FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about Fat grafting / Lipofilling:
Fat grafting can be done in any area where you are lacking fat or volume. In our Plastic Surgery Clinic in Nairobi, Kenya, these are the top 5 areas for fat grafting:
Lipofilling / fat grafting needs fat to be harvested from areas where there is too much, or where small fat deposits can be found – really any area qualifies (e.g. liposuction from tummy, flanks, back, arms, thighs, neck etc)
Fat transfer is also called fat grafting, lipofilling or autologous fat injection – this is always fat from your own body that can be taken from one area and put to another one where more volume or better smoothness is required. It is not possible to take fat from another person. Your immune system would not be able to handle this.
There are many factors influencing the “take” of the transplanted fat -which can range from 50-80%, depending if it is centrifuged (water removed) or not. The better the “recipient” tissue is where the fat is injected, the better the “take” and results. This means that fat uptake in the face is especially good (lots of blood supply), also large areas of good, already existing tissue (like full breasts and buttocks) are suitable. The thinner the recipients site is, the more fat from the fat transfer will be reabsorbed, like under burn areas, skin grafts, or very tight areas like lower legs, over bones, or chronically scarred tissue. In these areas, 2-3 sessions of fat grafting will usually goes the desired results.
We believe that the Bodyjet Liposuction machine (water jet assisted liposuction WAL), which has been developed for lipofilling / fat grafting specifically, is the best machine and equipment to harvest fat gently, safely and swiftly. It was scientifically shown that the Bodyjet allows fat cells to remain intact, therefore increasing the chances of fat survival after fat transfer. At Vitality Fountain Clinic, we have used this machine for the past 10 years.
In order for fat grafting to work, the fat cells need to be intact, healthy and not destroyed. VASER or SMART Lipo by definition destroys fat cells, i.e. it breaks the cell walls and liquefies fat cells, using heat or wave disruption. Therefore we think it is unlikely to be safe to do lipofilling with fat harvested by VASER or SMART lipo devices. This is our personal opinion on this topic, with a 15 year experience in using fat grafting (Dr Stasch first used fat grafting for breast reconstruction in the UK in 2005).
You might find doctors and clinics who offer this, but from our research and vast experience, the results after fat grafting with fat that has been frozen, are unpredictable, not safe and therefore not recommended. In Medicine, the techniques for freezing fat and unfreezing it, are still not good enough to allow the cells to be completely intact. While in the research lab, this is possible, it is too expensive and just not developed enough to apply safely to the human body.
Definitely not. Fat transfer is only allowed with fat from your own body. This is because your immune system will recognise your friend or relative’s fat as foreign, and cause a massive response which will not end well.
Usually one session is enough to get the desired results. But it always depends on what your expectations are. For BBA (breast enlargement), one session will give you 1 – 1.5 cup sizes larger. For KBL (Buttlift), an already full buttock will allow amazing shaping and lift. For thin legs, one session will give you an additional 1-2 cm circumference. For all these ops, having another 1 or 2 sessions, will be possible to get even better results with more enhancement and shape. This will be discussed in detail with you prior to the first op, so your expectations can match that of the possible outcomes after 1 session of fat transfer.
Yes, fat grafting gives you permanent results. All the fat that has settled in the new location after 4-6 weeks will stay there permanently. This is because the fat cells have grown their own blood supply and will behave as if they were in the old location.
Once the fat has settled and grown in the areas transplanted, it will remain. Exercise and muscular workout will be good to even more tone your body, and make the results even better.
While we have never had any serious complications after fat grafting in my practise in Germany and Kenya, there are important factors to consider when planning to have fat grafting done. This includes fat necrosis, oil cysts, calcification, infection, and most importantly, fat embolism when doing a buttlift.
If all goes well, the harvested area is smooth and even. There is always the possibility of lines, dents, irregularities and asymmetries which can happen during lipo surgery, abnormal positioning or poorly fitting garments during the first few weeks of recovery, or haematomas / seromas which rarely form under the skin. In these cases, we aim to help the healing process with various devises and methods.
Fatgrafting can only be reversed by doing liposuction again in the areas where the fat was transplanted to. This is rarely necessary, but if it is needed, the procedure is relatively straightforward.
It is the patients’ choice. During the consultation we will discuss all aspects of advantages and disadvantages of either procedure in detail.
For breast enlargement, if one session of fat transfer is not enough, one can opt to have another session at least 3 months after the first one. Amazingly, in our experience, the final result after the second op is approximately the size of the enlarged breast at the time immediately after the first op. So if you like your breast size during the first week after the first op (thereafter the breasts will shrink due to swelling reduction and healing), then a second op should be planned.