Fat transfer to face in London
Fat transfer to face, also known as lipofilling, facial fat grafting and face fat transfer, is performed when more volume is preferred due to a loss of facial volume with the ageing process. With age, many people tend to gain fat in the body, but lose it in the face. This, combined with the loss of facial volume in the form of muscle and bone, makes the face look older. During youth, the face is usually heart-shaped in appearance; however, as people age, the heart shape falls to form a rectangular appearance. The distribution of facial fat loss varies from person to person. The surgeon is able to remove fat cells from donor areas such as the abdomen, hips or inner thighs and carefully transfer the fat to targeted areas of the face where more volume is required. Fat grafting is also ideal for those patients who have developed postoperative contour deformities from previous liposuction. Targeted fat injections can also add volume to fill in fine lines, wrinkles and deeper folds. Fat injections can also be used for scar revision. It is not possible to achieve 100% graft survival with fat transfer but with modern methods, the rate of fat survival can be as high as 80%. The viable fat will be permanent which results in a visible improvement in facial contour.
Fat transfer has been performed in various forms for over a 100 years but it is only in the last 20 to 30 years that the procedure has evolved to become highly effective and give consistently good results. The techniques for facial fat transfer have now become more standardised for fat removal, fat processing and fat re-injection. With the success of liposuction and fat transfer means body contouring surgery has become the most popular cosmetic procedure today.
Fat transfer to face is a more natural approach to facial rejuvenation and also much longer lasting when compared with HA dermal filler injections. Dermal fillers have to be repeated every 6-12 months to maintain the results however fat transfer is a one and done procedure with no requirement for further repeat treatments. When considered over the long-term, facial fat transfer may be a more economical option for facial rejuvenation. Although fat injections can be performed on its own, it is more commonly combined with facial rejuvenation procedures such as blepharoplasty, facelift, brow lift or laser resurfacing. The procedure adds facial volume by acting as a scaffold for the skin, recreating a vibrant and youthful appearance.
Expected results after face fat transfer
- Increased volume with a smoother appearance to areas injected with fat
- Improved facial contour
- Improvement in fine lines and wrinkles with the use of microfat
- Improvement in skin texture and quality with nanofat
By analysing the pattern of facial ageing in a 3-dimensional fashion, our skilled facial plastic surgeons can restore fat to areas of the face where volume has been lost. Fat injections can be performed around the entire face and temples, as well as to only specific areas.
Advantages of fat transfer to face compared with dermal fillers
- Fat transfer makes use of the body’s own natural fat for injection, dermal fillers use hyaluronic acid
- The fat injections technique does not carry the risk of an allergic reaction compared with soft tissue fillers
- The results achieved from fat injections last much longer compared to cosmetic injectables
What is included in my treatment package?
- As many preoperative consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure the procedure is right for you
- Treatment at a specialist day surgery facility recently rated ‘Good’ by the CQC
- Enhanced same day discharge with the added benefits of recovering in your own home
- 24/7 clinical support from your surgeon for first 48 hours and our expert postoperative support team
- Your very own dedicated patient coordinator
- In-depth preoperative medical assessment to make sure you are fully fit for the rhinoplasty procedure
- Exceptionally high standards of postoperative care described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC with regular telephone and face to face checks by our expert postoperative support team
RealSelf Top Doctors
RealSelf top doctor status is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf doctor community. This status is earned by achieving consistently high patient satisfaction (from RealSelf reviews), getting excellent feedback on expert answers to patient questions, and after investing significant time in Q&A and other doctor activity. RealSelf top doctors are rated among the very best surgeons in the United Kingdom and USA.
|Face fat transfer||Fast facts|
|Anaesthetic type 💉||LA or GA|
|Procedure time ⏳||1-2 hours|
|Length of stay 🛏||Day case|
|Up and mobile 🚶🏻♂️||Same day|
|Washing 🛁||3 days|
|Sexual activity ❤️||2 weeks|
|Back to work 📅||Desk work next day|
|Postoperative garment 👕||Not required|
|Sleeping 😴||On back 1 week|
|Exercise 🏃🏽♀️||4 weeks|
|Full recovery 🕺🏻||6 weeks|
|Final results 😃||6-12 weeks|
Why choose Centre for Surgery for face fat transfer ?
- Over 15 years experience with all types of face fat transfer surgery – macrofat, microfat and nanofat grafting
- We regularly receive patients from overseas at our facial plastic surgery specialist centre
- Our surgeons are UK trained NHS consultant plastic surgeons who live and work in the UK. We don’t work with ‘fly-in, fly-out’ surgeons from other countries. This is very important because whilst your surgeon takes all precautions to minimise complications, complications can and do occur and our surgeons are readily available to manage any issues if and when they arise.
- We own and manage our own surgical facilities. Properly performed fat transfer surgery takes time and should not be rushed. We do not cram 5-6 procedures into one day like other providers. You want your surgeon to be well-rested and mentally and physically sharp to perform face fat transfer surgery to get the best results.
Trust a facial plastic surgeon for face fat transfer
A facial plastic surgeon is trained to undertake aesthetic surgical procedures in the facial region including fat transfer to face. They are dedicated face sub-specialists. Compared with general plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons are inherently better trained to perform delicate procedures in the eye region. The extra years of surgical training by facial specialists focused on the facial region results in an exceptionally high degree of skill. Fat transfer surgery is highly intricate and our surgeons are highly experienced to undertake surgery in the face region.
Our surgeons are full members of:
Why have fat injections?
Facial fat grafting is the process of moving fat from a donor area of the body to an area of the face. As you are using your own fat, this method leaves no chance of any hypersensitivity reactions. Facial fat grafting can help to restore volume to the face, making you appear more youthful and gives your face more balance. It is able to restore any volume that has been lost as a result of ageing or introduce volume that has never previously existed. Facial fat grafting even has positive effects on the skin – it has been shown to help repair damaged tissue and stimulates the skin, improving skin elasticity.
Benefits of fat transfer to face
- Fat injections to face delivers natural looking results
- Uses natural materials – not chemicals or implants
- Performed as a day surgery with a minimal recovery time
- Adds contour to areas that may have lost volume in the ageing process
- Helps banish wrinkles and frown lines
- Also addresses facial imperfections like depressions or scars on the skin
- Improves the quality of the skin
Possible Side Effects of fat transfer to face
- Swelling and soreness may be experienced in the first few days following the surgery
- Infection on the incisions but can be avoided with good aftercare
- Some of the fat will be absorbed by the body
Ideal candidates for fat transfer to face
All patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved with fat transfer to face
We do not treat patients below the age of 18 years of age.
Healing is better if patients refrain from or quit smoking. You will have to quit smoking prior to surgery as well as during the recovery period to maximise fat survival.
Fat transfer to face is ideal for patients who feel they have a loss of facial volume as a result of the ageing process. Fat transfer to face can help soften fine lines and wrinkles, and also add volume to the face for a more youthful and refreshed appearance. The procedure also addresses the loss of fat on the face that defines the contour of the cheeks and jawline. Our surgeons use facial fat grafting techniques to fill up the hollow areas to restore natural contours of the face that may have been lost during the ageing process.
It is important to have realistic expectations of what the procedure can achieve, and have a thorough understanding of the procedure. Some of the fat transferred may become reabsorbed, and in certain cases you may need to undertake a touch-up or repeat session to achieve the desired results.
Those who will not be suitable for fat injections include those who do not have enough fat in donor areas which can be transferred. Those who have an unstable weight may also be considered unsuitable. Active smokers are also not advised to undertake facial fat transfer due to adverse effects on transferred fat from the components of tobacco smoke.
Fat transfer to face procedure
Prior to the fat transfer to face, you will need to have a consultation with one of the surgeons. The consultation begins by having an opportunity to discuss your ideas, concerns and expectations about the fat injections procedure with your surgeon, and ask any relevant questions you may have.
Your facial transfer surgeon will:
- Take a focused history and examine you
- Explain the fat grafting procedure
- Take your needs and preferences into account when deciding on the most appropriate treatment option for you
Fat injections involves three steps:
- Liposuction: fat is harvested from a donor area with liposuction. At Centre for Surgery, we use very fine cannulas and gentle suction to delicate extract fat cells. Unlike other methods of liposuction, manual lipo does not involve the use of heat, which eliminates the risk of damage to the delicate fat cells.
- Processing: the collected fat is purified. This purification process separates the living cells from non-viable adipocytes and lipid. This ensures only tissue which will not be reabsorbed will be used.
- Injections: fat is then injected back to the area to be treated and shaped to give you the ideal appearance.
Fat injections are performed as an outpatient surgery. This means you will be able to return home on the same day as your procedure, once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
Recovery after fat transfer to face
Following your surgery, you can expect some swelling and bruising which will fade away within a few days. Pain medication can be taken to ease any discomfort.
You may be given antibiotics to take during the recovery period. This will help to lower your risk of any infections occurring.
You will see the result almost immediately after the swelling has gone down. However, it may appear as if too much fat has been transferred, and at first, the results may appear swollen. This is because a certain percentage of the fat will naturally be absorbed by the body. It may take a few months for final results to be noticeable.
You can return to work after a day or two after your surgery, but strenuous activities must be avoided for at least two weeks.
The result achieved from the fat injections procedure can last a long time as long as good aftercare routine is followed. You may wish to return for a smaller top-up procedure if the volume of the face has not increased enough, or too much fat was absorbed by the body.
Risks and potential complications of fat injections
There are a number of potential risks associated with fat injections. At consultation, your surgeon will always take time to fully discuss the risks and complications associated with fat injections. All risks need to be outlined regardless of how rare they are. By choosing Centre for Surgery for your facial fat injections procedure, you can be confident in having highly experienced and expert surgeons to perform your procedure.
Potential complications associated with fat transfer to face
- Anaesthetic risks
- Lipofilling donor site complications
- Surgical scarring
A common issue after fat injections to the face is either under filling or over filling. Under filling is less of an issue than overfilling. If excess fat absorption occurs then repeat fat injections can be safely performed. However if too much fat has been injected, then to remove the extra fat, the surgeon has to perform micro liposuction to the face, which is difficult as it lacks accuracy and precision. To prevent the risk of overfilling, the surgeon will inject all the marked areas first and then perform fat injections to the desired aesthetic goal during the procedure. The surgeon will take great care to inject the correct areas as fat injected outside of the marked areas may look unsightly and give the look of chubby round face. Surgeons will typically inject 10-20% extra to account for a 30-50% loss of injected fat.
Am I a good candidate for facial injections?Fat injections are suitable for adults wanting to wrinkles, frown lines or the loss of layer of fat on the face.
Which areas of the face can fat grafting be performed?Fat injections can help restore volume on the cheeks, chin, under-eyes area and lips of the face.
Are fat injections or cosmetic injectables more suitable for me?You must discuss your options with the surgeon during your consultation. Although both procedures deliver similar outcomes, fat grafting lasts longer compared to fillers, therefore, decision must be based upon how long you want the results to last.
How is the procedure performed?Fat is harvested from a donor area with liposuction
The collected fat is purified
Fat is then injected back to the area to be treated
How do I prepare for my surgery?The procedure will be a day case procedure. Avoid taking any blood thinners at least two weeks before your surgery to avoid complications.
What is the recovery period going to be like after having fat injections?Expect some swelling and bruising but it will fade away within a few days, and pain medication can be taken to ease any discomfort. However, avoid strenuous activities for at least two weeks.
What are the complications associated with this procedure?Soreness and swelling are commonly experienced after the procedure. Infection on the incisions may occur but can be avoided.
Is the fat injections procedure going to be painful?No, you will be under local anaesthesia that will numb the area to be treated providing comfort throughout the procedure.
Will I be left with scars?The incisions made for the cannula are very small and will leave no visible scars.
What results can I expect after my surgery?After the swelling has gone down, you will be able to notice results immediately. The achieved results will last a long time and can last indefinitely if a good aftercare routine is followed.
Are fat injections, lipofilling and fat grafting the same thing?Yes, fat injections, lipofilling and fat grafting are the same thing.
They all refer to the process of removing fat from a donor area and injecting it back to the area needed to be treated. You may also come across a term ‘microlipoinjection’, which again refers to the same technique.
What To Expect
We always recommend a face to face consultation with one our expert plastic surgeons as a first step in your journey towards facial rejuvenation with fat transfer. When you meet with one of our surgeons, your surgeon will take time to listen carefully to what you hope to achieve and give you an expert opinion on what can and cannot be achieved after performing a thorough physical examination. Your surgeon may use computerised digital imaging to map the structure of the face in detail to give you an idea of what your eyelids could look like after your fat transfer procedure. Your surgeon will also take a number of measurements as part of a detailed facial analysis. Finally high resolution photographs are taken in a number of views. Your surgeon will assess how much fat to harvest for the fat transfer procedure. The surgeon will plan the harvest of fat from a suitable donor site in conjunction with you. Common areas for harvest include the abdomen, flanks, hips and inner thighs. However any area may be suitable as long as there is enough fat for the fat transfer part of the procedure. A general rule is that double the volume of fat required for transfer is required. This is because during fat processing, the volume of fat will be decrease as a higher purity of fat is obtained. Your surgeon will also discuss with you the potential risks and complications of face fat transfer surgery and what to expect in the postoperative phase during your healing and recovery. It is important to know what medicines you taking as some medicines can interfere with blood clotting and may need to be stopped. Any history of medical conditions or previous surgery will also be recorded and all the compiled information is used to make a decision on your medical fitness for the fat grafting procedure. After a recommended two week "cool off" period and provided you are appropriate for the procedure, you can then make an informed decision on whether you would like to proceed with the fat transfer procedure. If you are unsure on any aspect of the facial fat transfer surgery procedure and what it entails then we would invite you to return for as many follow-up consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure that facial fat grafting surgery is right for you. The consultation lasts about 45 minutes on average. It may take longer if your procedure is going to be more complex. We would actively recommend coming in for a follow-up consultation to ensure all your questions are answered.