a surgical fat transfer is cosmetic surgery to move fat from one part of the body to another. also known as “fat grafting” or “lipomodelling.”
The goal is to remove unwanted fat from one area of the body, such as the belly or thighs, and use it to smooth or increase the size of another area, such as the breasts or buttocks. a surgical fat transfer involving the lower body is often referred to as a brazilian butt lift (bbl).
Getting a surgical fat transfer is a big decision. it can be expensive, results cannot be guaranteed, and there are risks.
It’s a good idea to explore other options for fat loss, such as the nhs non-surgical weight loss plan before moving forward. You can also read Is Cosmetic Surgery Right For Me?
how much does it cost?
In the UK, a surgical fat transfer typically costs between £2,000 and £8,000, depending on the procedure you have and the size of the area to be treated.
There may be additional costs for consultations, aftercare and any other treatment sessions you require.
where am I going?
If you’re looking in England, check out the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website for treatment centers that can perform a surgical fat transfer.
All independent clinics and hospitals providing cosmetic surgery in England must be registered with CQC, which publishes inspection reports and performance ratings to help people choose care.
You should also research the surgeon who will be performing your surgery. All doctors must, at a minimum, be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). check the record to see the doctor’s fitness to practice history.
you might also want to find out:
- what training does your surgeon have in fat grafting techniques
- if they are on the gmc specialist registry for plastic surgery
- how many operations have they performed where there have been complications
- what kind of follow-up should you expect if things go wrong
- your own patient satisfaction ratings
- fat removal: small cuts are made in the skin and a thin tube is used to suction out small amounts of fat (similar to liposuction); the cuts are then closed with stitches
- fat preparation: special equipment is used to separate the collected fat from blood and other fluids
- inject the fat: small amounts of fat are injected into the area to be treated; points are usually not needed
- significant bruising and swelling
- temporary numbness
- small scars: these will go away, but not completely away
- loss of part of the fat from the injected area during the first few months
- a collection of blood under the skin (hematoma)
- death of adipose tissue (fat necrosis)
- a blockage in a blood vessel caused by a piece of fat (fat embolism)
- air leaks into the space between the lungs and the chest wall (pneumothorax)
- thick, obvious scars, sometimes known as hypertrophic scars
- excessive bleeding
- develop a blood clot in a vein
- an allergic reaction to the anesthetic
- a serious skin infection (cellulitis)
- bulging scars (contour deformity)
Read more about choosing who will perform your cosmetic procedure.
If you’re thinking of having cosmetic surgery abroad, the same safety standards may not apply.
read more about cosmetic surgery abroad.
what does it consist of?
Surgical fat transfer can be performed under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia.
involves 3 main stages:
The procedure usually takes a couple of hours. you may be able to go home shortly after the procedure is over, or you may need to stay in the hospital overnight.
If a large area is being treated, your treatment may need to be done in 2 or more sessions.
You shouldn’t feel much pain during the procedure, but you may feel pain for a few days or weeks afterward. they will give you pain medicine if you need it.
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.
You can return to driving when you can do so without experiencing any discomfort.
The treated areas will likely be quite bruised and swollen for a few weeks. you may want to take a couple of weeks off work.
It can take up to 6 months for a surgical fat transfer to take effect, as some of the injected fat may be reabsorbed by your body during the first few months after the procedure.
side effects to expect
It is common after surgical fat transfer to have:
what could go wrong?
a surgical fat transfer is generally a safe procedure, but can occasionally result in:
Any operation also carries a small risk of:
The surgeon should explain the likelihood of these risks and complications, and how they would be treated.
Occasionally, another operation is needed. for example, in a surgical fat transfer involving the lower part (bbl), more surgery may be needed, either because 50% of the injected fat does not survive or because the desired volume cannot be achieved in a single procedure. operation.
safety concerns and risks of the brazilian butt lift
There have been a number of deaths following complications from the Brazilian butt lift (bbl) procedure.
the risk of death from bbl surgery is at least 10 times higher than many other cosmetic procedures and has the highest mortality rate of all cosmetic procedures.
The main concern is that the injected fat can cause a blockage in a blood vessel in the lungs (pulmonary embolism), which can be fatal.
In addition to having the same risks as other fat transfer surgeries, additional risks of bbl include:
The latest evidence suggests that fat should only be injected into the tissue under the skin (subcutaneously) and never directly into the muscle of the butt.
but the british association of aesthetic plastic surgeons (baaps) has advised its members not to perform brazilian butt lift surgery until more is known about safer butt injection techniques.
what to do if you have problems with your surgery
Cosmetic surgery can sometimes go wrong and the results may not be as expected.
If you notice any problems during your recovery, such as signs of a possible infection (increased swelling, redness, or pain), return to the surgeon who treated you.
If you are not satisfied with the results, or believe the procedure was not performed correctly, you should discuss the matter with your surgeon through the hospital or clinic where you were treated.
If you have concerns about your care, you should contact the cqc.
if necessary, you can file a complaint about a doctor with the gmc.
For more information, read the Royal College of Surgeons’ advice on what happens if things go wrong.
baaps: fat transfer to the breast