Lipofilling (fat transfer or fat grafting) involves harvesting fat from an area of the body where it is more plentiful, and transferring it to an area where there is a lack of volume, contour irregularity or asymmetry or poor definition.
These areas may be created by the natural aging process, previous surgery or trauma, weight loss or fluctuations and pregnancy. Fat serves as a wonderful natural “filler” which is safe, effective and long lasting. Lipofilling is particularly suited to facial rejuvenation by restoring the lip and cheek volume, as well as other areas of the body such as the breasts, to increase size and fullness, correct asymmetry and balance proportions. Other areas of the body may be treated to address contour irregularities due to age, weight loss, previous surgery or trauma.
During your preoperative consultation, your medical history is ascertained and a physical examination is performed to assess your specific concerns and determine your suitability for fat grafting surgery. Your outcome will be discussed clinical photographs will be taken to help clarify your concerns and facilitate the best approach for your body shape, needs, and preferences.
Lipofilling surgery is performed in an accredited hospital facility under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia +/- sedation. It takes approximately 1-2 hours, and is a day only procedure.
Fat cells are harvested from areas where there is excess fat available such as the abdomen, thighs and buttocks using liposuction techniques. The fat is then “purified” and prepared prior to its delivery or “relocation” to the desired area, using very fine cannulas inserted via small incisions. Dr Taylor uses widely tested and published techniques learned in France, from Dr Emmanuel Delay, one of the world’s most experienced pioneers in fat grafting. Dr Taylor specialises in fat grafting techniques for treating tuberous breast deformities, breast asymmetry, breast revision and reconstruction surgery. She also treats scars and damaged skin due to radiotherapy, which can be improved by fat transfer.
Dr Taylor employs a certain approach to fat grafting which she believes optimises outcomes. A staged approach is recommended in many cases to achieve the volume required. Whilst fat survival or “take” is highly technique dependent, there will be some attrition of the fat cells which decreases with each episode.
Side effects, risks and complications
Small volume lipofilling is generally a very low risk procedure. Dr Taylor recommends a staged approach to achieve the larger volumes sometimes required for breast and body surgery.
General side effects include bruising, swelling, some mild pain and discomfort and temporary numbness.
Risks and complications include infection, haematoma, delayed healing, skin necrosis and seroma. Asymmetry or skin irregularity occurs rarely. Oily cysts may develop which are easily treated in the rooms. There are risks associated with general anaesthesia risks including cardiac/respiratory issues and DVT.
The pricing is highly variable and there are a few situations where a Medicare/Private Health Insurance rebate is applicable to fat grafting procedures, so please schedule a consultation with Dr Taylor for a comprehensive quote.