fat pads”) in the soles of your feet that offer a soft cushion between the bones and other critical structures in your feet and the ground. For various reasons, ranging from age to genetics and certain health conditions, these fat pads can shrink, or “atrophy.” This loss of padding can cause severe pain when walking or wearing high heels. Just as the fat in the pedal fat pads can lose volume over time, fat elsewhere in your feet can atrophy as well. When you lose fat on the top of your feet, structures like tendons and blood vessels can become more visible through the skin, causing an aged appearance.
With foot fat grafting, fat is gently harvested from places you may not want it (such as your abdomen or “love handles”) and transferred to the places on your feet you need it most. The first step in the procedure involves using a narrow instrument called a cannula to gently suction fat from the donor area through a well-hidden tiny incision that heals in such a way that it is hard to see. The fat is then carefully processed to remove any impurities. The purified fat is then injected in areas that require additional volume for functional or aesthetic reasons. Fat placed in the ball or heel of the foot can relieve pain from walking or wearing high heels by cushioning the sensitive structures in your feet. Fat placed on the top, or “dorsal” surface of the foot can camouflage blood vessels, tendons, and other structures that may detract from the appearance of your feet. The entire procedure can be performed in under an hour using only local numbing medicine.
Why choose Dr. Smith?
Darren M. Smith, MD is a board certified plastic surgeon with advanced training in aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. His research in new plastic surgery technology and techniques has been cited over 1200 times by surgeons and scientists around the world, and he is a trusted media expert with frequent features in outlets like Allure, ELLE, POPSUGAR and many more. Most importantly, he is loved by his patients for his kind approach and excellent results as shown by consistently excellent reviews. As he is focused on ensuring meaningful outcomes in foot fat grafting, Dr. Smith works with leading podiatrists to diagnose the basis of each patient’s foot pain so as to design a customized treatment plan for every patient.
What conditions can foot fat grafting treat?
Foot fat grafting can treat a wide array of foot problems. The most common indications for foot fat grafting include atrophy (shrinking) of the fat pads on the bottom of the feet that leads to discomfort walking or when wearing high heels. Fat transfer can also relieve plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition of connective tissue in the sole of the foot. Excessive callus formation has also been shown to be responsive to foot fat grafting. The symptoms of many other functional foot problems can be successfully managed with foot fat grafting as well. Finally, foot fat grafting can significantly improve the appearance of your feet.
What is recovery like after foot fat grafting?
In most cases, foot fat grafting is performed with local numbing medicine alone (anesthesia is available for those that desire it), so you can return home directly after the procedure with only mild soreness and no downtime. You will be fitted with custom shoe inserts or orthotics designed to protect the fat grafts for the first few weeks. While you can walk immediately after surgery, we will ask you to refrain from heavy physical activity for approximately six weeks to allow the grafts to heal. You can expect swelling and bruising that is temporary and will not disrupt your daily function.
To see if foot fat grafting is right for you, book a consultation at the office of Darren M. Smith, MD. You can either request an appointment online or call the office to book.