Fat transfer (fat transplantation) uses processed fat from your own body to re-contour and restore volume to the face.

Certain facial areas become sunken with age, and fat transfer can rejuvenate your face and restore a more youthful appearance. 

Fat transfer is a minimally invasive procedure, used to restore volume and rejuvenate areas of the face and body. Fat cells are removed by liposuction from the donor area – usually the stomach, thighs or buttocks. These cells are then cleansed and processed, before being injected into the facial area – a process that’s very quickly carried out by your expert surgeon. It is performed under local anaesthetic and is a day-case procedure, with no need for an overnight stay. Results are long-lasting, natural and immediate.

Whatever your personal reasons, our highly skilled surgeons at the Cadogan Clinic are pioneers in techniques for fat transfer and will provide world-class facilities for your individual treatment. Our expert team is acutely aware that your appearance can affect your confidence and everyday happiness, and as such we handle each case with sensitivity and discretion. You can rest assured your treatment, performed at our state-of-the-art, purpose-built, central London clinic, will deliver the results you desire.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, a Micro-Lift may be the perfect solution for your excess neck skin, but there are other solutions.

The Micro-Lift procedure is designed to help alleviate early signs of ageing and mild loss of elasticity loss.

This procedure commences with the making of a tiny incision below each ear. The connective tissue below the skin is pulled and held back to create a subtle structural lift in your jawline and neck. The skin will become taut and contours defined again.

The Micro-Lift does not offer drastic results. This is the subtlest in facelift procedures. If you have moderate skin laxity a mini-facelift may be a better choice for you. Or, if you have a problem with severe folds or prominent jowls you may want to consider a full facelift. However, if you are in your late 30s to late 40s and are looking for a light “pick up” in your face and neck area, the Micro-Lift is probably the best solution for you.

Remember that these modern lifting procedures are often combined with fat transfer and stem cell transfer to restore volume in the right places and rejuvenate the skin.

Any extra unwanted fat or double chin is removed by liposuction.

The recovery period for a Micro-Lift is really short. Most patients are back to their regular routines after just a few days. You will experience minimal discomfort after surgery. In addition, the smallness of the facial incisions means that your skin’s healing process will be quicker as well. You have minimal chance of poor scarring.

In truth, there are nowadays a full range of facelifts and in addition a whole range of add-ons. Plastic surgeons used to have their own adaption of a facelift, but it was the same for everyone. We at Cadogan Clinic now tailor the procedure to the individual patient’s requirements, which will include age, skin type and condition, facial morphology and above all, the patient’s expectation.

We might call the procedures full, mini or micro facelift, but they can all be broken down into certain parts.

Firstly, the length of skin excision. The longest could be across the top of the head in front of or behind the hairline, down in front of the ears, skirting the earlobe, up behind the ear and back down into the hair. The trend, however, is towards shorter and shorter scars and virtually never across the top of the head.  The shortest scar is the micro lift, which is also known as the one-stitch facelift, with a tiny scar below or above the ear.     

Secondly, the extent of undermining of the skin. We now never undermine from ear to mouth and meeting under the chin, but just enough to avoid bunching in front of and below the ear.

Thirdly, the degree of undermining and treatment of the SMAS, the muscle of the skin. The wide dissection, a source of risk, is now avoided and very often it is simply repositioned with stitches.

Fourthly, the method of suspension. Small dissolving sutures can be useful for the nuance of the result, but more permanent and strong nylon sutures can be inserted without the necessity of tissue dissection, and they last longer.

A word of warning - we are not impressed by the clever dissolving threads, which need no surgery and therefore are used by less skilled operators. They are not cost-effective and have only temporary effect with an unacceptable rate of complications.

Now, what about the add-ons?

The most frequent add-on is the restoration of lost facial volume by fat transfer. Your fat is used to augment the cheekbones, cheeks, temples, brow, chin and anywhere else it will improve facial balance. Fat contains those all-important stem cells, which also improve scars and skin quality. At Cadogan Clinic we are able to enhance the transferred fat with extra stem cells.

We might also address the long wrinkled ear lobe, the eyelids and the droopy nose.

We discuss and decide with the patient what is going to help you meet your expectations in a cost-effective way, and arrive at a suitable procedure.  Sometimes this will be a full facelift. More often it will be a mini or micro lift, quite possibly with fat grafting and stem cells.

The actual injection of fat is not painful. You hardly need local anaesthesia and perhaps simple analgesia, such as paracetamol, afterwards. Obtaining (harvesting) the fat usually from the tummy of thighs will require local anaesthesia. However, if you are not sure how you will feel about the pain, you can always have sedation or a general anaesthetic (TIVA). There some people, who will have their own fat stored from a previous procedure. In which case it is simply defrosted and injected without loss of potency.

Nowadays fat grafting has become an integral part of face lifting and eyelid (blepharoplasty) surgery, when you may well be asleep with TIVA (Total IntraVenous Anaesthesia).

There is little discomfort following surgery, but there is a little swelling and bruising. It is worth having paracetamol on hand, but that should be sufficient. You may wonder whether it is worth going through even this minor amount of discomfort when you could simply have filler.

The advantage is that fat that takes (75% in the face) and behaves exactly like normal fat. It is permanent, but still subject to the usual effects of ageing. Fat will add structure and, because of the included stem cells, improve skin and scar quality.

Facial fаt injections are аn еffісіеnt, nearly painless and incredibly fаѕt way to іmрrоvе уоur facial соntоurѕ. The facial fаt іnjесtіоnѕ are 100% seamless. Nо one wіll notice thаt уоu had аnу cosmetic рrосеdurе. You’ll ѕіmрlу lооk mоrе bеаutіful thаn ever.

If you аrе соnѕіdеrіng еnhаnсіng your facial vоlumе with an autologous fаt trаnѕfеr, уоur nеxt step will be to make a consultation appointment with our certified surgeons at the Cadogan Clinic. One of our experienced surgeons will bе more than сараblе of helping you dесіdе оn thе bеѕt mеthоd оf fаt іnjесtіоn. Yоur doctor will go over with you the results to expect following your fat transfer to the face.

It’s important to questions when уоu don’t understand сеrtаіn thіngѕ. It wіll be іn your bеѕt interest tо disclose аll previous аnd рrеѕеnt hеаlth соndіtіоnѕ to your dосtоr. Thе doctor саn hеlр you get started оn your fаt іnjесtіоn jоurnеу.  Alwауѕ kеер in mіnd that there аrе сеrtаіn rulеѕ соnсеrnіng this procedure, which you will be fully briefed on. Aѕ lоng as уоu follow them, уоu’ll enjoy the bеnеfіtѕ and have amazing results! 

Fat transfer (fat grafting) is not exactly non-surgical, but it is not far off. On its own, it is often done under local anaesthesia as an outpatient. There are two parts to the procedure – the taking (harvesting) of the fat and the placement or grafting.

The fat is taken from anywhere convenient or somewhere that you would like reduced. Generally, we use the lower abdomen, inner and outer thighs. We only need small amounts for the face but may have to search harder for the larger amounts for augmenting the breasts or buttocks. Very slim patients may present a problem. These donor areas will be bruised for three weeks and completely settle over three months. We do not restrict exercise on account of recovery of the donor sites. It is only visible bruising which might restrict you slightly.

Sometimes patients might want to combine fat transfer with body sculpting liposuction, reserving only a small portion for transfer. Likewise, the transfer may be combined with other facial surgery or breast remodelling.

Placement of the fat is by injection and even less disruptive. The quantities are larger than the artificial fillers, but the process is similar. There will be swelling and possibly bruising. This mostly settles in a few days. Some fat is reabsorbed, but less so on the face, particularly if the fat is enhanced with added stem cells. We suggest you avoid exercise for a couple of weeks.

Where fat has been stored, this fat transfer can be staged and the transfer done as an outpatient. This usually applies to breast augmentation.

Fat transfer at the Cadogan Clinic is a very common and safe procedure and helps to improve a patients’ self-esteem hugely.  The results we can achieve are always natural and provide patients with a greater peace of mind as we are augmenting their bodies or restoring volume to their faces with their own tissue, however to do this a certain level of fat is required and your specialised surgeon will be able to assess this during your initial consultation and examination.  The treatment length can increase as the complexity of the procedure changes, for example, fat harvested from one area of the body and deposited into the area around the mouth may take approximately one and a half hours whereas fat extracted from multiple areas of the body to re-augment the breasts or the buttocks could take up to around three hours.

Fat obtained by liposuction can be grafted to the breasts, buttocks or anywhere in the body, but the commonest, and by far the most important area, is the face. But why the face?

Gravity was thought to be the major factor in facial ageing, with all soft facial tissue descending vertically as a result of thinning and sagging of retaining ligaments. Then, in 2000, Donofrio raised the suggestion that relative volume loss and gain in regions of the face create the deep creases of age. Then Lambros, after analysing 130 subjects, suggested that changing shape of the mid-face was due to the relative deflation of certain fat pads combining with gravitational soft tissue descent. Later studies identified the importance of the different fat compartments in facial ageing.

Mr Tiryaki, who practises at the Cadogan Clinic and carries out research in Istanbul, states “The majority of the volume loss occurs at the bone and deep fat compartment level, which means that ligaments loosen and the superficial layers sag.”

Dermatologists and plastic surgeons at the Cadogan Clinic have a similar aim of replacing lost volume in the mid face and thereby lifting ligaments and skin back upwards. They all use fillers for temporary correction in the early stages, but consider the transfer of the patients own fat as the patient approaches middle age. Fat, often enriched with stem cells, will permanently replace volume and have regenerative effects on the overlying skin.

Fat transferred under the eyebrows will lift both them and the upper eyelids, thus restoring the brow and opening the eye. This technique is now a standard adjunct to blepharoplasty (upper eyelid reduction).

Fat grafting of the ageing hollowness of the temple and adjacent forehead again gives back that youthful shape. Similarly, the pointed chin of older people is due to tissue loss and is corrected by fat transfer.

Fat grafting (fat transfer) of the face can be carried out as a procedure on its own or combined with other procedures on the face, such as face and neck lifting and blepharoplasty (upper and lower eyelid reduction). A useful thought is to consider fat grafting if you are having liposuction elsewhere. You have fat. Why throw it away!

Huge amounts are of fat are not required, but it is nevertheless an opportunity to remove the unwanted bulge. The fat is processed and sometimes enhanced with extra stem cells also obtained from fat. The allows a better take of graft, which will be important in smokers and those with poor healing.

Thеrе аrе vеrу fеw ѕеrіоuѕ complications оf аutоlоgоuѕ fat trаnѕfеr (fat taken from the same person), You can еxресt some bruіѕіng оf the area treated and thе dоnоr ѕіtе.

Fat transfer, fat grafting, lipofilling. There are many names for the same procedure, but there are many nuances of technique, which potentially might affect the result.

Essentially, if fat can survive the grafting operation, it will last just like normal fat. It will even grow with weight gain. In the face, we know that we lose volume with age and we therefore graft fat to compensate, maintaining youthful fullness. Nevertheless, the grafted fat will gradually wain. It is still in many cases a better and more natural alternative to fillers.

The grafting technique is crucial. It is probably not very important where the fat is taken from, but it must be of the right size globules and processed in a way that preserves its ability to take up a blood supply in its new site quickly before it dies. Fat survives best when put into areas with its own abundant blood supply. Thus, fat grafted into the face, which is so well vascularised, picks up a new supply quickly and the majority of the fat survives. In most other areas we reckon to keep half the volume. Good and careful technique improves on this, but there is another specific way to significantly make a difference.

This is by supercharging the fat with extra stem cells.

All fat contains stem cells, which improve the survival of fat and work on rejuvenating the overlying skin. These extra stem cells are extracted from more fat which is not required for grafting.

Results for Fat Transfer to the body are permanent but it is important to maintain a stable weight. Over time the fat will change naturally as your body ages. Yоu can expect the аrеаѕ to which thе fаt wаѕ transferred tо appear ѕоftеr аnd fullеr, gіvіng уоu a rеfrеѕhеd and rejuvenated арреаrаnсе. Yоu mау even nоtісе аn improvement іn ѕkіn tеxturе.

+ Thе ѕurvіvаl оf the fаt аnd lоngеvіtу оf thе rеѕultѕ depend оn thе surgeon’s skills, hоw thе fаt was harvested аnd purified, and hоw аnd whеrе it was іnjесtеd. Tо be реrfоrmеd successfully, fat grafting requires a surgeon with hіghlу dеvеlореd ѕkіllѕ based оn еxреrіеnсе and knowledge оf thе tесhnіquе.
+ A process саllеd mісrоfаt grаftіng, although lаbоr іntеnѕіvе, is the bеѕt way tо еnѕurе thаt thе hіghеѕt percentage оf grаftеd fat wіll tаkе.
+ Whеn done successfully, thе іnjесtеd fаt еѕtаblіѕhеѕ a nеw blооd ѕuррlу frоm уоur bоdу and receives thе nourishment іt nееdѕ for ѕurvіvаl. Whеn this hарреnѕ, rеѕultѕ can аnd оftеn are реrmаnеnt; hоwеvеr, thеrе mау bе a percentage оf fаt that does nоt tаkе, whісh іѕ whу tоuсhuр рrосеdurеѕ are ѕоmеtіmеѕ nесеѕѕаrу.

Maintain a relationship wіth уоur аеѕthеtіс рlаѕtіс ѕurgеоn following the surgery to ensure you can always ask questions and come in for follow up sessions/consultations if you wish.  

Fоr ѕаfеtу, аѕ well as thе most bеаutіful аnd hеаlthу оutсоmе, it’s important tо rеturn tо уоur рlаѕtіс ѕurgеоn’ѕ office for fоllоw-uр еvаluаtіоn at prescribed tіmеѕ аnd whеnеvеr уоu hаvе аnу quеѕtіоnѕ аbоut your fat trаnѕfеr hеаlіng аnd rеѕultѕ.

Fat transfer to the facial areas is also a long-term solution which will last for many years as your consultant will discuss with you in your consultation. 

Following your fat transfer procedure, you will notice results immediately - more evidently in the first few weeks after your treatment when any swelling and bruising have subsided.  The results will continue to improve during the next few months’ post-treatment as your fat re-distributes itself and settles.

Results of fat transfer treatment are permanent; however, it is important to maintain a stable weight after your surgery and a healthy lifestyle overall.  Over time your fat distribution will change naturally as your body ages – fat transfer to facial areas is a highly effective long-term solution to help rejuvenate the appearance of a tired, ageing face or to restore youthful volume to certain areas of the body. Breast or Buttock augmentation using fat transfer can be a very effective way of increasing the volume to the area in a minimally-invasive way to provide a very natural result.  It is a highly effective, long-term solution for both getting rid of stubborn areas of fat and enhancing particular areas of the body at the same time.

The time taken will depend on how extensive the procedure is.

The fat needs to be ‘harvested’ from elsewhere - often the tummy or thighs. If we are trying to sculpt the donar area as well, then this may take an hour or so itself. If it is only to provide a little fat for the face then it might be taken in 30 minutes.

Then there is the processing of which there are several methods -  washing, filtering and spinning.  We might want to add extra stem cells, which takes an hour in itself.

Placement of the fat has to be precise. A small area of the face will be done in 10 minutes, but the major part of the face will take a lot longer. The breast and buttock take large volumes.

There is a technique available at the Cadogan Clinic where a large quantity of fat is taken and then frozen and stored. Small amounts can then be taken from the store over months or even years to layer the fat, building up the contour. Each of these injections can be carried out swiftly.

So how long does it take? It can take anywhere between 10 minutes up to 3 hours.

Basically, it depends on how much fat is required and what it is being used for.

Essentially enough fat is taken from elsewhere by liposuction. This could be anywhere, but for convenience is often the abdomen or thighs and can be done under local anaesthesia or sedation. The fat may be processed by filtration and centrifuge spinning and put into small syringes for injection.

The Cadogan Clinic offers several exciting refinements, which your surgeon will discuss if indicated.

Fat contains Stem Cells and their close relatives, Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSC) which enhance fat transfer and improve skin and scar quality. These can be extracted in the Cadogan Clinic from the fat and added to supercharge the fat to be transferred. Alternatively, they can be used on its own as a stem cells suspension or MSC enriched Nanofat.

Finally, the fat can be stored for later or staged use, where larger quantities are needed, particularly in natural breast or buttock augmentation. 

It does not stop there as so often patients are looking for contouring or reduction of fat elsewhere and this can be the ideal donor site - liposuction with a purpose.

Fat transfer is an advanced surgical treatment which involves harvesting and filtering unwanted fat cells through liposuction techniques, then reinjecting them to either help rejuvenate and restore lost volume (typically) in the face, or to increase the natural contours of the body, for example to reshape breasts or the buttocks. This is most usually performed under either a local or general anaesthetic depending on the patient and surgeons’ preferences and suitability.  

Fat transfer at the Cadogan Clinic is a very common and safe procedure and helps to improve a patients’ self-esteem hugely.  The results we can achieve are always natural and provide patients with a greater peace of mind as we are augmenting their bodies or restoring volume to their faces with their own tissue, however to do this a certain level of fat is required and your specialised surgeon will be able to assess this during your initial consultation and examination.  The treatment length can increase as the complexity of the procedure changes, for example, fat harvested from one area of the body and deposited into the area around the mouth may take approximately one and a half hours whereas fat extracted from multiple areas of the body to re-augment the breasts or the buttocks could take up to around three hours.

After surgery, patients may experience some discomfort for a couple of days’ post-surgery –a dull ache may persist in the areas that have been treated for a further 1-4 weeks but this can be managed easily with pain killers that either your surgeon or aftercare team can provide you. 

Downtime is usually minimal following either fat transfer to body or face, however you may notice some swelling and bruising which can take up to 1-2 weeks to subside post-surgery. Following fat transfer to the breasts for instance, your consultant will advise wearing a support bra a few days per week after surgery and for buttocks you will have a dressing in situ for ten days.

Where the liposuction has been performed, you will most likely be required to wear a compression garment for around three weeks and avoid exercise for up to two weeks following your treatment. Swelling and bruising should subside within a couple of weeks following fat transfer to the face, which you will be able to conceal well with makeup.  Recovery time for fat transfer procedures to the body are typically longer than the face depending on how many areas the initial liposuction was carried out on.

After surgery, patients may experience some discomfort for a couple of days’ post-surgery –a dull ache may persist in the areas that have been treated for a further 1-4 weeks but this can be managed easily with pain killers that either your surgeon or aftercare team can provide you. 

Downtime is usually minimal following either fat transfer to body or face, however you may notice some swelling and bruising which can take up to 1-2 weeks to subside post-surgery.

Following fat transfer to the breasts for instance, your consultant will advise wearing a support bra a few days per week after surgery and for buttocks you will have a dressing in situ for ten days. Where the liposuction has been performed, you will most likely be required to wear a compression garment for around three weeks and avoid exercise for up to two weeks following your treatment.

Swelling and bruising should subside within a couple of weeks following fat transfer to the face, which you will be able to conceal well with makeup.  Recovery time for fat transfer procedures to the body are typically longer than the face depending on how many areas the initial liposuction was carried out on.

Fat transfer at Cadogan Clinic starts from £4800 for face, and £6750 for body. However, this is a highly-specialised treatment and incorporates two types of techniques– the liposuction and the re-distribution of your fat so pricing can increase depending on the number of areas to be treated.  An accurate price can only be quoted following a consultation with your surgeon.

This treatment is particularly appealing due to the low risk it presents and that we use the patient’s own tissue is used to reshape and re-contour their body in a natural way. We not using implants or artificial filler, which for some people is important.

The procedure Fat Transfer (Fat Grafting, lipofilling)has the usual issues of temporary bruising and swelling, but infection is uncommon. We would ask you not to exercise strongly for a week to so whilst the new fat graft takes up a new blood supply.

Patients do need to discuss with their consultant the range of possible results carefully before surgery. Expectations vary. Some will be happy with a slight improvement and others will need a huge change to be satisfied.

Fat embolisation was a  possibility in the early days of fat grafting of the face before the risk of injecting fat into an artery was appreciated by the untrained surgeon. The risk was blindness, stroke and death. This emphasizes the importance of establishing your surgeon's credentials. It will always be a risk, in untrained hands. The Cadogan surgeons will avoid injecting in certain areas and use safer cannulas.

Recontouring the lower body by a combination of liposuction and buttock augmentation (Brazilian Buttock or Butt lift) give remarkable results, but sadly the untrained surgeon has raised problems by injecting fat into the muscle of the buttocks and without thought into large arteries. Several patients have died as a consequence of fat emboli (nodules of fat) travelling round to block vessels of the heart and lungs. 1 in 3,000 patients have died, mostly it seems, in the USA and Turkey, where extremely large volumes were injected. We have a strong protocol at the Cadogan Clinic and take part in an International Study Group.  We have had no problems despite having done a large number over several years. This will allow us to continue safe treatment in the near future.

Is Fat Transfer safe?

Fаt Trаnѕfеr is a vеrу ѕаfе рrосеdurе when реrfоrmеd by a Board Cеrtіfіеd Plastic Surgеоn, all our surgeons at the Cadogan Clinic are. Thе mоѕt common trеаtmеnt area fоr a Fat Trаnѕfеr іѕ thе fасе аlthоugh fаt mау bе injected іntо ѕеvеrаl аrеаѕ tо rеѕtоrе уоuthful vоlumе аnd contours, whіlе also rеjuvеnаtіng thе ѕkіn. Cаndіdаtеѕ for thіѕ рrосеdurе ѕhоuld bе іn gооd physical hеаlth with rеаlіѕtіс еxресtаtіоnѕ. Risks аrе rаrе but wоuld bе dіѕсuѕѕеd durіng a соnѕultаtіоn depending uроn what аrеа of thе bоdу thе fаt іѕ being еxtrасtеd аnd trаnѕfеrrеd to.

This treatment is particularly appealing due to the low risk it presents – a patients own tissue is used to reshape and re-contour their body, thus, the risk of infection is greatly reduced. Possible complications include the risks associated with the prescribed medication administered following a surgical procedure which your surgeon will outline thoroughly for you during your consultation.

 

 

What to expect

Free Consultation with a Patient Advisor

We offer a free, no-obligation 30-60 minute consultation with one of our Patient Advisors. They will work with you to understand your objectives and the results you want to achieve, talk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have. If you decide that you would like to proceed to the next step and see a surgeon, your Patient Advisor will be happy to arrange this for you. At this point, you will be required to pay a consultation fee. 

Surgical Consultation

The next step is for you to meet your chosen surgeon at the Cadogan Clinic. Your surgeon will use this time to make a comprehensive medical assessment of you, your condition, and your expectations before making a recommendation and personalised treatment plan for you. You will then discuss the outcomes you can expect to see and ask any questions.

The Procedure

On the day of your procedure you will be welcomed at the Clinic by your patient advisor and dedicated nursing staff. Following a brief medical check, you will meet with both your surgeon and anesthetist to run through the details of your procedure one final time and answer any last questions you may have.

Recovery

After the procedure you will recover in the capable hands of your after care team. As we are a day case facility you can expect your recovery to be complete within 2 to 3 hours and able to be discharged from the Clinic the very same day. In some cases patients may wish to stay locally in our exclusive partner hotel the day before or after your procedure.

After Care & Support

Our care and support continues in the days and weeks after your procedure with our complimentary aftercare programme. A series of appointments will be made with your surgeon and nursing team in order to monitor your progress and recovery, as well as introduce you to several scar minimization techniques and bespoke products to aid your progress

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