Fat Fills/Fat Grafting


  • Fat grafting is the harvesting of fat from areas of excess and the replacement via cannulas of this fat into areas that has a volume deficient or to improve tissue quality in previously traumatised/scarred areas.
  • It is most commonly applied to the face to address volume loss as a result of aging, the breasts for enlargement (own tissue augmentation)/reconstruction or the buttocks (Brazilian buttock augmentation).
  • For larger procedures you will be required to sleep overnight under observation.


  • Please stop any over-the-counter herbs, vitamins, or drugs 2 weeks prior to your scheduled surgery.
  • Disprin, NSAIDS and blood thinners should be stopped 7 days prior to surgery unless specified or instructed differently by Dr F. Spruyt. This is done to prevent excessive bleeding.
  • NO SMOKING is allowed within 4 weeks of your surgery up to and including 4 weeks after surgery.
  • You should be fasted for 8 hours prior to your scheduled surgery.
  • If possible, please bath or shower with Hibiscrub soap 2 hours prior to admission. This assists in reducing the chance of infection post operatively.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing, that will be easy to change into after your surgery.
  • Please be at the hospital 2 hours prior to your surgery to allow for admission and preparation.
  • You will be counselled on the risks, complications, and healing process prior to your surgery. If you have any questions, please write them down and bring them with you so that they may be discussed prior to surgery.


  • The procedure takes approximately 1-3 hours depending on the volume and area to be done.
  • The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, but additional pain blocks will be administered in theatre to reduce post-operative pain and limit bleeding.
  • Fat is aspirated with a syringe and canula for small grafts – and liposuction for large volume grafts.
  • Fat is injected through cannulas and by means of small stab incisions.
  • Depending on the size and area, soft supportive dressings (recipient site) and compression garments (donor site) are applied.


  • No pressure may be placed on the grafted areas after surgery.
  • Please take your medication as prescribed.
  • Do not open the dressings after surgery. Dressings will be opened after 1 week at your follow-up visit.
  • Bruising and swelling after the surgery is to be expected and can worsen over a 48 to 72 hour period.
  • Swelling will start to subside after 3 days but can persist for up to 6 weeks or even longer.
  • We expect some of the volume of the fat fills to be lost (30 to 40%).
  • Results takes several months to mature.
  • A second procedure is often required to achieve optimal volume, especially in breast augmentation.


  • Fat necrosis, oil cysts.
  • Sensory changes (commonly numbness is experienced and will improve over a 3-6 month period).
  • Volume loss (expected).
  • Discrepancy between sides or areas as fat take can vary.
  • Fat is living tissue and can decrease or increase with weight changes.


  • After 48 hours, please clean the wounds with saltwater every 12 hours and apply the ointment as prescribed.
  • Please phone the rooms for a follow up appointment 7 days post-surgery if one has not been provided.
  • Any signs of infection (excessive pain, heat, swelling or drainage of puss) must be reported immediately.
  • No strenuous exercise for at least two weeks post surgery.
  • No heavy lifting for three weeks post surgery.
  • No “pull-over” clothing is to be worn for two weeks post surgery if you have undergone a facial procedure.
  • No driving for one, preferably two weeks after surgery.
  • No pressure over the grafted area for 6 weeks post surgery.

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