What is Fat Transfer (Lipofilling, Fat Grafting or Coleman Lipofilling)?It was 1995 when the American doctor Sydney Reese Coleman, MD succeeded with the plastic surgeon’s continual attempts for achieving predictable and lasting results of the injection of autologous fat. Ever since the lipofilling (also called fat transfer, structural fat grafting or Coleman Lipofilling) has evolved to became an established technique nowadays. With lipofilling fat is taken from the patient’s own body and used to fill wrinkles, folds and dents elsewhere on the body. Fat transfer is applied in the following areas:l Face and lips and cheekbone.l Hollow or sunken cheeks.l Scars and any unevenness.l Back of the hands.l Breast and buttocks.Lipofilling can help fight the ageing process while benefiting from a procedure that is minimally invasive, with a low risk of complications. It is a day surgery usually performed under local anaesthesia with minimal discomfort and a short recovery. Lipofilling takes between forty-five minutes and three hours, depending on the volume of fat to be transferred. It brings small scars at the donor site and no additional scars at the recipient site. The surviving fat is permanent. Once the transplanted fat cells have grown and fully settled into place, they will behave just like all the other fat cells in your body. This means they will swell in volume if you gain weight and shrink if you lose it again.Lipofilling techniqueFat transfer procedures are a three-step process. First, fat is taken from unwanted deposits of fat in the patient’s own body or areas that are commonly hidden by underwear. These include the inner aspect of the knee, the thigh, the buttock, abdomen, love handles, back, upper inner arm and neck. Second, fat is transferred into smaller receptacles, which are centrifuged for two to three minutes. This separates the components into oil, water and the cellular fraction, consisting mainly of fat and stem cells. The oil and water are then discarded and the cellular fraction is preserved. Third, the fat is injected through cannulas that measure only 1 to 2.5 mm in diameter. This leaves virtually no scarring at the recipient site. The subcutaneous layer is injected by making hundreds or thousands of passes through the same incision and depositing microscopic particles of fat on each occasion. This creates multiple small tunnels, in opposing directions, throughout the soft tissue layer.What should I expect after Lipofilling treatment?After the surgery pain is usually mild. The area is usually swollen after the treatment and sometimes bruised. The swelling and bluish colour gradually clear up a few days after the treatment. Although recovery is in general rapid because of the nature of the procedure, you will have to take into account the swelling and bruising, and organise your social and professional life in consequence.The final results will only be noticeable after three months. If needed, a repeat treatment can be discussed and planned. This is because of a fat loss due to a number of reasons and mechanisms. Different scientific studies report fat survival rates of between thirty and seventy-five percent and every patient needs to be aware of this.
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