Fat Injection Procedure

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Fat injection requires a more extensive procedure than “off-the-shelf” soft tissue fillers. A “donor area” must be determined (such as the abdomen or buttocks) and liposuction is used to extract … Read More

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Fat Injection Procedure

What is a fat injection procedure?

A fat injection procedure, also called fat grafting or lipo modeling, is defined as a procedure in which the fat is harvested from the body where it is unwanted through liposuction and transferred to a part of the body where it is required [1].   Fat injection procedure Picture Courtesy: drmarco What is the advantage of fat transfer? The advantage of fat transfer is that the donor fat tissue can be taken from the same person, which is easy, time-saving, and the grafted fat tissue will remain for a longer duration.

How does the fat injection work?

fat grafting procedure Picture Courtesy: west country The fat transfer procedure can be done under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The plastic surgeon will decide which anesthesia should be administered based on the area where the fat has to be injected. The fat transfer technique can be classified into four essential components. They are: 1. Harvesting the fat: small incisions (cuts) are made on the skin, and a thin tube is placed to suck small amounts of fat from that area (similar to the liposuction technique), and the skin is stitched (sutured) back. A small dressing is placed to cover the area. Harvesting the fat Picture Courtesy: Plastic surgery 2. Processing the harvested lipoaspirate: special equipment is used to separate the fat collected from blood or fluid. Processing the harvested fat is usually done through the centrifugation technique.         processing fat Picture Courtesy: Plastic surgery 3. Preparing the recipient site 4. Injecting the purified fat into the recipient site: A needle and syringe are used to inject small amounts of fat into the treatment area. Stitches are not required because the injections are given through tiny holes in the skin. To survive, the grafted fat has to redevelop vascularisation. The surviving 50% of fat that survives, out of all the fat injected, will last forever [2].


What are the benefits of the fat injection procedure?
The benefits of the fat injection procedure are:

      • They remove excess amount of fat in the unwanted area
      • Helps in filling the wrinkles
      • Fat injections last for a longer duration
      • One does not have to be an inpatient to do it
      • It is considered to be the best alternative for people who are allergic to Bovine collagen
      • Cost-effective compared to liposuction or other procedures
      • Less allergic reactions 

What are the most common side effects of fat injection procedures?
The most common side effects are:

      • Significant bruising and swelling at the donor and recipient sites.
      • Temporary numbness
      • Small scars eventually fade away but might not disappear completely.

Are fat injections dangerous?
Generally, fat transfer is considered to be a safe procedure. But every surgery has its pros and cons. For example, there is a possibility that a blockage in blood vessels is caused by fat deposition (fat embolism), which can be fatal. Other risk factors are collecting blood under the skin (hematoma), air leaking into the space between the lung and chest wall, etc.

What are the common areas of fat grafting?
some of the common areas of fat grafting are listed below:

      • Face
      • Breasts
      • Hips, Buttocks
      • Hands and feet [6].

How long do fat injections take to work?
It is a time taking procedure. The patient starts noticing the change within six weeks and subsequent treatments for the overall result.


  1. https://westcountyplasticsurgeons.wustl.edu/surgery/body-contouring/fat-grafting.htmlhttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/surgical-fat-transfer/
  2. https://www.surgery.org/media/procedure-facts/fat-injection#:~:text=Fat%20cells%20are%20extracted%20through,in%20the%20weeks%20after%20treatment.
  3. https://www.isaps.org/procedures/body/fat-transfer-body/
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/surgical-fat-transfer/
  5. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/fat-grafting-history-and-applications