Aesthetics & CosmeticsConditions & Treatments

What You Should Know About Fat Transfer Surgery

It is a dream come true – shifting fat from one place in your body to another! What could be better than this? Sculpting the contours of your face, tummy, hips and buttocks while removing unwanted fat is becoming increasingly popular.

You may be surprised to learn that 10 per cent of butt augmentation surgery is being performed on men wanting bigger glutes! Many celebrities have performed these procedures to deal with cosmetic improvements and post-baby bodies. Examples include rapper Cardi B who wanted bigger buttocks, so did Kim K., Chloe Khan, Virginia Gallardo, Heidi Montag and Bianca Gascoigne, to name a few. 

What is Fat Transfer Surgery?

Fat transfer is sometimes called autologous fat transfer, structural fat grafting, lipofilling or Brazilian butt lift (BBL). It is essentially a procedure whereby fat is removed from your body via gentle liposuction and, once purified, reinjected into the desired area. This may range from the filling of small indents in the skin to enhanced breasts and buttocks.

When Do You Need It?

For facial features, fat transfer can be used to treat sunken cheeks, hollow lower eyelids, deep lines between the nose and mouth, or deep lines from the mouth to the chin, laugh lines beneath the eyes or frown lines, or to build up areas that have lost volume due to ageing.

Indications for body-sculpting include the desire for a flatter tummy and a bigger derriere, filling indents or misshapen breasts after partial surgeries, increasing your breasts one cup size or filling the top half of the breast or rebuilding breast tissue after mastectomy.

How Does the Fat Transfer Procedure Work?

The fat transfer process begins by first harvesting the fat cells through liposuction, purifying them, and then injecting them in the chosen areas. In some cases, fat can also be stored.

Your surgeon will help you choose a suitable area for fat removal. You can take fat from anywhere on the body, usually the tummy or thigh, or even love-handles.

Recovering from Fat Transfer Surgery

Swelling and bruising can take anywhere from three days to one week to go away, depending on the procedure and how much fat was transferred. In facial procedures, you may be able to wear make-up after a week, but follow your surgeon’s advice. In body sculpting procedures such as a butt-lift, you may have to stand or lie on your tummy for three to six weeks to promote healing.

The Benefits of Fat Transfer

  • It uses your own tissue instead of artificial fillers or implants
  • Fat can be removed from an area where you do not wish to have it (i.e. tummy, thighs)
  • The reconstructed area feels soft and natural, and some sensation has been reported.
  • Some procedures can be combined with PRP and stem cell treatments.

The Risks of Fat Transfer Surgery

While it is tempting to think of the procedure as ‘safer’ because it uses your body’s resources, be aware of the risks:

  • Some of the transplanted fat will naturally be absorbed and may require refilling and touch-ups.
  • More significant procedures may have to be repeated several times over many weeks, sometimes 4-6 times.
  • Breast procedures affect the images in mammograms, and you will need a very experienced radiologist to read them.
  • As with all surgery, there is a risk of infection, pain and bleeding, bruising, numbness, fever and necrosis if the fat cells die. For breast reconstruction also cysts and microcalcification.

What to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon 

  • Ask to see as many before and after pictures, and discuss any post-op instructions to prevent complications 
  • Ask to see patient testimonials
  • Ask about the number of cases that they have performed
  • Ask about their medical credentials to ensure they are board-certified by globally reputable medical professional boards, such as the following:

We hope this gives you a helpful insight into what to expect with fat transfer surgery.

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