With the latest developments in fat collection techniques, fat graft to other areas of the body is enjoying a lot of new interest amongst cosmetic practitioners and patients alike.
Fat Transfer, also known as fat graft, Fat Transplantation or Microlipoinjection harvesting of fat from one area of the body for re-injection into another, such as the cheeks or hands. The fat is often collected from the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs using a liposuction technique. The fat is then prepared before re-injection into the new area. For small areas of fat transfer to the face, tiny needles are used to distribute the fat carefully and evenly in the layer of the skin just under the surface. Repeat procedures are often required as fat grafted is partially reabsorbed by the body.
The length of time that these results last can vary significantly between patients. They are also dependent on the area treated and the skill of the doctor injecting the fat. Positioning the fat correctly in the area required is a highly skilled job, so if you are thinking of having a fat transfer operation, please try and find an experienced practitioner in this field. There are also no problems with allergic reactions to the filler, as can occur with other dermal fillers, as the fat comes from your own body.
What areas will benefit from fat Graft treatment?
The best sites for fat transplantation appear to be areas with the least movement, such as the cheeks where fat can be successfully injected to replace the fat lost by some people who develop hollow cheeks as they age.
Fat, however, can be transferred into many other areas of the face and has been used to fill out lips, the chin, the hollows underneath the eyes, acne scars, as well as helping to correct defects caused by surgery and trauma related injuries.
Fat graft to the back of the hands can successfully camouflage the skeleton – like appearance of the hand that can occur with sun damage and ageing, and there are certain doctors who believe that this is the most effective use for fat transfer.
Transfer to other parts of the body is also possible, but the use of fat to increase the size of breasts.
What happens during a Fat Transfer operation?
Your first consultation with the doctor should clearly set out your expectations of the treatment. This should be matched by what the doctor says the treatment will achieve for you.
A medical history should be taken to make sure that there are no reasons why you shouldn’t undergo liposuction and fat transfer. You would also be asked to read information and sign a consent form at this time which means that you have understood the potential benefits and risks associated with this type of procedure.
Photographs will be taken by the doctor or his assistant for a “before and after” comparison at a later date.
The doctor will give you specific instructions before coming in for the procedure. This may include avoiding the use of aspirin or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for a couple of weeks before treatment as these can cause increased bleeding. Patients will be advised to stop smoking as this can delay wound healing and avoid alcohol for a few days before the procedure.
To avoid any additional risks, all cosmetic procedures are performed under general anaesthetic.
Patients may also have to follow fasting instructions the night before and morning of your surgery. For monitoring purposes patient will be required overnight stay as an in-patient.
The fat is usually collected from the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs. Small excisions are made around the area to be treated, and a hollow suction tube is placed in and moved around to break up the unwanted fat. The fat is removed, by being sucked out with the use of a vacuum pump. The surface layer of skin remains attached to the tissue and underlying muscles, and a thin blanket of fat is left to help prevent rippling or lumpy or irregular looking skin following fat removal.
The basic technique of liposuction, as described above, is used in all patients undergoing this procedure. However, as the procedure has been improved and developed, several variations have been introduced.
Repeat procedures are often required as transplanted fat is partially reabsorbed by the body. Your surgeon or doctor may take a little bit too much fat initially, so that if some is reabsorbed, it will not spoil the overall look of your treatment. Even so, many patients require additional treatments to get a good long-lasting effect (which may last for many years).
Some practitioners take out more fat than is required for the first procedure and freeze the excess fat so that it can be used to top up or maintain an effect for an individual patient at a later date.
Recover time? full recovery four to six weeks
Risks and potential complications from operation?
Any pain following the procedure is usually controlled with pain-killing tablets.Bruising, swelling, and some blood coloured fluid which drains from the incisions may be expected for a few days around the area from where the fat was collected. The newly injected area may also be swollen and bruised.Infection is a potential complication, along with numbness, or nerve damage in both areas of the body.Cosmetically, you may find some minor skin discolouration, or scarring at the incision points.
What is the average cost of Fat Transfer?
We recommend all patients schedule a consultation with the doctor, as all procedures are tailored made for each and to ensure one can achieve the desired result.