Fat Transfer

Fat Transfer

Ever since facial rejuvenation became popular through the use of ‘filling agents’ to correct facial lines, furrows, hollows, and depressions, there has been a never-ending search to find the ‘PERFECT filling agent.

Ideally, this perfect filling agent should be safe, inexpensive, produce long-lasting if not permanent correction, be bio-compatible with the tissues and have a low risk of adverse reactions.

Over the last 30 years many filling agents have appeared on the market. Some have stood the test of time and established themselves as safe and effective treatments. Others disappeared within a relatively short time as large-scale use began uncovering adverse side-effects.

Yet, in spite of the search for the ideal filling agent, we have yet to find that ‘PERFECT filler. All currently-available fillers do have some drawbacks. However, because one’s own fat has many of the properties needed for the ‘ideal filler’, surgeons have regularly attempted to improve Fat Transfer techniques in a quest to enable them to deliver longer-lasting if not permanent corrections.

Unfortunately, Fat Transfer does have its disadvantages, the main ones being:

  • It does require a sterile, surgical technique to extract the fat from your donor site.
  • There is never a guarantee that all the transferred fat will survive in its new location.
  • Usually, only a variable percentage of the transferred fat will survive each time, and so the procedure may need to be repeated more than once until the desired level of correction is achieved.  Even then, it may not be permanent.

For these reasons along with the availability of so many alternative facial filling agents, we do not recommend Fat Transfers to the face as a first option. Rather, unless a patient specifically requests Fat Transfer to the face, we reserve Fat Transfers for:

  • Body depressions requiring fill
  • Some breast deformities or asymmetry
  • Face when there are special circumstances exist or the patient specifically requests it.

What is Fat Transfer?

Fat Transfer, also called Autologous Fat Transfer or Fat Auto-Grafting, involves removing fat cells from one part of your body and transferring them to another area that needs to be filled.

Donor sites can be anywhere where there is ample or excess fat.  Commonly the outer thighs, buttocks or abdomen are used. The fat is first removed very gently with a special syringe in order to avoid traumatising the fat cells, the fat is then processed to remove its oils and body fluids, and finally the fat is transferred to special syringes for injection into the area to be filled.

Naturally, as Fat Transfer is a surgical procedure, it must be performed as a sterile procedure in order to avoid a risk of infection and so needs to be done in a Hospital’s Operating Theatre either under General Anaesthesia or Intravenous Sedation depending on the extent of the procedure. Whichever is used, you can go home shortly afterwards.

What are the possible complications?

As a Fat Transfer uses your own body fat as the donor material, the risks are very few. The main ones specific to this procedure include:

  • Failure of the transplanted fat cells to survive with the correction slowly disappearing as the fat is resorbed. Loss of correction can be partial or total. Usually, only a percentage of the transferred fat remains and so one or more sessions are usually necessary to achieve the desired degree of correction. However, each session does entail repeat costs.
  • Contour irregularities following irregular resorption of the transferred fat can occur. This could produce surface irregularities or shape deformities that may be very difficult or impossible to correct.
  • Calcification within the transferred fat as part of the resorption process can occur and leave irregularities. There is no satisfactory treatment for this complication.
  • Inadvertent intravascular injection of fat with occlusion of the blood vessel involved and resulting consequences depending on the area supplied by the occluded blood vessel, is a documented risk. For example, there have been reports in the medical literature of permanent blindness from accidental injections of fat and dermal fillers into the blood vessels between the eyebrows.
  • General surgical risks associated with any surgical procedure. These include but are not limited to bruising, swelling, hematoma formation, infection and reactions to anaesthetics or medications.

What does it cost?

The cost will depend on the size and number of areas to be corrected. Our Surgeon will give you a quotation at your initial consultation. Being a cosmetic procedure, it is not eligible for a Medicare rebate.

Breast Augmentation by Fat Transfer

In recent times, Breast Augmentation by Fat Transfer has seen a revival for those women either not wishing to have implants or being unsuitable for implants.

We DO NOT offer this procedure as a primary option because of the following disadvantages:

The DISADVANTAGES of Breast Augmentation by Fat Transfer are:

  • Only a modest increase of cup size should be expected – generally a 1/2 -1 cup size increase only.
  • As only a percentage of the transferred fat cells will survive after any given session, more than one treatment session is usually required to achieve your desired result.
  • Usually, only a variable percentage of the transferred fat will survive each time, and so the procedure may need to be repeated more than once until the desired level of correction is achieved.  Even then, it may not be permanent.
  • Large volume Fat Transfers are not advisable as there is much less chance of the fat cells surviving when compared to repeated small volume transfers – the reason being the greater difficulty of the recipient site keeping large numbers of transferred fat cells alive.  Although the final cost with repeated sessions would be greater, small volume transfers have a greater chance of the transferred fat cells surviving.
  • The total cost from multiple transfer procedures can be considerably higher than a Breast Augmentation using implants.
  • There is the potential issue of micro-calcification in the wake of any fat resorption being detected on Mammograms and which could be difficult to distinguish from the micro-calcification sometimes seen with breast cancers.

Buttock Augmentation by Fat Transfer – the so-called ‘Brazilian Butt’ Procedure

This has become a popularly requested procedure worldwide in recent years.

However, we DO NOT offer this procedure because of the high risk of serious, potentially fatal complications made possible by the intricate vascular anatomy of the buttocks.



Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

All NEW Consultations $165 Special Offer (Normally $220). Redeemable. Conditions Apply.
View Now

Coming Soon!

Please call one of our friendly Clinical Advisors on 9267 3322

Or email us at info@sydneycosmeticclinic.com.au