Cost of Fat Transfer (Fat Injections)

Fat Transfer Cost

The cost for performing a Fat Transfer is approximately $800 to $2,600 for the surgeon fee. This usually does not include the anaesthetist fee and anaesthetic (if performed under general anaesthesia), theatre fees or follow up visits. Ask your surgeon which costs are included in their quote.

The above prices are a general guide only and vary based on the donor site used and how much fat is being transferred. Your surgeon may combine the costs with other procedures. You may be able to claim some of the costs from private health insurance. Medicare does not cover the cost of cosmetic procedures. Ask your surgeon for information about any rebates.

Fat Transfer Procedure

The procedure takes approximately half an hour to 45 minutes. It’s performed at the surgeon’s or doctor’s clinic under local anaesthetic. The area from where your fat is to be drawn is called the ‘donor site’. The anaesthetic is used on the donor site as well as the site of injection.

The donor site can include the upper inner thighs, buttocks, abdomen, knees and even your underarm. The fat is sucked out from the deep subcutaneous layer of the skin using a small cannula (a metal tool usually used for liposuction). The cannula used for fat injections is smaller. The incision is small, just enough to fit the cannula.

The removed fat is then filtered from any blood which may have been extracted during the process. Once filtered, the surgeon injects the fat into your face using a series of tiny needles. The doctor will use about 30% more fat than is required (this is because many of the fat cells will die at the time of the fat transfer).

Fat Transfer Recovery

After the procedure, some doctors may require you to remain at the clinic for up to two hours to recover. During the first few hours your face may sting and throb. When you get home, you should rest for the first two days (preferably bed rest with your head propped up on pillows). After fat injections, your skin may appear red and bruised for a couple of days.  Your face may also appear chubby or swollen due to the larger amount of fat that needed to be injected to compensate for dying cells. This chubbiness can last for a few weeks.

Try to avoid facial movements and avoid wetting the wounds during the first week. Don’t touch your face where the fat has been injected (you could end up with permanent dents). You won’t be able to exercise for about three weeks. Bending and lifting should also be avoided for the first few weeks (since this can raise blood pressure to the head).

Fat Transfer Risks

The risks and complications involved with fat injections include:

  • Rejection – your body may reject the fat. However, this risk is small (much smaller than if foreign materials were used).
  • If the surgeon is not skilled or careful there could be complications such as injury to facial nerves, lumpiness and discoloration.
  • Infection – this is a small risk, treated with antibiotics.