Cosmetic Surgeon of the year finalist 2018

Fat Transfer

Fat transfer

Using fat from areas of the body to restore shape to areas which are deficient is not a new concept. This has been advocated and tried in many areas and applications and for a long period results have been variable. In recent years, due to pioneering work of surgeons like Dr Sydney Coleman in New York, the concepts have been re-evaluated and the techniques refined.

This has lead to a resurgence of a method that has an unrivalled potential: the ability to use the body's own tissues to provide structural material for a gradual, controlled restoration of volumes. The improvement in the technique has led to a much more predictable long-term outcome, as the grafting process is more likely to succeed and the fat cells that have survived the grafting process have a lasting presence.

The technique has expanded beyond the borders of aesthetic surgery and has quite extensive applications in reconstructive surgery too. For cosmetic reasons, common applications include restoring facial volume that has decreased though the ageing process. The easiest way to realise the nature of change is to compare photos from the present with some taken 15-20 years previously. Usual features include a flattening of the cheek areas, sharpening of the chin, a straighter jaw-line contour, a demarcation line under the chin.

All these changes can be improved by transferring small amounts of fatty tissue harvested for instance from the abdomen or the thighs and injecting them in a controlled fashion to the deficient areas.

The procedure can be local or general anaesthetic depending on the extent of the treatment. The donor area is used for harvesting fatty tissue in a similar fashion to liposuction.

The fat is then centrifuged to allow separation of the intact cells from the ones that have been damaged. The live fat cells are then injected in the areas to be treated using a very fine canula, and multiple passes for every millilitre of graft.

The accurate placement of fat cells into multiple tiny pockets surrounded by tissue with good blood supply is what creates the premises for a good graft take, in the same way as a skin graft takes well when placed on a clean wound. In the same way that a skin graft becomes stable once it has taken that fat graft is stable if it takes successfully.

The technique is most commonly used for the face but has been successfully applied to other areas like the back of the hands or the buttocks areas.

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I chose Mr Armstrong to carry out my facelift surgery after a lot of extensive and careful research. I was impressed with his academic credentials and his professional experience, noting that he had worked in some of the most prestigious medical institutions.

At my first consultation with Mr Armstrong I felt totally reassured that I would be in a safe pair of hands by the clarity with which he described all aspects of the facelift procedure I was requesting.  He explained everything to me in a clear and precise manner and in an unrushed and very thorough way. Together we agreed the best procedure for me, a 63 year old woman, would be a facelift plus an upper eyelid reduction and fat transfers to my cheeks, nasolabial lines and marionette lines.

I am now three weeks post-operation and the results have far exceeded my expectations.  I am absolutely thrilled with the results. I still look like me but a younger fresher version.  My droopy eyelids and hanging jowls have gone and my face and eyes look energised and revitalised.  My friends have been amazed at the transformation with one describing me as looking "sensational"!

Mr Armstrong's care before, during and after the procedure has been exemplary, and, along with his nursing staff,  I was thoroughly well looked after in a most kind, caring and professional manner.

I highly recommend Mr Armstrong to anybody considering surgery.  He is a highly skilled surgeon with a  safe and competent pair of hands.  My only regret is that I didn't do it five years earlier.


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