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How Long Does Fat Transfer Last?

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

Fat transfer is becoming an increasingly popular method of adding volume to areas of the body, partly due to its permanent results. Below, we’ll discuss the results you can expect with a fat transfer surgery over time.

Does Fat Transfer Last Forever?

When the fat cells settle in your body, they will become a natural part of your body and remain in place permanently. Within 3-6 months, the injected fat grafts will integrate with the surrounding tissue and connect to your blood supply. After this process, the new fat cells will function like any other fat storage cell in your body. However, not all the fat grafts injected into your body will survive, as your body will absorb around 30-50% of it. Our surgeon will account for this loss by injecting up to the maximum volume possible to deliver your desired enhancement.

Fat Transfer After 5 Years

After five years, you can expect the enhanced area to maintain the same volume that you had after the initial six months after your plastic surgery. However, it’s important to remember that the treated areas are subject to the same signs of ageing. Therefore, your results may diminish as you begin to age. If and when that happens, you can repeat a fat transfer procedure or undergo other cosmetic treatments to restore your results.

BBL After 10 Years

Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL), a fat transfer to the butt, is the most popular method of buttock enhancement. As with fat transfer procedures in other areas, once the new fat grafts settle and connect to your blood supply, they will remain in place permanently. However, in some cases, you may develop skin laxity in your buttocks ten years after your BBL due to ageing, which may diminish the shape and contouring effects of the fat transfer procedure. In this case, you may benefit from a buttock lift or another skin-tightening treatment to restore your results.

Factors That Impact Fat Transfer Results

Skill of Your Surgeon

Fat transfer requires immense artistic and surgical skills to create a natural-looking result. In addition to adding volume, a fat transfer procedure requires the surgeon to inject the fat with precision to create the shape, curves, and contours you want. For instance, creating curvier hips for an hourglass figure, correcting uneven breasts, or creating the patient’s desired BBL shape requires extensive training and surgical expertise that only surgeons specialising in fat transfer will possess. 

Fat Transfer Technique

Your surgeon may use different liposuction technologies to harvest, process, and inject the fat, all of which can affect the safety and results of your plastic surgery. At CREO Clinic, our surgeons use PAL (Power Assisted Liposuction) as other technologies may harm the harvested fat and advanced techniques such as BEST-F to ensure safer and superior results.

Your Body’s Ability to Adapt

Each individual’s body looks and functions uniquely. Thus, the enhancement and shape achieved from a fat transfer procedure won’t be the same for any two persons. From the amount of fat that the buttock can hold to the amount of fat the body absorbs during fat transfer recovery, the results from the fat transfer will look different for each patient. Importantly, leading a healthy lifestyle increases the chances of a better result.

Length of Fat Transfer Results Based on Treatment Area

How Long Does Fat Transfer Last In Your Face?

As you age, the fat pads in your face break down and droop, thus making your face appear more hollow. Fat transfer can restore volume and the youthful contours of your face by injecting fat into areas such as the eyelids, cheeks, and lips to restore volume. 

The fat grafts will remain in place permanently once they settle. However, the procedure does not prevent future signs of ageing that cause the breakdown of fat. Instead, you can expect results to last for decades or even longer until they gradually diminish.

How Long Does Fat Transfer Last In the Buttocks?

Likewise, a fat transfer to the buttocks, or Brazilian butt lift (BBL), will also provide permanent results. However, with time, the skin in the area will sag and diminish the Brazilian shape and contours from plastic surgery. Additionally, consistently working out after a Brazilian butt lift and having a healthy diet and lifestyle will contribute to maintaining your results for as long as possible. 

How Long Does Fat Transfer To Breast Last?

Similarly, the volume resulting from a fat transfer breast augmentation is permanent. However, with age, your breasts will sag, thus diminishing the shape and contours from the plastic surgery. In such cases, you may consider restoring your results with another fat transfer, a breast lift, or other cosmetic procedure.

Can I Get Fat Transfer After Breast Reconstruction?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to have fat transfer after breast reconstruction surgery. In fact, it’s common for patients to get fat transfer to correct uneven breasts that often arise after breast reconstruction. With fat injections, surgeons have greater control over the volume and shape they create, which allows them to correct asymmetries and produce natural-looking results.

Can Fat Transfer Migrate?

No, once injected, the fat cells stay in the same place and either connect to the blood supply in the area or get removed through the body’s absorption process. The fat cells that survive do so by attaching and integrating with the local tissue in the area, enabling them to function like any other fat storage cell in your body. Therefore, they do not migrate from one area of the body to another.

How Successful Are Fat Transfers?

Fat transfer is a popular procedure with a high success rate. When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, patients can enhance and contour multiple body parts to attain their desired figure. However, the results that a surgeon can create with fat transfer vary depending on each patient’s anatomy. During a consultation, your surgeon can set your expectations for the results you can expect following the plastic surgery.

Ideal Candidates For Fat Transfer

Your surgeon will need to examine you to confirm your eligibility for fat transfer surgery. Typically, any adult with a BMI below 30 and no underlying medical conditions will qualify for fat transfer. Furthermore, you will need to have enough body fat that a surgeon can harvest with liposuction. However, you may still achieve your desired result with a skinny BBL and a noticeable enhancement in other areas with a limited amount of fat.

Book a Consultation Today With CREO Clinic

Dr Omar Tillo is a double board-certified plastic surgeon specialising in fat transfer and other body contouring surgeries. In addition to being an expert in BBL, having developed the BEST-F technique to improve the safety of the procedure, he is also one of few surgeons in the UK performing composite breast augmentation and calf augmentation.

If you’re considering enhancing any part of your body, book a consultation with Dr Tillo to discuss fat transfer and other options for attaining the best results.

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