Fat grafting – what it is, what it costs, and how it might benefit you
From adding volume to hips and reconstructing breasts to helping to repair scars, the aim of fat grafting is to enhance, enlarge, or improve the chosen treatment area.
First used in the late 19th century, fat grafting came into mainstream use in the 1990s when techniques for the procedure were standardised and has steadily increased in popularity ever since.
Discover whether this three-step surgical procedure is right for your needs and learn more about alternative treatments.
Find a clinic or practitioner near you and enjoy a risk-free booking process thanks to free in-clinic consultations and the option to pay in-clinic. Also, you can now split the cost of your treatment into four equal, interest-free instalments using Tabby.
In this article:
Duration of results
Back to work
Full recovery time
10,000 AED to 40,000 AED
1 to 5 hours
Local / general anaesthetic
What is fat grafting?
Fat grafting, also known as autologous fat transfer, lipomodelling or body sculpting, is a procedure that takes fat from one area of the body and transfers it to another.
The most common areas for removal are the thighs and tummy. For injection and plumping it’s the face, breasts, hips, buttocks, hands, and feet. An injection into the buttock is commonly known as a Brazilian Butt lift (BBL)
It can be used for both cosmetic and medical purposes to:
- Reduce wrinkles.
- Add volume to cheekbones.
- Enhance the buttocks.
- Create fuller hips.
- Repair scars.
- Enlarge breasts.
- Reconstruct breasts or repair breast tissue after cancer treatments.
How does fat grafting work?
The science behind it
Fat is extracted from your ‘donor area’ via traditional liposuction techniques using cannulas. Surplus fluid and unusable cells are then separated from suitable fat cells, stem cells and other precursor cells using techniques of centrifugation and decanting.
The fat grafting process finishes with small amounts of the fat being injected into the tissue of the chosen area. This careful process ensures even administration so that the fat is surrounded by healthy tissue and a strong blood supply.
Before the treatment
- Ask any questions about the treatment and discuss your reasons for opting for fat grafting at a consultation with a qualified practitioner.
- Make your clinician aware of any medication and vitamins you take – you will need to stop taking any blood thinning medications, such as aspirin.
- If you smoke, you may be advised to stop up before surgery to help aid your recovery.
During the treatment
The time a fat grafting procedure takes will depend on the size of the chosen treatment area, but it always involves three steps:
- Step one – your clinician will use liposuction to extract fat from the chosen donor area.
- Step two – the practitioner will then process the fat to remove any unwanted fluid and cells.
- Step three – the fatty tissue remaining, which also contains stem cells and other precursor cells, will be injected to the treatment area in small amounts.
The volume of fat removed from the donor area has a bearing on what type of anaesthetic you’ll have. A local anaesthetic will usually be used for smaller volumes, while volumes over 500cc are routinely taken using general anaesthetic.
You should be able to go home the same day as your fat grafting procedure. However, depending on the volume and areas treated, you may need to stay overnight at the clinic. Your clinician will usually book a follow-up appointment with you seven to ten days after the procedure.
It’s common to experience a little pain in the treated areas for a few days or weeks after the procedure, and this can be treated with painkillers. Bruising and swelling is also to be expected – as is temporary numbness. You’ll notice small scars which will fade in time.
You may not see the full results of your fat grafting treatment for up to six months after the procedure. At which point, some of the fat may have been reabsorbed.
How much does fat grafting cost? Plus, other important points you need to know
How much does fat grafting cost?
The cost of a fat grafting procedure will depend on the size of the area you’re having treated. This can range from around Dhs10,000 to Dhs50,000, and you could expect a fat grafting breast augmentation to cost between Dhs25,000 and Dhs35,000. A precise costing can be offered by your clinician during your consultation once the specifics of the treatment have been discussed.
How can I find fat grafting near me?
Our clinic locator tool makes it simple to find a professional practitioner offering fat grafting services near you.
How can I find BodyTite near me?
To find the clinic that’s best for you, use our locator.
Fat grafting may not be suitable for you but there are other treatments available, including:
- Dermal fillers – these are suitable for rejuvenating and adding volume to areas of the face, such as the cheeks and lips. Fillers are much cheaper than fat grafting but do need to be topped up every six to 12 months to maintain results.
- Body fillers -these are suitable adding larger volumes to areas of the body, such as the buttock and hips. Body fillers need to be topped up every 12 to 18 months to maintain results. Some fillers like Sculptra last even longer.
- Silicone implants – a breast augmentation is considered a major surgery and is used to increase breast size, change shape, or correct asymmetry. As the implants aren’t as natural as using body fat the result will be slightly different to fat grafting, but it can produce more symmetrical results.
- Cryotherapy – can be used as an alternative to fat grafting for correcting scars and soft tissue deformities.
- Laser therapy – low-level laser therapy is another option for rectifying wounds, scars, and soft tissue damage.
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