While we often think of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures as treatments for problems appearing as we age, they can also be useful for helping us correct some of the genetic appearance issues we have been dealing with all of our lives. For example, maybe you were born with a very gaunt face. Makeup may help make your face look a little fuller, but it can’t provide a true correction. Instead, some people who have these and other types of problems have chosen to use fat transfers (also known as lipofilling) to improve their appearance.

Is Lipofilling right for you?

Lipofilling can be an appropriate treatment for a number of problems. The procedure can help you improve the shape of your face and cheeks, it can help you make your face more proportioned, it can make your eyes less sunken, and can eliminate deep wrinkles. Some patients prefer the fat transfer procedure because it does not involve any outside chemicals or materials. Instead, parts of your own body are simply being used to enhance another part. That means you do not have to be concerned about potential allergic reactions. Fat transfers are also reasonably priced, usually costing between $500 to $2000. However, some physicians charge more than $6000, depending on the extent of the treatments.

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What is Lipofilling?

Lipofilling is basically the taking of fat from one part of your body, usually your thighs, and using it to makes changes to your face. For example, the fat can be used to construct cheekbones. If you have wrinkles, the fat fills in those creases to make your skin look smooth again. The treatment can last up to three years. Some physicians recommend multiple sessions – as many as 3 to 5 – to correct deep creases or significant concerns.

The procedure, also known as fat grafting, usually takes place in your physician’s office or in an outpatient facility. The procedure can be done without anesthetic, especially if you are concerned about cost. However, the pain is often very hard to manage without some type of numbing. You may prefer asking about using a local anesthetic instead. If nothing else, use an anesthetic cream on the areas involved in the procedure. Unlike other types of cosmetic procedures, fat transfers do not require time off from work or from your normal activities.

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Are you a good candidate?

Good candidates for fat transfer must be at least 18 years old, although some physicians may opt to do the procedure on younger patients, particularly in cases of facial deformities. To have this treatment, you also need to be in good health. Talk to your physician about any health problems you may have and if you smoke you should consider quitting before having it done. Smoking can increase the risks associated with the procedure.

Furthermore, you should have realistic expectations for what the fat transfer can accomplish. Although it can improve your appearance, it cannot completely change how you look.

You may also be a good candidate for this procedure if you require more assistance than is viable using other techniques, such as Restylane. Also, fat transfers can be combined with other procedures, such as eyelid surgery.

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How is the procedure performed?

Before the procedure is done, you and your physician will discuss what you want done and where the fat is going to come from on your body (you can also have fat donated by another person if you desire). After the areas have been numbed with a local anesthetic if you are going to use one, your physician will use low-level liposuctioning to remove fat from the designated part of your body.

Once the fat is removed, it will be spun in a centrifuge so the fat cells can be separated from everything else that was removed. After the cells have been isolated, they are added to small needles which are then used to inject the fat into your body in the targeted locations, such as your cheeks or your creases.

Fat transfers are usually completed in less than an hour.

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How long will it take before I feel normal again?

The amount of time it will take you to recover from your fat transfer procedure will vary. Some individuals can return almost immediately to work and to normal activities; others may require a couple of days. Usually you will have some swelling around the injection areas for about a week and there will be some continued discomfort that can be treated with pain medication, and these issues usually disappear after the first seven days.

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Are there any risks?

Fat transfers do carry a few risks, although it is generally very safe. The most common effects of the procedure are achiness and puffiness around the injection sites. These effects are temporary and usually fade after the first week or two.

Other more serious risks involve complications from the local anesthetic or a fat embolism which can be caused if the fat is injected into a blood vessel. Infections, discoloration, and bleeding are also possible but not common.

While not necessarily a health risk, patients do need to understand that the procedure is not guaranteed to work. A significant percentage of patients simply reabsorb the fat into their bodies so the desired effect ends up being lost. There is no way to know until after the treatment whether it will “take” or not.

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Will I be happy with my results?

If your procedure does “take,” then you will probably see results immediately, although you’ll get a better view of your improved look after the swelling has gone down. Most of the people who undergo successful fat transfer treatments are very pleased with their results and experience improved self-confidence and self-esteem, along with their new youthful look.

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Further information

This web site has been prepared to give a basic understanding of the procedure before a consultation takes place, and to cover many of the questions frequently asked about this type of cosmetic surgery. Final decisions should not be made until an individual assessment has taken place with the surgeon.

There is no obligation on the part of the patient to undergo surgery by attending for consultation.

If you have any further questions or would like to arrange a consultation please fill in the online form or call us on 07590 666 302. All enquiries are always treated confidentially.

All enquiries are always treated most confidentially.

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