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The Effective New Way to Plump Up Your Features

Photo: Irving Penn

Good news––there is now a procedure that instantly provides fuller lips and accentuated curves that look (and actually are) natural. Fat grafting, also known as autologous fat transfer or fat harvesting, is a surgical cosmetic procedure that is steadily gaining momentum in our region. Vogue Arabia speaks to cosmetic surgeon twin duo Drs. Maurizio and Roberto Viel, founders of the London Centre of Aesthetic Surgery, to get the lowdown on the trending cosmetic technique.

What is it fat grafting?
Maurizio Viel: Fat grafting is the most natural method of restoring volume to your features. Unlike fillers, which comprise artificial ingredients, fat tissue is found all over the human body, making it the safer procedure, too.

How does it work?
Roberto Viel: Autologous fat is surgically extracted from areas that have excess fat tissue, such as the lower abdomen, thighs or hips, and injected into volume-deficient areas of the face to boost pliability and iron out facial creases. The procedure is done under local anaesthesia and involves liposuction to remove the fat.
MV: Fat grafting can also be used to augment the body. Unwanted fat tissue can be shuffled from the lower abdomen, thighs or any other part of the body where there is excess fat to the buttocks or breasts.

What is the recovery time?
MV: The procedure takes two to three hours and is done on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home the same day.

Are there any side effects?
RV: Fat transfer risks are far and few. Fat tissue is non-allergenic as it is sourced from the patient’s own body, so the chances of your body rejecting the material are practically impossible. However, some possible complications with fat grafting include swelling, bruising and soreness in a few of the patients, or a potential allergic reaction to anaesthesia.

What are the benefits?
MV: Fat grafting has become the most popular method of facial-plumping for those that are allergic to the bovine ingredients used in most fillers. Plus, the results last longer than traditional fillers.
RV: Adipose tissue (fat) found in the lower abdomen and hips comprise an abundance of stem cells. Stem cells promote cell turnover and collagen production, meaning that fat grafting also rejuvenates the skin and improves the complexion.
MV: Fat grafting can be used in combination with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as Botox, as well as different body sculpting methods including abdominoplasty or liposuction.

How long does it last?
MV: While it’s true that the body reabsorbs about 40% of the fat injected into certain areas, the remaining 60% can last for years. Fat transfers lose and gain weight with the rest of your body, so we advise our patients to maintain a stable weight.

Does the patient’s weight matter?
RV: We normally advise patients who are below 110-100 pounds to gain five to ten pounds before the procedure.

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