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Fat Injections
















What are fat injections?

Fat injection is a surgical procedure that takes fat from one part of your body, then uses this fat to fill another area.


What can fat injections be used for?

Fat injections can be used for a number of different reasons:

  • Breast augmentation - fat injections are being used more and more commonly to increase the size of breasts. Usually, about a cup size increase can be obtained, but greater increases may be possible with more fat Fat injections can go to lips,face,breast...injections.

  • Lip enhancement - small amounts of fat can plump up the lips, giving a fuller look to the mouth

  • Facial fat transfer - fat injections to the cheek area can be used to give a younger appearance. Also, people with excessively hollow cheeks may benefit from fat injections to fill out the hollows

  • Fat injection to hands - this is less commonly performed, but can help to give a younger appearance to older hands

  • Filling of defects - fat injections are ideal for small defects in the body, such as those caused when taking tissue samples from the breast when cancer is suspected.

  • Other areas - essentially, any area of the body can have fat injections to fill defects or enhance shapes - the buttocks for example can have fat injections to give a fuller, rounder appearance.


How are fat injections performed?

Fat injections can sometimes be performed under local anaesthetic (with you awake), although often needs a general anaesthetic (with you asleep) for larger areas.

Your specialist will discuss where the fat is to be taken from - usually this is from the thighs, the buttocks or the tummy area. The fat is removed in a similar way to liposuction but using a slightly different technique that causes less damage to the fat cells that are removed.

This fat is then usually put into a centrifuge, which is a machine that spins the fat at high speed, making the oil and excess fluid come out of the fat. The remaining fat is now ready to be injected.

Special needles are now used to inject the fat, layering the fat down in thin lines to slowly build up the area. This is a difficult technique that, to be performed correctly, requires a specialist with experience.


What are the advantages of fat injection over fillers?

Fillers give a quick effect and require little or no anaesthetic, but do have risks and disadvantages and can generally only be used for smaller areas (see our article on fillers for more info).

Fat injections, whilst needing anaesthetic and having their own risks, do have a number of advantages over fillers. Fat injections are permanent, so once the effects have been gained, repeat injections are not routinely required. Fat injections also use your own fat, which means that you will not be at risk of any reactions as can occur with fillers. Also, as a bonus, the area that is used to provide the fat will have had liposuction to it, giving a newly sculpted look!

Your specialist will be able to discuss whether fat injections will be suitable for you or not, or if fillers may be more appropriate.


What are the risks of fat injections?

  • Bruising - this is a relatively common side-effect of liposuction, and can take about 2 weeks to settle.

  • Bleeding - this is usually of little consequence and quite uncommon from fat injection, although may rarely need a return to theatre to find the bleeding area.

  • Lumpiness - whilst the surgeon will aim to give a smooth contour result, the fat can sometimes heal to give a lumpy area. This can happen either at the area that has had liposuction or in the fat injected area.

  • Oil cysts - spinning the fat will help to remove most of the excess oil, but small amounts may still remain. This oil can potentially cause problems by forming small cysts where it has been injected. These can usually be dealt with relatively easily.

  • Infection - this is rare after fat injection, but if an infection does occur then antibiotics may be needed. An infection can result in the injected fat becoming hard and lumpy.

  • Fat resorption - in the few weeks after fat injection, a proportion of the fat will be broken down and absorbed back into the body. This is quite normal and can vary. Your specialist may inject slightly more fat than is needed in order to compensate for this, or you might need further 'top-up' injections until the right volume is achieved.



Other SurgeryWise articles

You may also be interested to read our articles on liposuction, fillers, tummy tucks, breast augmentation, or other Cosmetic surgery articles



Any procedure involving skin incision can also result in unfavourable scarring, wound infection, or bleeding. This list of risks is not exhaustive, and you should discuss possible complications with your specialist. Whilst these risks will seem very worrysome, and indeed can be serious, it should also be borne in mind that many people have no postoperative problems whatsoever.

The information provided is as a guide only and you should discuss matters fully with your specialist before deciding if this is the right procedure for you. Please also read our disclaimer






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