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Body Fat Transfer

Fat transfer is a very useful adjunctive procedure for volume and contouring in cosmetic surgery and it is gaining increasing popularity in the UK as the regenerative benefits are also being recognised. Fat removed by surgeons at the time of liposuction operations may be injected into other sites to improve body contour and silhouette (including the legs and buttocks, as well as the hips, calves, stomach and abdomen). 

The procedure of harvesting fat tissue for use elsewhere in the body was originally popularised by Sydney Coleman in New York (also called lipo-filling or lipostructure). It was designed for use in the face but then other doctors explored the procedure for breast reconstruction and for cosmetic breast enhancement. Later in the States various doctors explored the use of fat to augment the buttocks.

The down-time for this procedure is generally short and most people on average can return to work anywhere between one to seven days later depending on the amount of work performed and the size of the donor site harvesting. Light activities can be resumed according to patient comfort. Normal activities can be resumed after a couple days.


Transferring fat in the body is becoming very popular but is also associated with some controversy Regardless, one of the main advances over recent years is the improved ability to harvest and process the fat thereby improving graft ‘take’ rates. Mr Banwell prefers to use the PureGraft system which is an advanced system to help purify and prepare fat cells in an optimum way prior to re-injection back into the body.


It is possible to harvest fat from donor sites areas such as the abdomen and thighs and then transfer this fat to other areas of the body to improve volume or contours in the hips, trunks and legs. In particular, this can be used to correct small defects or contour irregularities that a patient may be concerned about but it can also be used to help improve any contour irregularity from previous liposuction surgery.


Fat transfer to the buttock is certainly in vogue and has been given huge exposure with a host of celebrities undergoing this procedure around the world. The Brazilian butt lift or fat transfer to the bottom / buttocks was popularised by a gynaecological surgeon in the United States who began performing large volume liposuction cases and then started to re-inject the fat into the buttock area. The desire to have curvaceous buttocks is very popular in Central America and South America and hence the popularity for this procedure has increased exponentially.  However, currently it is also considered very controversial as the death rates from this procedure globally is very high (many have also been performed by non specialist surgeons with little training). As a result of the potential for fat embolism (fat cells can be mistakenly injected into the large vessels around the buttock muscle leading to death), the main aesthetic plastic surgery association in the UK (BAAPS), currently recommends their members do not perform this procedure. Mr Banwell is experienced in this technique and has had no complications but as a member of BAAPS he needs to observe this current recommendation. Whilst this operation can achieve some excellent results, sadly this recommendation means only non British-qualified surgeons can offer this currently – so please do your research prior to proceeding and think very carefully. Mr Banwell would be happy to discuss this further if this is a procedure you are interested in and he would be happy to recommend excellent colleagues in Europe.


An exciting area of research and development is the role of fat transfer in hair restoration in early hair loss patients as an alternative treatment to hair transplant. Relatively recent research has shown that the injection of fat into the scalp may stimulate the hair follicles and new hair growth.There are various commercially available machines that can help purify fat and indeed adipocyte derived stem cells (ADSCs) and various protocols have demonstrated benefits for hair growth. Mr Banwell was one of the first surgeons in the country trained in this technique.


Fat transfer can also be used for other indications too including scar management and scar revision and for labia major enhancement so please feel free to ask Mr Banwell or his team for further information on these indications.

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Please contact Mr Banwell's office on 01342 330302 or email for further information.

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Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

1.5 - 2.5 hours


Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

Daycase/Inpatient 1 night


Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance



Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance



Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

Sleeping on back recommended for 4 weeks.


Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance



Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

Shower after 1 day. Bath after 2 weeks.


Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

1 week


Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

8 weeks


Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

Restricted activity after 4 weeks


Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

2 weeks


Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance



Body Fat Transfer
At a Glance

Sports bra worn for 8 weeks. Wired bra after 2 months.


Mr Banwell recommends that the majority of this kind of surgery is best performed under a general anaesthetic undertaken by a specialist anaesthetist. However, smaller areas, if suitable, can be performed under local anaesthetic without a problem.

Usually the operation is performed as a day case. Most people report that pain, discomfort and stiffness of the first few days are minor effects. Paracetamol is usually sufficient. It is necessary to take things easy for the first few days. A tight fitting elastic garment will be provided and this reduces the swelling of the treated transferred areas as well as providing shaping of the area treated. Additional taping may also be required to aid this process and will need to be replaced in the outpatient clinic.

There are both general and specific risks and Mr Banwell will talk to you in detail regarding the risks and where they stem from. General risks include bruising and swelling, bleeding, wound infection, problems with general anaesthetics, abnormal scarring and keloid scarring and blood clots in the legs and lungs. Specific risks include uneven or asymmetrical results, including much rippling, lumpiness and dimpling, skin discolouration, loss of sensation (temporary loss of sensation almost always occurs and recovers after some months) and the need for repeat procedures.

  • Surgical fees
  • Hospital fees
  • Specialist anaesthetist fee
  • Specialist surgical garments
  • Specialist post-operative massage and manual lymphatic drainage

Just to say a BIG thank you to you and your team for all the wonderful help and support you have given me over the last 1 ½ years. You have given me back my confidence thank you.

Jan G.

…the care I received was expert, professional and totally honest.

I decided to have treatment with Mr Banwell due to recommendations from other healthcare professionals and knowledge of his surgical skills. My expectations were for reduced ptosis and fuller breasts, my expectations were exceeded. Mr Banwell provided me with honest and realistic expectations for my clinical outcome. I found it a very positive experience. I was originally very apprehensive about undertaking a cosmetic procedure and questioned the need for proceeding, but following my breast augmentation I have much more self confidence and I realise that I’d underestimated how much the ptosis had been getting to me. The outcome has been fantastic! Thank you.

Sharon B.

You were very knowledgeable about every part of the procedure and that is why I chose you over any other surgeon/clinic. Nearly 5 years on and I am very pleased with the results of my operation and have had no problems and they look so natural and have built my confidence so much.

Sam M.

The end result I have is amazing and completely natural.

We just wanted to say a big thanks you again to you and your team for making our experience so much better than we could have ever imagined. You and your team were so professional and friendly which really put us at ease from our very first appointment. This definitely gave us the confidence to finally have the surgery we’ve wanted for such a long time. We’re both extremely happy with the results. Thanks again.

Gill W.


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