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Firstly, the terms "Fat Transfers", "Fat Grafts" and "Fat Injection" as they are used in cosmetic surgery, are the same thing. Essentially it involves taking fat cells from one area of the body, processing them and placing them into another area, such as the cheeks or lips to improve a feature. In some people, there has been a loss or movement of fat, either as a result of ageing or from a disease process. In these cases, the area lacking in fullness may benefit from fat grafts. Whilst fat grafts may be performed as a stand alone procedure, they are more commonly undertaken as an enhancing procedure during a larger operation such as a facelift or liposuction.

Although fat grafts are permanent, some of the fat is absorbed by the body. It can be difficult to predict what proportion of a fat graft may be lost and it may therefore be necessary to repeat the process after a few months.

There are three steps involved in a fat graft. First, your fat will be harvested very carefully through a special liposuction canula usually from the abdomen or hips. Next, it will then be treated to remove damaged fat cells and other non-fat cells. Lastly, after the processing, your fat cells are then injected with a small syringe into the desired locations such as the cheeks, under the eyes, the lips, or areas around the mouth.

Risks of the procedure include: infection, bruising, swelling, initial firmness of the transferred fat, overcorrection, undercorrection, the need for more than one treatment, absorption or necrosis of the fat transferred. Because the body will absorb some of the fat transferred, it is important to realise that the final result will not be seen for approximately 3 months after the procedure.

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