Fat implant/ fat transfer


To smooth out contours or add shape to different parts of the body.

The procedure:

This procedure should be carried out by a surgeon with relevant skills and experience in an establishment registered with the Healthcare Commission.

Fat transfer involves surgery and the treatment normally takes up to two hours, depending on the area of the body and quantity of fat involved. The surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a metal tube called a cannula. The fat is then extracted through the cannula using a needle or a vacuum pump. The fat is then sometimes washed before being injected into the new area using a needle. If the fat is being implanted in the face, a series of tiny needles are used.

Sometimes extracted fat is stored for future treatments.

The recovery is dependent on the area treated. There will be some swelling and bruising to the area which will resolve after about 10 days.

The results:

The treatment should result in skin being smoother or parts of the body having a fuller shape. The results will be semi-permanent because the body can sometimes reabsorb the injected fat, meaning that top-up injections may be required.

The risks:

General risks associated with surgery - see Considering cosmetic surgery?

Risks can include bruising, swelling, lumpiness, skin discolouration and infection. The precise amount of fat needed to smooth or alter body shape is difficult to judge - the skill of the surgeon is very important.

Considering cosmetic surgery?

Before you start:

Many people choose to have fat implants or transfer because they think a part of their body is wrinkled or lacks shape - but this may be due to the structure of your body rather than anything that fat can correct. Before considering a fat implant or transfer, talk to your doctor about whether there are any alternatives.

Also see:

Dermal fillers

Procedure information is copyright Department of Health (http://www.dh.gov.uk. Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.