Lipofilling or fat transfer is the process of transferring unwanted body fat from one site to another, inside the body.
The most common transfers are to add volume to the breasts or buttocks, but lipofilling can also be used as an ‘anti-ageing procedure’ to revitalise areas of the body that suffer fat loss as we age, such as the face or hands.
Many patients feel that lipofilling is a more ‘natural’ and preferable alternative to using implants and fillers and at Esthetik we achieve excellent, long-lasting results through this process.
About the procedure
Small volume lipofilling is sometimes performed under local anaesthetic, but it is more commonly performed under general anaesthetic, usually as a day-case.
During the operation, fat is removed from the donor site (frequently the abdomen or the inner/outer thighs) by using a syringe inserted into small skin incisions, which usually don’t require any stitches afterwards. The harvested fat is filtered and washed in saline, to remove any blood or excess oil and then injected into the new area of the body (the recipient site).
Lipofilling often requires more than one procedure to achieve the final, desired result, as a proportion of the fat (up to 50%) will be reabsorbed into the patient’s body and injecting too much into one site at a time can lead to possible complications. However, the remainder of the fat will remain as permanent filler in its new site, creating a natural silhouette and feeling soft and pliable to touch.
After the operation
There may be some slight bruising to the skin of the donor site, as well as some swelling around the recipient site for up to six weeks. Wearing a supportive compression garment may help and strenuous activity should be avoided for at least two weeks. Any abnormal contours (lumps or bumps) should become smoother as the fat is absorbed and massage may help this process.
At Esthetik we are always careful to inject only the correct amount of fat at any one time and the vast majority of our patients are delighted with their results from this procedure. The lasting effects are usually permanent, unlike implants which normally need replacing later in life.
As with all our treatments, we are always happy to discuss a patient’s specific concerns with them individually.
Lipofilling of the breasts and buttocks
At Esthetik we offer both lipofilling and implants to the breasts and buttocks. We will discuss the options and advise you on the best option for you, dependent on your circumstances and the final results you wish to achieve.
Please be aware that breast augmentation through fat transfer is still a relatively new procedure and various studies are still ongoing to understand any possible links between lipofilling and breast cancer development. Again your surgeon will talk through this with you and you must mention at future mammograms that you have undergone the procedure.
Lipofilling of the face and hands
The face and hands are usually the first things people see and both tend to undergo fat loss and become looser as we age. Many people are cautious about using synthetic fillers, in which case using a naturally occurring substance from your own body may be the perfect alternative. Administered correctly, the results of fat grafting can last up to ten times longer (up to 10 years) than synthetic products.