fat transfer

Fat Transfer – Costs, Methods & Risks

Fat transfer (also called fat transplant, fat injection, fat grafting and lipofilling) is a procedure in which personal fat is used to fill in irregularities and grooves in other parts of your body. People most commonly have fat extracted from their inner thigh. It is an established technique that was perfected in the early 1990s and is a very predictable process.

Why Have A Fat Transfer Procedure

People may consider having a fat transfer:

  • they have areas of their face that appear sunken
  • if they want a more permanent alternative to fillers
  • if they desire more body contour, correct scars or make their hands and face look younger
  • in addition to breast reconstruction

It is important that you do not have circulatory problems or illnesses (e.g. Smoking causes circulatory problems). If you have facial wrinkles such as laughter lines, smiles or crow’s feet then fat can be removed from your belly, thighs, and other areas and injected into your face. Acne, scars and sunken facial areas (lips and cheeks) can also be filled. Your plastic surgeon will use fat grafts to minimize wrinkles around the nose and mouth, correct skin depressions and minimize forehead wrinkles.

The problem with using fat for breast augmentation is that it requires the absorption of a large amount of fat. If you have bad skin and sagging breasts and want a significant breast enlargement through breast augmentation, fat transfer may not be suitable for you. However, if you only want a modest breast enlargement, you can be a good candidate for a fat transplant if your breasts are in good shape and have a good skin tone.

fat transplant
Fat transplant for sunken cheeks

Fat Transfer Procedure

The necessary fat is obtained by a limited liposculpture (one to several 3-5mm incisions). The fat is taken from the abdomen or the inner thighs. It is processed by centrifuging, filtering and rinsing. The result is a pure liquid adipose tissue that is ready for injection. This fat is then injected as needed.

This keeps the fat in contact with the surrounding tissue, which supplies it with oxygen and nutrients. The fat is then evenly distributed over the injected area, with a tiny amount of tissue from the fat surrounding healthy tissue.

The duration of the treatment can be up to one hour, depending on the size of the area to be treated. The donor area can show bruising, swelling and tenderness up to 24 hours after the anaesthetic is drained. The area to be treated may also have bruising and swelling, where they are treated, as well as tenderness.

It is important to use a cold pack or compress for the first few hours to minimize swelling. A cold pack is a freezer bag filled with ice cubes and water. The swelling will increase on the third day, but should subside soon after.

After about a week to ten days, the patient should be confident enough to resume a normal social life.

Once most of the swelling has subsided, the correction will appear more noticeably. The surgeon can correct any uneven areas by injecting more fat, which may be necessary as 25-30% of transplanted fat cells will not survive. The patient will see the surgeon every five to seven days for up to three weeks.

Surgeons take photos to compare them with those before the procedure. The final results will be evaluated after three months.

The second meeting is planned to fill any volume deficits. If the swell has subsided by the third day, social activity may be resumed.

Volume enlargement can be treated in areas such as cheekbones, cheeks and chin and for deep wrinkles and creases.

The body absorbs a percentage of fat, usually 20-50%, and the correction is considered permanent. An improved quality of the overlying skin is a positive side effect.

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Fat Transfer

These are the three main advantages and disadvantages to consider when considering fat transfer.


  • Benefits include the fact that autologous fat comes from the body (as opposed to dermal fillers) and can be easily replaced, reducing the likelihood of allergic reactions to foreign substances.
  • Fat transfer is natural, lasts a long time and is safe.
  • It is considered non-invasive


  • One of the disadvantages is that it is time consuming to prepare and transfer fatty tissue compared to pre-packaged skin fillers.
  • It costs more than fillers.
  • Multiple procedures may be required to achieve your desired outcome.

If you want to know more about fat transfer, you should consult with your aesthetic or plastic surgeon.

fat grafting
Fat grafting for wrinkle reduction

Can You Transfer Fat To Breasts And Buttocks?

If you have a breast defect after a lumpectomy or breast cancer, a fat transplant can be an effective way to fill the defect. Fat transplantation is also an option for a full breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, but to obtain sufficient breast volume, this is a multi-step process that requires at least two to four consecutive fat transplants. If you have residual irregularities in your breast after a breast augmentation or implantation, they can be filled with fat to create a smooth contour and optimal shape. If your breast shape needs to be optimized after breast implant surgery, fat grafts can be useful.

Many people who want a full, round buttocks opt for Brazilian buttocks lifts, which enable a curvaceous buttocks without implants by means of fat transfer.

Fat Grafts On The Hand

If you are in good general health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, then you are probably a good candidate for a hand fat transfer. Fat grafts on the hand are effective at adding volume, plumping wrinkles, covering underlying vessels and tendons and improving skin quality over time. It may be necessary to repeat the procedure several times in order to achieve the desired results. Fat is taken from one part of the body, washed, cleaned and injected with a special needle into the area that needs to be filled.

How Much Is A Fat Transfer?

The costs for a fat transfer depend per country. Underneath you can find the costs for a fat transfer for the USA and the UK.

Costs For A Fat Transfer In The USA

A fat transfer in the USA costs between $2500 and $7000. It will depend on the areas that need the procedure. Additional costs for aftercare and consultation are not included in the price.

Costs For A Fat Transfer In The UK

Depending on the extent of the procedure, a fat transfer in the UK costs between £2000 and £7000. You might have to pay for consultation and aftercare as well.

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