Contour defect correction
Contour defect correction (fat transfer) is the process of repairing contour defects from injury, infection or previous surgery, as well as correcting asymmetries of the face and breasts, using a patient’s own fat. It can also be used to enhance the appearance of skin tissue by increasing volume or changing the quality of the skin in certain skin complaints. This is commonly achieved through fat transplantation whereby harvested fat cells are transferred from one part of the body to another. The fat cells are collected using low-pressure liposuction techniques, to ensure that they have the best chance of survival when transplanted. The technique was developed in New York but has proved useful across the world and in multiple clinical situations.
The most appropriate non-surgical alternative includes the injection of hyaluronic acid soft tissue fillers. These are synthetic and temporary; they need to be repeated every 9-12 months. By harvesting fat and transplanting it in the same operation, no man-made material is used or implanted during surgery and the fat that survives is permanent. To survive, the fat must grow itself a new blood supply for its own nourishment and the body does this automatically, like skin grafts do.
The results are often life long, although these can be impacted by significant weight change and ageing. The transplanted fat behaves like the fat from where it came.
Bruising, swelling and infection are risks, like in any surgery. The incisions are usually small and placed where the scar will be well hidden. Because it is rare for 100% of the fat to survive, the operation sometimes needs two or three repetitions, depending on the volume that needs transplanting to correct the abnormality completely.
Patients are usually very pleased with the results as they benefit from the liposuction in addition to the fat transplantation and the result is permanent.
The indicative prices below include the surgical fee, any anaesthetic used and the associated fees from the consultant administering this, in addition to the hospital fee and all tests and follow up. An accurate breakdown and a detailed quote will be given following the initial consultation.
From £3000 for one session of fat transfer under general anaesthetic.
A supportive garment is advised after surgery. This holds the shape and form of the area and reduces swelling. Gentle sporting activity can be introduced after one week with more physical activity beginning again at two weeks.
- Surgery duration: 0.5-1 hour
- Type of anaesthesia: Usually general anaesthetic
- Time in hospital: Day case
- Time off work: 1 week
- Recovery time: 2-4 weeks
- First follow up appointment: 1 week
- Total number of follow up appointments: 2-4 depending on stages
- Pain management: Simple pain relief with tramadol at night
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