What Is Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting or lipofilling, is a surgical procedure that transfers fat from one part of the body to another. The fat transfer procedure contours the body in two ways: it sculpts the areas where the fat is removed from and enhances the areas where the fat is injected by adding volume.
Fat transfer involves several different stages. First, fat is removed from an area where it is in excess using liposuction. Common treated areas for fat removal include the abdomen, thighs, upper arms and back. This harvested fat is then processed to remove impurities, before being prepared for injection into a chosen treatment area. Fat transfer is commonly used in areas such as the breasts, buttocks and calves to add volume and create a natural-looking enhancement.
Many patients prefer fat transfer to the use of implants for several reasons. First, fat transfer uses the body’s own fat cells to enhance the figure, as opposed to foreign implants that pose a risk of allergic reactions. Secondly, the results from fat transfer are more subtle and natural-looking, both in appearance and to the touch.
As well as the volumising and contouring effects that larger amounts of fat transfer can provide to the figure, smaller amounts of fat can be moved to reduce the prominence of wrinkles in areas such as the hands, face and neck.
At CREO Clinic, fat transfer procedures are performed by Dr. Omar Tillo. Contact us today for more information about having a fat transfer in London.
AnesthesiaSedation or General
Surgery time1-4 Hours
Hospital time2-6 Hours
Full recovery6 weeks
Fat Transfer Before and Afters
Why Choose CREO Clinic for Fat Transfer?
Dr. Omar Tillo at CREO Clinic has extensive experience in fat grafting procedures, having performed hundreds of procedures on multiple parts of the body using a myriad of liposuction technologies and surgical techniques. He is particularly renowned for his unique and safe approach to using fat grafting for Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) and breast augmentation procedures.
If you are interested in having a fat transfer in London to enhance your breasts, buttocks, hands, or calves, book a consultation with Dr. Tillo to discuss your concerns and goals and a customised surgical approach for attaining your desired results.
Benefits of Fat Transfer
Fat transfer is a cosmetic procedure that has several benefits for the patient:
- Contouring the body – Fat transfer removes excess fat from parts of the body where it’s unwanted and places it in a part of the body the patient wishes to augment. As a result, the surgery contours multiple areas of the body simultaneously.
- Treats stubborn fat – Liposuction can remove stubborn pockets of fat that have been resistant to diet and exercise to use for fat transfer.
- Uses autologous fat – The patient’s own fat cells are used, which mitigates the risk of an allergic reaction. This also benefits patients by reducing downtime in comparison to other more invasive surgical procedures, for example implants.
- Long-lasting results – In contrast to dermal fillers, which you need to repeat every 12-18 months, the volume produced by a fat transfer is long-lasting.
- Managing skin conditions – Small amounts of fat transfer can be used to treat medical conditions such as scleroderma and hemifacial atrophy.
- Scar treatment – Nano fat transfer can be used to drastically improve the appearance of scars, utilising stem cells in the fat cells to rejuvenate the skin’s quality and texture.
Who is A Candidate for A Fat Transfer Procedure?
A fat transfer is ideal for patients who have excess fat in one area of the body – for example, the hips, abdomen, or thighs – and lack volume in other parts of the body.
Typically, patients undergo a fat transfer between the ages of 30 and 65, as this is when they begin to notice signs of ageing and loss of volume in areas of the body. Furthermore, patients need to have no underlying medical conditions.
In general, patients in good health with a BMI below 30, who have sufficient fat deposits to augment the targeted transfer areas are good candidates for the fat transfer procedure.
During your consultation, our surgeon will complete a full assessment to determine your suitability for the procedure and whether a fat transfer is the best solution for your cosmetic concerns.
Fat Transfer Cost in London
In general, prices for treating one area of the body with fat transfer in London start from £7,900. For micro fat transfer, prices start from £3,500 per area, and £3,900 for nano fat transfer.
The exact cost of a fat transfer procedure varies depending on a range of factors, including the number and size of areas requiring liposuction and fat transfer and the surgical complexity of the procedure.
Therefore, you will receive an exact quote for your fat transfer following a consultation with Dr. Tillo. We’ll also discuss financing options available to you.
Target Areas for a Fat Transfer
A fat transfer surgery usually involves placing fat in the following areas of the body:
A facial fat transfer corrects the loss of volume and skin elasticity that accompanies the ageing process. The procedure involves transferring fat into sunken areas of the face, such as the cheeks and jawline. In doing so, a facial fat transfer can improve the appearance of wrinkles, saggy skin, and restore definition to the contours of the face.
The breasts can sag and lose their volume due to ageing, pregnancy, and weight loss. A breast augmentation with fat transfer can add volume to, and enhance the breasts without the need for breast implants. During an individual fat transfer procedure, patients can enjoy an increased volume of up to one cup size. This procedure can then be repeated if they wish to increase the size further.
In addition, patients who wish to correct the loss of volume and sagginess in the breasts can combine a fat transfer with breast lift surgery.
A fat transfer to the buttocks is commonly known as a Brazilian butt lift (BBL). A BBL is ideal for patients who wish to enhance their buttocks and hips by adding volume to the area, while contouring surrounding areas of the body with liposuction. This can help to correct the appearance of hip dips and is a more natural solution for enhancing the buttocks without the use of butt implants.
Dr. Tillo is a key opinion leader on Brazilian butt lift surgery, having developed a technique known as Buttock Enhancement and Superficial Transfer of Fat (BEST-F). CREO Clinic is the only clinic in the UK using the BEST-F approach, which is a safer alternative to the traditional Brazilian butt lift that also provides the patient with a natural yet noticeable enhancement and reshaping of the bottom.
The hands are often the first area of the body to show signs of ageing as the loss of fat leads to flaccid skin, visible veins, and a change in texture. Using micro fat transfer, injecting a small amount of fat into the hands adds volume to the area in order to disguise these signs of ageing. Nano fat transfer can also be used to restore youthfulness and a rejuvenated appearance.
Transferring fat to the calves can restore proportion and definition to legs that require enhancement. Many patients struggle to tone their calves to their desired shape using just exercise. Therefore, a fat transfer is ideal for patients that lack curves in their calves that define the legs and ankles.
At the CREO Clinic, we also offer calf implants for patients requiring a more prominent reshaping and enhancement to their legs. Dr. Tillo will be able to advise the best option for producing your desired results.
Fat Grafting Procedure
Fat grafting consists of two main stages: liposuction and fat transfer.
Stage 1: Liposuction
Once an anaesthetic has been administered, excess fat is harvested from a predetermined area of the body using liposuction. This involves inserting a thin cannula via a small incision.
At the CREO Clinic, we use a range of liposuction technologies, including Vaser (ultrasound-assisted liposuction), PAL (Power-Assisted Liposuction) and BodyTite (radiofrequency assisted liposuction). The fat cells are then broken up and removed before the incisions are closed. Overall, liposuction helps to tone and contour these targeted areas.
Stage 2: Fat Transfer
Afterwards, our plastic surgeon washes and purifies the harvested fat cells to separate them from blood and other fluids. Finally, we’ll inject the fat cells into the part of the body we are enhancing.
Prior to injection, the removed fat is washed and purified to separate the fat cells from blood and other fluids. Small incisions are then made in the areas requiring enhancement through which the fat is injected.
At the CREO Clinic, we maximise the safety of the fat transfer procedure by using an ultrasound to help guide fat placement and prevent any fat leaking into the muscle. Finally, the incisions are closed using medical-grade sutures.
Micro & Nano Fat Grafting
In addition to traditional fat transfer procedures, our patients in London may also choose micro and nano fat grafting.
Micro fat grafting adds small amounts of volume to targeted areas of the body. These fat cells are collected via liposuction and are injected via smaller incisions, meaning scarring is minimal. Micro fat grafting can help alleviate common cosmetic concerns such as sagging skin and fine lines and wrinkles. Patients may choose to undergo micro fat transfer in areas such as the hands, neck and decolletage, where these aesthetic problems are most noticeable.
Nano fat transfer involves mixing fat at a cellular level to utilise the fat’s stem cells for skin rejuvenation. When injected, the stem cells can improve the texture, firmness and general appearance of the skin. In addition, nano fat transfer can be used to target particular cosmetic concerns such as scarring.
Fat Transfer vs. Implants
One alternative to a fat transfer procedure is implants. At CREO Clinic, we can insert implants into the breast, buttocks, calves, and areas of the face as an alternative solution to fat transfer. While both treatments can enhance and augment the targeted areas of the body, there are significant differences between fat transfer vs. implants:
|Results||Subtle enhancement to one area of the body, tones another area by removing fat||Substantial enhancement to treatment area|
|Anaesthetic||Sedation or General (standard)Local (Micro/Nano)||General|
|Scarring||Minimal||Noticeable at incision sites|
|Recovery||4-6 weeks||6 weeks|
|Price||Dependent on area treated, typically cheaper than implants||Typically more expensive than fat transfer|
What Are The Potential Risks of Fat Transfer?
At the CREO Clinic, we try to minimise risk as much as possible by working with specialists in fat transfer and adhere to the safest practice guidelines at all times. However, like any surgical procedure, there are some risks associated with fat transfer, including:
- Wound infections or poor wound healing
- Reactions to anaesthetics used
- Fat necrosis
- Seroma or haematoma
- Poor fat graft take
What To Expect Before and After the Procedure?
During your initial consultation, you will be asked about your expectations for fat transfer, and what a realistic outcome from the procedure is likely to be. Your medical history will also be discussed to determine your suitability for surgery and identify any potential risk factors.
For some of our fat transfer procedures, such as BBLs, we offer 3D consultations so that you can further visualise your results using photos of your own body.
Leading Up to the Procedure
Prior to a fat transfer procedure, you will need to take several steps to be prepared for surgery:
- BMI – You will need to maintain a BMI under 30 to reduce the risk of complications during and after surgery.
- Oestrogen Contraceptives/HRT – If you take the oral contraceptive pill or HRT, you will need to stop this 4 weeks before surgery to reduce the risk of thrombosis. Therefore, you will need to use alternative contraceptives during this time.
- Smoking – You will need to cease all nicotine use, including vaping and patches, four weeks before surgery as this can cause complications.
- Alcohol – Reduce your alcohol intake to ensure your body is able to heal effectively after surgery.
- Prepare your home for recovery – Make sure you have plans in place for childcare and pet care, as well as making your home as comfortable as possible for your recovery.
Day of the Surgery
On the day of your fat transfer procedure, you should get to the hospital at least an hour before surgery to allow time to complete any paperwork and pre-surgical checks. You should bring a list of any medication you are currently taking, as well as comfortable, loose clothing to wear after surgery.
After fat transfer surgery, you will spend some time in hospital waking up from the anaesthetic or sedative. Fat transfer is typically a day case procedure, but you may need to stay in hospital overnight if deemed necessary by your surgeon. The incision sites will be covered with small dressings, and you will be shown how to care for your wounds before leaving hospital. You will also need to be accompanied home with a family member or friend who can stay with and care for you for at least the first 24 hours.
As you recover from fat transfer surgery, you may experience swelling and bruising, which should gradually dissipate over the following two weeks. After this period, patients are able to resume most of their daily activities, including going back to work. However, it may take a few more weeks for the swelling to completely subside.
Following the fat transfer surgery, you will notice that the liposuction zones are more contoured, and that the fat transfer areas are enhanced. However, your body absorbs around 20-50% of the fat that’s injected into the treatment area. As a result, your surgeon will take this into account when determining the amount of fat to be injected.
However, you will need to wait for all post-surgical swelling to dissipate and for the fat grafts to stabilise before you can enjoy the final results of your surgery. In general, this takes up to 4-6 months, after which you will be able to appreciate your newly enhanced figure.
Fat Transfer FAQ
Should I lose weight before a fat transfer?
You will need to have a BMI lower than 30 to undergo fat transfer. Therefore, if your BMI is above this, you may choose to consult with a dietician prior to surgery to help you reach your goal weight.
How long do fat transfer results last?
The final results from a fat transfer procedure are permanent. However, the results are dependent on maintaining a healthy lifestyle as any fluctuations in weight cause the fat cells to expand or shrink.
Can you receive a fat transfer after breast augmentation?
Yes, it’s common for surgeons to combine a breast augmentation using implants with a fat transfer procedure for a more natural result. In particular, this may be necessary for patients with little breast tissue who may require more volume in order to conceal the edges of the implant.
Can fat move after grafting?
No, the transferred fat cannot move from one area to another. Once the fat has stabilised in the treated area, it is attached to the blood supply in the area and thus becomes a natural part of the body.
What happens if you gain weight after a fat transfer?
Minor weight fluctuations are unlikely to affect the results of your fat transfer surgery. However, more significant weight gain can cause the fat cells that have been transferred, as well as fat in the rest of your body, to increase in size, impacting the final results of your surgery. Therefore, you should aim to maintain a stable weight following your fat transfer.
Does fat transfer to the breasts cause lumps?
Fat transfer, when performed by a competent surgeon, should not result in lumps in the breasts. However, if you have previously had lumps in your breasts prior to surgery, you may find that these are still present after the procedure.
Is fat transfer painful?
Your fat transfer surgery will be carried out either under deep sedation or general anaesthetic, meaning that you won’t be awake or feel pain during the procedure. After surgery, your surgeon will provide you with any necessary prescriptions for pain relief to make your recovery as comfortable as possible.
Is fat transfer worth it?
Many patients consider a fat transfer to be a worthwhile procedure as it successfully addresses their cosmetic concerns by enhancing targeted areas of the body. The treatment is growing in popularity in the UK, particularly due to its versatility: not only does a fat transfer augment underdeveloped areas, but it can remove excess fat that’s resistant to diet and exercise from other parts of the body. In addition, a fat transfer has a few advantages over other cosmetic treatments: in contrast to dermal fillers, a fat transfer delivers permanent volume; in contrast to implants, a fat transfer is a more organic solution that utilises the body’s natural fat.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re interested in having a fat transfer in London, contact CREO Clinic today to book a consultation with Dr. Omar Tillo. During your consultation, we’ll discuss your suitability for the procedure and whether a fat transfer is right for your cosmetic goals.