Lipofilling: Injecting your own fat

Lipofilling (or lipostructure) involves transferring fat from one area of the body to another in order to reshape the face or body. This 100% natural technique is well suited for people who do not wish to resort to implants or resorbable products.

Indications of lipostructure

The face

Facial lipofilling is mainly used to fill in hollow wrinkles, restore volume and change the shape of the nose or chin. It is also used to give the skin a radiant glow or to correct serious acne sequelae (crater-shaped scars). The face requires little fat either to treat wrinkles or lack of volume and the surgeon always finds sufficient reserves even in very thin people.

For the body, the donor must have a larger stock and only people with excess fat are eligible for lipostructure.

The breast

Breast lipofilling allows a moderate increase in breast volume. It is becoming increasingly popular with women who do not wish to use silicone gel implants.


Buttock lipofilling makes the buttocks firmer, higher and more rounded. When the surgeon removes fat from above the buttocks or from the saddlebags, it is even a complete makeover of the pelvis.

The intimate parts

  • Enlarge the circumference of the penis during a phalloplasty.
  • Rejuvenate the vagina: The fat injected during vaginoplasty improves the trophicity of the vaginal mucosa when it tends to dry out after 45 years.
  • Increase the size of the vaginal lips when they are too small with nymphoplasty or rejuvenate them when they are crumpled.

Other areas of the body

  • Correct an asymmetry of the calves, or even reshape the whole leg by also reshaping the ankles.
  • Correct irregularities known as “corrugated metal” when liposuction has left visible hollows and bumps on the skin. A person with good skin elasticity can expect a nice result, but if the skin is slackened, the improvement remains modest.
  • Filling a pectus excavatum, a malformation of the rib cage where the sternum is sunken.

The process of the intervention

Lipofilling is performed under local or general anesthesia depending on the area, without hospitalization and lasts between one and two hours.

Fat removal

Fat cells are harvested from a donor area which can be any fat pad located on the stomach, thighs, hips, knees, etc. The surgeon removes only the amount needed for lipofilling or he takes the opportunity to perform a complete liposuction.

It is an autograft of fat since the donor and the recipient are the same person. The injected fat is perfectly tolerated by the body, there is no risk of rejection or allergy.

Two methods are then possible, depending on the practitioners’ habits.

  • Either the extracted fat cells are centrifuged to rid them of their impurities before reinjecting them in the form of a purée.
  • Either one injects directly the protected fat cells into their original liquid composed of physiological serum and interstitial liquid.

Whichever method is used, with or without a centrifuge, both work. The important thing is to keep as many of the fat cells alive during the transfer as possible so that a significant proportion of the graft will take.

Injecting the fat

The fat is injected into the recipient area in the form of micro-beads of fatty tissue distributed in the space to be filled, so that the grafted cells are in contact with the capillaries, which are able to provide them with the oxygen and nutrients necessary for their survival.

The surgeon avoids injecting more than 500 grams of fat during a session to avoid the necrosis of the fatty tissue. Indeed, a fat graft that is too compact is no longer nourished by the surrounding tissue and the cells die.

The sequels

They vary according to the amount of lipofilling performed. There is swelling and bruising for a week. The resumption of activities is done after a few days. It is advisable to wait about a month before resuming sports.

The results

The result of the lipofilling is visible immediately. However, one to three sessions will be necessary to obtain the final result.

At each session, a part of the fat tissue graft will take and another part will be progressively resorbed. It is therefore necessary, from the outset, for the patient to prepare psychologically for a small disappointment right after the operation. In general, the amount of fat decreases by 30 to 60% depending on the case. This decrease in volume should not be confused with the final result, which is definitive.

The injected fat then reacts in the same way as the fat present elsewhere on the body. Its quantity increases if the person gets fatter and decreases if they lose weight. But whatever the weight variations, the shape of the area treated by lipostructure will be maintained in proportion.

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