Fat Transfer

The effects of the ageing process on the face causes the skin to become loose which gives rise to jowls and folds in the neck as well as a loss of soft tissue volume particularly in the cheek area due to drooping of the cheek fat. In contrast to the fullness of youth the face later in life can look gaunt with a sunken appearance in the region of the cheek bones and mid face. Fat transfer is an operation to take fat from one part of the body (e.g. the abdomen or buttocks) and transfer it to another part of the body, usually the face, to try and reverse some of these changes. It can also be useful in correcting the facial contour abnormalities seen following traumatic scars and be used to cosmetically enhance the lips. The operation can be performed under local or general anaesthetic depending on the extent of the treatment, takes about 1 hour to perform and usually is performed as a day case procedure. 

During the procedure, the donor area for harvesting fat is prepared in a similar fashion to performing liposuction. The fat is harvested using a special suction cannula so it is not damaged. it is then centrifuged to allow separation of the intact healthy fat cells from those that have damaged. The live fat cells are then injected in the treatment areas using a very fine cannula to place tiny amounts of fat in tunnels which are carefully built up to form layers which restore volume and shape. Between 50% and 60% of the transferred fat survives. This means a certain amount of overcorrection is required which also contributes to some of the swelling following surgery. Fat transfer is often performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures such as a facelift.

Fat Transfer

AT A GLANCE

Length of surgery:
1 hour
Anaesthesia:
Local or general anaesthesia
Overnight or day case:
Day case
Recovery:
2-7 days off work depending on severity
Avoid driving 2-7 days
No heavy lifting/gym/sport for 4 weeks
Follow-up:
5-7 days to remove sutures, 6 weeks, 6 months

Frequently asked questions

Not everyone is suitable for fat transfer. Suitability is a matter for you and Mr Johnson to discuss in clinic, following a thorough analysis of your medical history and a thorough clinical consultation.

The aims of surgery are to improve the contour of the face. The advantage of achieving this using autologous tissue (i.e. tissue from one’s own body) rather than using synthetic implant materials is it feels more natural and, were any infection to occur, the synthetic implant would most likely need to be surgically removed. The operation can be very successful at improving the soft tissue balance within the facial features and thereby increasing patient confidence and improving self esteem.

The scars resulting from the fat harvest as well as the fat transfer are all quite small (< 5 mm in length) and where possible hidden in the natural smile/crease lines.

Fat transfer is not a particularly painful procedure. During the operation local anaesthetic is injected into the site of the fat harvest and fat transfer. On discharge from hospital, any discomfort can usually be managed with simple tablet type painkillers such as paracetamol etc.

It is normal to feel lethargic and tired for the first week following surgery. Bruising and swelling and numbness can last for several weeks following surgery. Patients can usually return to work after 2-3 weeks depending on the extent of the surgery and should refrain from contact sports for 3 months.

Up to 50% overcorrection is performed with fat transfer to take into account the fat resorption rate. This adds to the normal expected bruising and swelling which may last several weeks. The final result can usually be judged at around 6-12 months following surgery. Due to the unpredictability of the results, the procedure may need to be repeated.

Any operation carries with it the risk of complication. Major complications, however, are uncommon following a fat transfer. During your initial consultation Mr Johnson will have a full discussion with you about the risks and complications of surgery. If you decide to go ahead with surgery, these risks will again be discussed as part of the consenting process. Fortunately, with correct patient selection and appropriate procedure selection, the risks are kept to an absolute minimum. It is important that you should be reassured that Mr Johnson will not agree to perform any cosmetic procedure on you unless he feels the benefits significantly outweigh the risks.

Mr Johnson will come and see you on the ward after your surgery and will review you everyday throughout your hospital stay. After you have been discharged Mr Johnson will arrange to see you in clinic after 7-10 days to review the wounds. He will then make arrangements to see you in clinic for longer term follow up appointments. You will be given contact details for the hospital and Mr Johnson’s secretary should you wish at any time to discuss further aspects of your care or make additional arrangements for review.

Treatment costs

Initial consultation

£200

Fat transfer

The exact surgery cost will be confirmed after your consultation. This will include the hospital, surgeon and anaesthetic fees.

For more information click here

Booking a consultation

To book an appointment to see Mr Johnson please contact his private secretary and practice manager:

Marcia Pillai
Tel: 07780 514777
E-mail: davidjohnson@doctors.org.uk

Make an enquiry

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Breast augmentation, Patient KM

Thanks for all you’ve done for me. You’re the best!

Facelift, upper and lower blepharoplasties, fat transfer, Patient RB

I just wanted to say a personal thank you from the bottom of my heart for my nose. To me my nose is perfect. I love it so much. I can’t possibly explain how much you have changed my life for the better. I just wanted you to know how much you have changed me. I am a different person now with so much more confidence. I know to you, you probably think you are just doing your job but you are not – you are making dreams come true, especially mine. Thank you so so so much for making my dream come true.

Rhinoplasty, Patient Debbie

I would like to thank you and your team so very much once again for your kindness and professional service given to me at the Ridgeway hospital. Having my rhinoplasty operation has given me much more confidence.

Rhinoplasty, Patient SS

Just want to say many thanks for all your support and help both before and after my operation. I am very pleased with the results and appreciated your kindness, throughout my stay at the Manor.

Exchange breast implants with capsulectomies, Patient EH

I don’t think I will ever be able to fully let you know just how grateful I am to you. All you have done for me this last year has changed my life for the better in so many ways… I’ll never be able to put into words what your work has done for me, not only physically but mentally. I have more confidence, more courage, and now after these operations more hope. You have given me one of the greatest gifts – the opportunity of an optimistic future. One in which I can now look in the mirror. Thank you so much for your support, your time but most of all your kindness.

Post weight loss body contouring surgery, Patient BP

Many thanks for your kindness and care. You have changed my life for the better.

Brachioplasty, abdominoplasty, thigh lift, Patient JJ

Thank you very much for my new nose! It has made such a difference to me. I no longer worry when people see me in profile. My friends and family who know about the operation have all said how natural it looks and how well it suits me, so thank you for doing such a good job! I really am thrilled, and much happier.

Rhinoplasty, Patient NA

You really do work miracles! Many, many thanks for the fabulous results. Ts superb. Feeling great too.

Abdominoplasty, Patient LB

Thank you so much for your wonderful work. You have given me so much more confidence. Thank you again for everything you have done for me.

Breast reduction and liposuction, Patient MK

I feel the need to write a few lines of thanks following the breast augmentation surgery you performed on me last month. I knew this was something I wanted desperately for a very long time but the final result, I have to say, is above and beyond all my hopes and expectations. I am totally amazed and reeling still at the new me, both physically and mentally.

Breast augmentation, Patient AH

Thank you so much for the amazing surgery that you have done on our little girl. We felt so confident in you, and knew that if we needed to hand her over to anyone, we wanted it to be you. Thank you for allowing her the chance to grow up normally.

Craniofacial surgery, Parents of patient SH

I would just like to say thank you for your care in performing my surgery. You have made a big difference and given me the confidence I needed. You are a true professional.

Rhinoplasty, Patient SJ

A big thank you for everything that you have done for me. It’s a dream come true.

Blepharoplasty, Patient MO

Thank you so very much for doing my surgery, and for your compassion and care. The results are wonderful. You have given me back my self esteem.

Patient EG, Breast reduction

Thank you for repairing me and making me feel normal again! The operation has already had a huge impact on my life.

, Patient SM

Thank you for the fantastic job you have done for my daughter. You saved her life and gave her the best possible chance in life.

Craniofacial surgery, Patient KJ

Thank you for all your care in arranging my breast augmentation. I’m delighted with the results!

Breast augmentation, Patient V

I wanted to thank you for an amazing mastopexy. I’ve never been so happy! The level of care you showed me and my family was fantastic.

Mastopexy, Patient KW

I love my new nose. It means so much to start my new job feeling confident.

Rhinoplasty, Patient NA

This seems so little in thanks for all you have done for me. It seems such a big step to take, but you gave me confidence and encouragement to go on with the operations. Thank you so much… I feel very honoured to have this operation performed by you.

Major scalp reconstruction, Patient PK

Thank you for the lovely job you did on me the other week. I am absolutely thrilled! Thanks for putting me at ease throughout.

Minor skin surgery, Patient GL

Thank you just doesn’t come close! Jacob looks absolutely amazing already and it’s thanks to you. You have changed his life in more ways than one. We really appreciate your knowledge, understanding and support. You are an inspiration. A million and one thank you’s again.

Craniofacial surgery, Patient JL

Thank you so much for fixing our daughter’s ears. They are looking so much better. We are very grateful for your expertise.

Prominent ear correction, Patient OR

Thank you so much to you and your whole team for changing my whole life! I’ve waited and wanted this operation for so long and now it’s done I cannot begin to tell you how much it’s changed my like. Thank you thank you thank you.

Abdominoplasty, Patient TS

I would like to thank you very much for my surgery that, for me, has been a complete success. It has given me loads of confidence and made such a difference to my life.

Breast reduction, Patient EW

I cannot thank you enough for the care and attention during my operation. You have truly changed my life and I am so grateful. I cannot be happier with the results. You and your team are inspirational. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything.

Abdominoplasty, Patient KS

It’s been 10 and a half years since you saved my life in April and May 2006 from necrotising fasciitis. I am always grateful to you.

Emergency surgery, Patient MS

Following my brow lift procedure, I am writing express my great thanks for the treatment and care you have provided. The eyebrow is a brilliant result. I am now so much more at ease with myself and appearance.

Brow lift procedure, Patient GT

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