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As your grow older some areas of your body may flatten or lose volume. Fat transfer surfery is a viable method to enhance these areas.

What is fat transfer surgery?

Fat transfer surgery, also known as fat grafting, is the process of transferring a patient’s own fat cells to enhance and rejuvenate other parts of the body. Fat transfer surgery can:

  • Minimise facial scars such as those caused by acne
  • Assist with facial deformities such as hemifacial atrophy
  • Plump up sunken cheeks and wrinkles
  • Enhance and improve body contours
  • Provide volume to areas such as the bust and buttocks

Fat can be transferred from most parts of the body where there is an excess of fat cells.

Benefits of fat transfer

Many patients prefer the idea of fat transfer to synthetic implants or fillers as it is a natural alternative, removing the risk of immune rejection. As the process utilises the body’s own fat cells, this also removes the risk of allergic reactions so some patients feel it is safer.

Once the fat has been transferred, it provides long lasting results and a boost in circulation to this part of the body.

What happens during fat transfer surgery?

Fat transfer surgery can be performed under general or local anaesthetic depending on the area being treated. Your surgeon will use a very thin needle (called a cannula) to harvest fat cells from an area of your body and inject these cells into the area being augmented. A dressing may be applied just after the procedure.

Going home after fat transfer surgery

Fat transfer surgery is usually done as a day case meaning you should be able to go home the day of your procedure. You should arrange for someone to drive you home. You may be given antibiotics and medication for pain relief.

It is normal to feel swollen and bruised for about one week following fat transfer. You should avoid any strenuous activities for the first few weeks but you are encouraged to walk to prevent blood clots.

You should discuss your return to work with your surgeon. The treated area may remain swollen for several weeks. 

You will need to return for a follow up appointment with your surgeon 7-10 days after fat transfer. During this appointment any sutures will be removed. 

You may not see the full effect of fat transfer for up to 6 months after your surgery.

Sometimes the body does not retain all of the injected fat. In this case it may be necessary to repeat the transfer procedure. 

Most people are pleased with the results of their fat transfer surgery. As with any cosmetic procedure there could be complications:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Scarring

Specific complications of fat transfer surgery:

  • Bleeding under the skin
  • Numbness or nerve damage
  • Excessive resorption of fat (meaning the procedure must be repeated)
Leeds Hospital

2 Leighton Street, Leeds, LS1 3EB

0113 388 2111 0113 301 0245 (fax)
Switchboard 0113 388 2000
Treatment Enquiries 0113 388 2111
Outpatient Bookings 0113 388 2067

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