Dr Avelina Mario, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Medcare Hospitals, performs fat grafting Image Credit: Supplied

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but science says symmetry plays a huge role to the degree in which it’s experienced. Which is why we are so drawn to techniques that simulate symmetry such as contouring. One way in which to make the results permanent is through fat grafting.

“Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or lipofilling, is a surgical procedure in which fat cells are taken from one area of the body (typically through liposuction) and injected into another area to enhance volume or improve contour,” explains Dr Avelina Mario, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Medcare Hospitals.

Dr Avelina Mario, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Medcare Hospitals Image Credit: Supplied

In the UAE, the procedure has been garnering interest, especially for breast augmentation and facial rejuvenation as residents become increasingly aware of the benefits of using their own fat for enhancement procedures and the natural-looking results it can achieve, says Dr Mario. Here, breast augmentation and facial fat grafting, particularly for cheeks and lips, are commonly performed.

How it works

The procedure has a three-step process: harvesting, processing and injection. During harvesting, excess fat is removed from areas such as the abdomen, thighs or buttocks, like in the classic body contouring procedure. It is then processed to separate the fat cells and prepare them for grafting. Finally, the purified fat cells are carefully injected into the targeted area to achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.

Dr Mario explains that while some of the cells transferred may be absorbed by the recipient site, most will survive and remain in place, providing long-lasting results.

When compared to alternatives, fat grafting has definite benefits. For one thing, because it uses a person’s own fat, it reduces chances of rejection or painful capsule formation, compared to techniques that involve foreign materials, such as silicone implants. For another, by being harvested by liposuction, it contours not only the spot in which it’s injected but also the site of harvest. It’s said to offer natural-looking and feeling results, and can simultaneously be used to plump up several areas.

One thing to keep in mind, says Dr Mario, is that this procedure may need a repeat if large volume bust, for example, is desired.

“In general, breast augmentation with fat grafting may require one or two sessions to achieve the desired volume and symmetry,” she explains. “This is because the transferred fat needs to establish a blood supply and some fat may be reabsorbed by the body.”

The best candidate

Ideal candidates for fat grafting for breast augmentation are individuals who desire a natural increase in breast size, improved breast shape or correction of contour irregularities. “They should also have sufficient fat deposits in other areas of the body, such as the abdomen, thighs or buttocks, from which fat can be harvested,” she adds. Candidates should be in good overall health, have realistic expectations, and understand the limitations of the procedure. “It's important for candidates to have stable body weight, as significant fluctuations can affect the results of fat grafting,” she warns.

What to expect

Once the fat has been transplanted, patients might experience swelling, bruising and mild discomfort at the donor and recipient sites. “These effects are temporary and can be managed with prescribed pain medications and cold compresses,” she says. Swelling and bruising typically subside within a few weeks and patients can return to normal activities quickly.

Healing period

“For facial procedures, most patients can expect to resume normal daily activities within a week or two, although strenuous exercise and certain activities may need to be avoided slightly longer. Recovery from breast augmentation with fat grafting may take a bit longer, with patients typically able to return to regular activities within two weeks,” she adds.

There are of course risks – as with any procedure. These risks can include infection, bleeding, hematoma formation, asymmetry, contour irregularities, changes in skin sensation, scarring and the possibility of fat reabsorption. “While rare, more serious complications such as fat necrosis or embolism (fat entering the bloodstream) can occur, but these are usually minimised through careful technique and adherence to safety protocols,” explains Dr Mario.

This is where Medcare comes in. “Medcare is known for its team of highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeons who specialise in various aesthetic procedures including fat grafting,” she adds. “These specialists have extensive knowledge and expertise in performing the procedure, ensuring patient safety and optimal outcomes.”

The state-of-the-art medical facility is equipped with advanced technology and equipment necessary for precise harvesting, processing, and injection of fat cells.

Along with technical expertise, it offers personalised care and attention too. “As an expert senior consultant I take the time to thoroughly assess the patient's goals, medical history, and individual anatomy to create a customised plan,” says Dr Mario.

With Medcare’s expertise and assistance, you can now safely achieve natural augmentation using fat transfer.

This content comes from Reach by Gulf News, which is the branded content team of GN Media.