“We ought not to desire the impossible.” Leonardo da Vinci

Lipofilling (also known as autologous fat transfer or fat grafting) is a procedure designed for people wishing to restore volume or shape to areas that lack or have lost definition. A fat grafting procedure transfers fat from areas in which you have excess fat, such as the outer thighs, and injects it into areas that may be lacking in volume, such as your face, hands, breasts or buttocks. This safe, long-lasting, well-tolerated procedure produces natural-looking results.

Fat transfer can help create a more shapely and natural looking appearance in areas that have lost volume due to ageing, scarring or weight loss.

Lipofilling SURGERY – FACTS

Length of surgery1-2 hours
AnaesthesiaGeneral or local  anaesthetic
Hospital stayDay case
Risks/complications of surgery

Frequent: Bruising, swelling, temporary numbness

Infrequent: Infection, unsightly scarring, asymmetry, bleeding, permanent numbness


5-10 days until socialising with close friends and family
1-2 weeks until return to work and normal social engagements depending on area treated
3-12 weeks until swelling and bruising disappears
3-6 weeks until return to gym and other strenuous activities
3-6 months until final result

Driving2 weeks
Sleeping positionSleep on your back if possible with 3-4 pillows for first 7-10 nights
Duration of resultsPermanent unless followed by weight loss



Any plastic surgery procedure is a very personal choice and understandably there are a number of questions that arise. This information sheet is a general guide for patients considering lipofilling under the care of Dr Mackenzie. It should provide the answers to some questions that you may have.

Lipofilling introduction

The technique of transferring fat from one part of the body to another – for example, from the tummy or buttocks to the face – has been practiced for many years, but one of the problems encountered had been variability of the results. However, relatively recent work by surgeons like Dr Sydney Coleman of New York has led to a much more consistently successful technique that can provide a gradual, controlled restoration of the youthful shapes of the face and other parts of the body. The transferred fat develops a new blood supply in its new location over the first few weeks following surgery. A proportion of fat will be reabsorbed by your body during this period (on average 20% but up to 50% in some situations). The remainder will stay permanently.


Lipofilling can help achieve a long lasting result by removing fat from one area of the body and effectively transferring it to another. This procedure is often used around the breast, buttock, cheek and lip areas to create a more aesthetically pleasing contour and voluminous shape. Lipofilling is often performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures such as a facelift, breast reconstruction or breast augmentation in order to rejuvenate the face or correct contour deformities by a volumetric approach.

Commonly grafted, or injected, areas include the hands, face (including the lips), depressions in the skin (following liposuction and scarring) and the breast and buttock (for augmentation).