Fat grafting, also referred to as fat transfer or fat injections, is the surgical process by which fat is transferred from one area of the body to another area. The surgical goal is to improve or augment the area where the fat is injected. The technique involves extracting adipose fat by liposuction, processing the fat, and then reinjecting purified fat into the area needing improvement.
Since the 1990’s Plastic Surgeons have reliably used fat grafting as a way to improve and enhance the cosmetic appearance of the face, breast, hands, feet, hips, and buttocks. However, more recently, clinicians have documented the therapeutic benefits of fat grafting in the healing of wounds and scars, as well as fat’s ability to repair damage to breast tissue following radiation treatment.
A surgical fat transfer is cosmetic surgery to move fat from one part of the body to another. It’s also known as a “fat graft” or “lipomodelling”.
The aim is to remove unwanted fat from an area of the body, such as the tummy or thighs, and use it to smooth or increase the size of another area, such as the breasts or bottom. A surgical fat transfer involving the bottom is often known as a Brazilian butt lift (BBL).
Having a surgical fat transfer is a big decision. It can be expensive, the results cannot be guaranteed, and there are risks.
What does it involve?
A surgical fat transfer can be carried out under either general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic.
It involves 3 main stages:
Removing the fat – small cuts are made in the skin and a thin tube is used to suck out small amounts of fat (similar to liposuction); the cuts are then closed with stitches.
Preparing the fat – special equipment is used to separate the fat collected from any blood and other fluids.
Injecting the fat – small amounts of fat are injected into the area being treated; stitches are not usually needed.
The procedure usually lasts a couple of hours. You may be able to go home soon after the procedure is finished, or you may need to stay in hospital overnight.
If a large area is being treated, your treatment may need to be carried out over 2 or more sessions.
You should not feel much pain during the procedure, but you may have some for a few days or weeks afterwards. You’ll be given painkillers if you need them.