We often complain about our fat but it is Nature’s contour filler and the structural component that gives us a soft, smooth and gently curving shape. A little too much in the wrong place is detracting but equally if there is too little, the skin is unsupported and may dip into a hollow, shadows will deepen and highlights be lost. Fortunately, just as with other living tissues, fat can be harvested from an area of excess or sufficiency and grafted into an area of deficiency to plump it up. At BPS, we use this technique to good cosmetic / aesthetic effect particularly in the face, buttocks and in very carefully controlled circumstances the breast.
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Depending upon the quantities of fat graft required and whether it is being used in conjunction with another procedure, the procedure will be under local or general anaesthetic. A suitable discreet donor area is selected and the the fat is collected using vacuum aspiration through tiny incisions. It is then refined by centrifuging or simple saline washing which purifies and concentrates the graft. The deficiency in the recipient area is carefully mapped before operation and the fat graft can now be injected in a systematic pattern.
Depending on the area, the grafted area and the donor site will be supported with a firm dressing. Unnecessary physical activity should be restricted for 3 weeks after grafting if this is done in isolation.
There will be some transient bruising and discomfort in the donor area and some swelling in the enhanced area around the graft. Both areas should settle down by 3 weeks.
Grafted fat is long lasting and completely natural. Not all the grafted fat will survive but a little initial overcorrection may suffice. It is not uncommon for several grafting procedures to be required but small areas can often be done under local anaesthetic as an out patient. It is very important that you keep your weight stable as the grafted fat will behave like the fat in the original donor site.
Very occasionally, as with any procedure, there is a risk of infection which will commonly result in the loss of the graft and require treatment with antibiotics and possibly surgical drainage. Cysts can form.