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FAT TRANSFER (BODY)

FAT TRANSFER (BODY)

A fat transfer to the body enhances the body using fat collected from another area of the body via liposuction and then injected into the target area. Fat transfer is a versatile procedure that allows the surgeon to sculpt, contour and volumise different areas of the body as required.

Procedure

Fat transfer, also called fat grafting, fat injections and Lipofilling, is a procedure that uses a person's fat to fill in irregularities and grooves. This is now a well-established technique that was perfected in the early nineties to a predictable procedure.

Areas of the body where fat grafting is often used include:

  • Buttocks:
    The shape and volume of the buttocks can be enhanced via fat transfer – this technique is well known as the "Brazilian Butt Lift".
  • Breasts:
    The contour and volume of the breasts can be improved with fat grafting. This technique is also used to enhance implant-based breast reconstruction.
  • Lipofilling:
    Lipofilling can be used to smooth out all types of contour irregularities, such as those resulting from poorly performed liposuction or injuries.
  • Face:
    (see "Fat Transfer (facial)")

A limited liposculpture obtains the necessary fat through one or several 3 to 5 mm incisions. It is normally taken from the abdomen or inner thigh. The aspirated fat is processed by centrifuging, filtering or rinsing. Pure liquid fatty tissue ready for injection is the result.

The fat is then injected where needed. The fat is evenly distributed into the area by injecting minute amounts in the tissues so that the injected fat is well surrounded by healthy tissue. This ensures that the transplanted fat remains in contact with the surrounding tissues that must supply it with oxygen and nutrients.

About 1- 2 hours, depending on the size of the areas to be treated.


Local infiltration anaesthesia of the donor area and the area to be treated.


Either.


Possible side effects include:

  • Donor area:
    bruising, swelling, tenderness, up to 24 hours drainage of anaesthetic liquid.
  • Treated area:
    bruising, swelling (especially the lips if treated), tenderness.

The areas that have been treated will be rather swollen immediately after the operation, especially the lips if they have been treated. It is therefore important to use a cold pack to compress it in the first few hours to minimise the swelling. A cold pack is a freezer bag filled with ice cubes and water.

The swelling will increase until about the third day but will then gradually subside. After about a week to ten days, patients feel confident about going out and resuming a normal social life. If any bruises have developed, they might remain visible for a little longer but can be hidden reasonably well with make-up.

Patients should have a check-up with the surgeon after five to seven days and again three weeks later. By then most of the swelling will have subsided, but the correction may still look rather exaggerated. Surgeons usually over-correct, which means injecting more fat than is needed because 25 to 30% of the transplanted fat cells do not survive. The final result is assessed after three months. The surgeon will then take photographs to be compared with those taken before the procedure. A second session may be scheduled to top up any shortfall in volume.


Asymmetry, irregularities, overcorrection, and infection.


The swelling usually diminishes from the third day on, and social activities can be restarted after about one week.


A fat transfer treats irregularities and dents. A fat transfer assists in volume augmentation of the treated areas such as breasts, buttocks or indentations secondary to trauma. Improved quality of the overlying skin can be a positive side effect. After the body absorbs a percentage of the fat (between 20 and 50%), the correction can be considered permanent.


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The Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons of Southern Africa was formed in 1956. It currently has over 169 members from all around South Africa. All our members are fully qualified Plastic surgeons that have been approved for APRASSA membership and will endeavour to provide you with excellent care throughout your plastic surgery journey.









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