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During a lipofilling procedure, small incisions, less that 1 cm, are made in either the abdomen or inner thigh from where the fat will be harvested. This is done using a low pressure liposuction technique. Small dressings are placed on these wounds and occasionally an absorbable suture is used to close them. The fat that has been harvested from this area is re-injected into the required areas of the face again using tiny 3 - 4 mm, stab incisions which are covered with a Steri-strip sticking plaster.
The operation for lipofilling alone usually takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour and the patient is required to stay in hospital for a few hours following surgery to make sure there is not excessive bruising or swelling.
The aims and expectations of a lipofilling procedure will have been discussed at consultation. Smokers have a high risk of developing complications, in particular wound healing and re-absorption and it is therefore advised that patients should refrain from smoking at least six weeks prior, and between two to four weeks following surgery.
Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided for at least the week before the lipofilling and a week after surgery to help reduce the amount of bleeding and bruising.