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Cosmetic Surgery | Body | Fat Grafting

Cosmetic Surgery

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting (also referred to as fat transfer or lipofilling) has become a very important technique in plastic and cosmetic surgery over recent years.

It is now widely used to restore fullness and to correct contour defects. Restoration of youthful fullness is particularly relevant in facial cosmetic surgery, and in this context the technique of fat grafting is applied in particularly small volumes- so called microfat grafting.  Increasingly, fat grafting is used to augment body contours also, for example in buttock augmentation or in breast symmetrising surgery.

Contour defects are common and arise for a variety of reasons – for example following trauma, following direct excision surgery (removal of lump / lesion), or as an adverse outcome following cosmetic body contouring/ liposuction surgery.

Irrespective of its intended use, the basic principles of fat grafting remain consistent. Fat is gently harvested from an area of unwanted excess (e.g. love handles), carefully processed to remove free oil and then grafted into the target area in fine droplets using small syringes and a multilayered, multipass technique. Most studies have shown that approximately two thirds of grafted fat survives; the remainder is gradually broken down and resorbed by the body over about a 3 month period. Nonethelss, the surviving fat offers a permanent benefit at that target site, and the procedure can be repeated as often as is required. Fat grafting is typically undertaken under a short general anaesthetic, as a day case procedure, with patients generally returning to work within a week.