Home Cosmetic Injectables Fat Transfer / Fat Grafting

Fat Transfer / Fat Grafting

Fat transfer (autologous fat grafting or lipofilling) refers to the method in which the body’s own fat is injected into the body areas lacking volume or showing particular aging signs. Autologous fat is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than foreign substances (fillers) because it is obtained from the same individual. However, it is not entirely immune to causing allergies.

The principle of the treatment is that the body’s own fatty tissue is carefully removed from an inconspicuous place(not easily seen) under local anesthesia, prepared sterile, and transplanted at the desired location. The transplantation of autologous fat can be performed in the subcutaneous tissue(hypodermis) in any region of the body like face, breasts, buttocks, hands or vaginal area.

In addition to increasing the volume immediately, the body’s own fatty tissue contains stem cells that have a regenerative effect on the overlying skin. After about 6 – 12 weeks, there is a significant thickening of the skin and an increase in elastic fibers. For this reason, the result of lipofilling is long-lasting. However, patients may need follow-up sessions to adjust results over the years.

Who is a Suitable Candidate?

Some candidacy criteria must be met before a patient can undergo autologous fat transfer. For instance

  • The candidate must be in good health, with their weight within a healthy range.
  • You must have a good amount of fat in the donor region.
  • You must have realistic expectations of the procedure.

What are the Treatment Goals?

Fat transfer addresses several issues and offers numerous benefits for the body’s appearance and aesthetics.

For instance, it can rejuvenate your face by treating the following

  • Under-eye circles or sagginess
  • Deep nasolabial folds
  • Wrinkles on the cheek
  • Lack of volume on the cheeks

Autologous fat grafting (micro-grafting) also helps make various body areas more prominent by adding volume. Procedures that can benefit from fat transfer in this regard include

  • Breast Augmentation
    Buttock Augmentation (Brazilian Butt Lift)

Pre-Treatment Instructions

A few necessary things must be kept in mind before undergoing a fat transfer procedure, for example

  • Quit smoking: It is recommended to stop smoking at least six weeks before and after autologous fat grafting. Smoking can undermine the body’s ability to heal, affecting the outcome.
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications: Since a fat transfer involves liposuction to extract fat, your doctor will ask you to avoid blood-thinning medications for a particular duration to avoid excessive bleeding.

Fat Transfer Treatment Procedure

The body areas to be corrected are discussed with the patient.

The treatment is divided into three sections

Harvesting / Liposuction:

Liposuction is usually performed under local anesthesia. Depending on your preferences or requirements, the anesthesia expert may also administer a light twilight sleep (sedation). Tubing is attached to the suctioned area to ensure adequate wound drainage. A highly absorbent bandage is also applied.

Purification/ Processing of the fat:

The extracted fat is sent to the lab, where it is processed and prepared for transplantation.

Fat purification is performed using the following techniques

Sedimentation: Fat-filled syringes are kept upright for several minutes to allow gravity to isolate different components of the extracted fat.

Centrifugation: Extracted fat can be centrifuged for 1-3 minutes to separate different components. This procedure is considered an ideal approach to obtaining condensed adipocytes.

Washing and filtering: A stainer or gauze may be used to clean and refine the harvested fat.


Lipofilling(autologous fat injection) is also carried out under local anesthesia. Only a certain amount of autologous fat is introduced into the respective skin layer with a fine needle in a 3D manner. It is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require stitches afterward.

Most common areas for fat transfer

Aftercare (Post-Procedure Care)

The follow-up treatment takes into account the donor area of the liposuction and the recipient site

The Donor area

Care must be taken to ensure proper wound care, including keeping the incision site clean and dry and monitoring for signs of infection, as necessary as adequate compression after the suction. Adequate pain therapy should also be ensured. You may be prescribed anti-inflammatory (decongestant) medication and antibiotics for five days. However, they are generally advised to get rest for one to two days. Patients can walk around without any problems but should avoid physical activity for about 2-4 weeks.

Some discoloration may occur in the liposuction-treated area but usually subsides in one week. You may also feel mild numbness in the area for 1 to 3 months.

Patients should contact their healthcare provider if they experience severe pain, excessive swelling, or signs of infection

Recipient site of the lipofilling

  • No bandage is typically needed.
  • It is generally advised to avoid compressing the treated area for at least four weeks.

Risks of Fat Transfer Treatment

While fat transfer is a safe technique, it does carry some risks, such as

  • Blood accumulation under the skin.
  • Death of fat tissues (fat necrosis).
  • Fat embolism – Fat embolism is a rare but serious complication that can occur with fat transfer where fragments of fat enter the bloodstream and block blood vessels.
  • Scarring.
  • Puncturing of the lungs, leading to the accumulation of air inside or around the lungs (pneumothorax) – Rare.

Results of Fat Grafting/Transfer

Fat transfer delivers longer-lasting results than hyaluronic acid filler. However, these results require maintenance with occasional follow-up sessions. Autologous fat transfer costs are lower than filler-based procedures when it comes to treating more significant volume defects.

Autologous fat is considered a safe injection material because it is obtained from the same individual, reducing the risk of an allergic reaction.

The transplanted fatty tissue contains stem cells that have a regenerative effect on the overlying skin, which can thicken the skin and enhance elastic fibers. This effect may take 6-12 weeks to deliver noticeable results.

There are some disadvantages to autologous fat transplantation as well, such as

  • The additional donor site defect (removal area of autologous fat).
  • Slightly more substantial swelling in the facial area (similar to what occurs after dental work).
  • Skin discoloration in the recipient area for 3 – 5 days.

Results differ from person to person, typically patients get the results mentioned above. For any more insights, your doctor can guide you through your queries.


Dubai Cosmetic Surgery Clinic offers autologous fat transfer through its top-rated surgeons and state-of-the-art equipment. Book a consultation today to start your journey toward getting in shape. Call us at +971 4 348 5575 or fill out the form below.

Our Surgeons

Prof Dr. Robert Hierner
Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgeon
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 Fat Transfer FAQs

Who is a good candidate for fat injections/ fat transfer?

You may be a good candidate for fat injections if:

You have deep creases on your face or it has lost volume.
You want to improve your facial contours by giving volume to facial features.
You want to improve your body contours, revise the scars, and fill in the depressions on various areas of your body.
You want to give volume to certain areas of the body like breasts and buttocks.
You have realistic expectations from the procedure.
You are physically and mentally healthy.

How long does fat transfer take?

It entirely depends on the size of the area to be contoured. Minor facial contouring may take only half an hour, while a larger body area e.g. buttocks and legs may require up to two hours.

For how long you need to take off from work?

It varies from no time to about one week, depending upon the size of the area to be treated. Minor contouring of the cheek area can be a walk-in procedure. On the other hand, a major fat transfer to a large body area may require a few days for recovery.

Does fat transfer/ fat injection produce permanent results?

Fat transfer Dubai or Fat injections provide permanent results under the right circumstances because transferred fat is a living substance. Generally, the body absorbs 20-50% of the injected fat within the first six weeks but once this amount has been absorbed, the results that appear are permanent and long-lasting.Fat transfer Dubai or Fat injections provide permanent results under the right circumstances because transferred fat is a living substance. Generally, the body absorbs 20-50% of the injected fat within the first six weeks but once this amount has been absorbed, the results that appear are permanent and long-lasting.

Is Fat Transfer Painful?

A minor correction is practically pain-free but a major transfer will have some degree of pain due to which local anesthesia is used to numb the targeted area. Pain medications can also be used after the treatment to get rid of the pain.

What is the fat injection cost in Dubai?

The cost varies from patient to patient because it depends on the size and location of the targeted area, the surgeon's expertise, and the location of the clinic. In addition to this, the cost also includes anesthesia fee and hospital charges. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with an expert to know the exact cost. The average starting price of fat injections is AED 15000.


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