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Fat Transfer

Fat transfer uses tissue taken from other parts of your body to restore the shape of areas that have thinned and flattened over the years.

As we age our faces tend to lose volume. Our cheeks may flatten, our chins grow sharper and we begin to look older. Comparing a photo of oneself taken fifteen or twenty years ago with one's face today provides a good illustration of this phenomenon.

Fat transfer has been put forward as a means of volume augmentation for many years, but one of the problems encountered had been variability of the results. However, relatively recent work by surgeons like Dr. Sydney Coleman of New York has led to a much more consistently successful technique that can provide a gradual, controlled restoration of the youthful shapes of the face and other parts of the body.

With this new technique, it is easier to predict the long-term outcome because the grafting process is much more likely to succeed, and fat cells that have survived the grafting process have a lasting presence. Indeed, this technique, which is currently being used for both aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, is considered to have unrivaled potential for restoring a fuller, more youthful look. The other great advantages of course that the material transferred being from your own body, it is perfectly well tolerated in the long-term.

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What to expect from fat transfer procedure

Fat transfer can be done under either general or local anaesthesic depending on the extent of the area to be treated. If it is done under local anaesthesic, both the area from which the fat cells are taken and the area into which they are injected will be anaesthetized.

  • During the procedure the surgeon uses a thin needle called a cannula to harvest cells from a fat-rich area of you body like the abdomen or hips. This process is very much like liposuction.
  • The fat cells are then centrifuged to separate intact cells from those that have been damaged.
  • The live fat cells are then injected into the areas to be treated using a very fine cannula and multiple passes for every milliliter of graft.

The careful placement of the fat cells into tiny pockets of surrounding tissue with good blood supply creates the proper setting for the graft to "take". The process is similar to what happens when a skin graft is placed on a clean wound. In either case, once the graft has taken it becomes stable.

Currently this technique is most commonly used on the face. However it has been used successfully on other areas including the back of the hands and the buttocks, and more recently for the breasts.

Fat transfer consultation

During your consultation your surgeon will take a general medical history and ask about any medications you are taking. He will also explain how fat transfer works, ask about your goals for the procedure and discuss what you should expect.

Recovering after fat transfer procedure

After your procedure you will be given an antibiotic and possibly some antiviral medication as well (for patients that tend to suffer with herpes and had treatment to their lips). It is important that you finish all the medication you are given.

During this time, there are a number of things you should expect.

  • If you experience discomfort, the hospital may give you pain medication or you may be advised to take a mild pain killer like Paracetamol. Please avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory tablets as they can promote bleeding.
  • If your procedure was performed under local anaesthetic you must avoid hot drinks and food that needs chewing for at least six hours.
  • You may take your usual medications as soon as you are allowed to eat and drink unless otherwise advised.
  • You will probably feel swollen and bruised for a week or so after your procedure, longer if you had a large area treated. Cold compresses, gently applied, can be of help. Ointments like LasonilĀ® can assist to get rid of the bruises fast.
  • Your stitches will be removed at your first follow-up appointment, approximately 5-7 days after your procedure.

Summary

Anaesthesia
Twilight with Local or General if required

Hospital stay
Day case

Patient testimonials

"I felt confident and comfortable about the procedure from my first consultation at the practice and have always found Margaret to be very reassuring and helpful."

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Your choice

Is cosmetic surgery right for you? As a practice dedicated exclusively to cosmetic surgery and headed by a highly experienced surgeon, we have the expertise and understanding to help you answer that question wisely.

This web site is intended to be a helpful starting point. You'll find answers to frequently asked questions, descriptions of the various procedures offered, information about the consulting surgeon who directs the practice and more. If you have additional questions, please fill in the Contact Form to arrange a private consultation with Mr Lucian Ion.

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Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Ltd and Mr Lucian Ion, FRCS (plast) have provided this cosmetic surgery website for informational purposes only. It is not intended for medical advice. For more information about cosmetic surgery in London, please contact Mr Lucian Ion for a cosmetic surgery consultation at our practice located in London, 129 Harley Street.