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Pros and Cons of Fat Transfer

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

Fat transfer, also called fat grafting or fat injections, is a cosmetic surgery that involves the use of liposuction to remove unwanted excess fat from one area of the body to be purified and injected into another area where the patient wishes to add additional volume. Common areas where fat is transferred include the breasts and buttocks. Overall, this procedure seeks to enhance a patient’s silhouette.

In this article, we will discuss the various pros and cons of the procedure so that you can decide if fat transfer treatment could be right for you and your body.

Pros

Natural Tissue

Fat transfer uses the body’s own organic fat to contour, enhance, and reshape the body. Therefore, it does not involve the use of foreign silicone implants or dermal fillers, which significantly reduces the risk of associated allergic reactions.

Body Contouring

Moving fat from one part of the body to another contours the body in two ways. Firstly, removing the fat from areas where it is in excess via liposuction helps to tone and add definition, for example, in the thighs or abdomen. Secondly, it increases the volume and augments the body part where it is injected, such as in the breasts or buttocks.

Minimal Scarring

The removal and reinjection of fat only require minimal incisions and, therefore, little scarring. This is in comparison to implants that require larger incisions for insertion and, as such, more notable scarring.

Avoids Implant Risks

Fat transfer uses the body’s own fat stores to contour the shape of the body. This is in contrast to other body contouring methods that utilise implants to add additional volume in body areas like the breasts. Such implants pose their own risks, including allergic reactions and ruptures. Therefore, fat transfer is a safer and more viable option compared to implants.

Shorter Recovery

Fat transfer is not an overly invasive procedure to undergo as the incisions made are small, and it does not involve the insertion of foreign objects like implants. As such, your recovery from fat transfer is usually quicker and less intensive.

Longer Lasting Results

A fat transfer produces permanent results. However, after a fat transfer, it is normal for the body to absorb around 30-50% of the injected fat. As such, your surgeon will inject an increased amount to allow for this absorption process. After this, you will be left with your desired final result.

Cons

Limited Augmentation Capability

The extent to which fat transfer can enhance a person’s shape is limited and constrained by how much fat they have available in their body. For example, for breast enhancement, most women will only experience an increase of one cup size from a fat transfer, whereas the gain from breast implants can be significantly larger. 

To add more volume, you will have to repeat the procedure though this is again dependent on the amount of fat you have available to transfer.

Inconsistent Fat Survival

After a fat transfer, the body tends to absorb between 30-50% of the fat in its new location, meaning a large portion of the immediate volume doesn’t last. Your surgeon will account for this loss and inject an excess to meet your ideal size and shape. However, despite this accommodation, the final results are still less reliable than implants. As such, you may, if you have enough excess fat, wish to undergo a second transfer to add sufficient volume.

Fat Transfer Doesn’t Prevent Sagging

Injecting fat into an area adds volume, but it does not, however, add additional lift. As such, patients who have some sagging may benefit from other procedures, including a breast lift or buttock lift. These involve the removal of excess, sagging skin, producing a perkier appearance.

Is Fat Transfer Worth It?

Fat transfer is a method that can create natural-looking enhancements to the body’s contours. Many patients consider this a worthwhile procedure in achieving their ideal shape that cannot be done through diet and exercise alone. In addition, the minimal scarring, as well as the permanent results, make the option particularly favourable among patients.

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

If you are looking to tone one area of your body and add volume to other regions to enhance your body’s overall silhouette, a fat transfer may be suitable for you. Here at the CREO Clinic, our surgeon Dr. Omar Tillo specialises in body contouring surgeries and has a wealth of knowledge and experience carrying out fat transfers. Contact us today to book a consultation with Dr Tillo and find out how a fat transfer could help you achieve your body goals. 

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