Fat Transplantation and Liposuction
Fat Transplantation and Liposuction

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{ Fat Transplantation and Liposuction }

It is very common in Dr. Mulholland’s liposuction practice to take fat from unwanted areas and contours to improve a patient’s figure, shape and form and then deploy that same fat and transplant it to other areas. This is done when patients desire or require more volume, shape and fat contouring in these areas.  The most common areas for modern energy-assisted liposuction in women include the abdomen, hips, bra line, arms, outer and inner thighs, inner knees, neck, jawline and, rarely, the calf and ankle.  Dr. Mulholland deploys energy-assisted devices, such as VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ to perform the liquefication and coagulation of fat and blood vessels.  This liquefication of the fat turns the fat tissue into a “mango milkshake of fat”, and makes it easier to extract which results in less bruising, swelling and pain.

The advantage of using VASERLipo™ is for the gentle ultrasound waves that separate and remove the fat tissue. It preserves the fat cells’ integrity and cellular structure, facilitating transplantation.


Figure 1.  The tip of the VASERLipo™ probe emitting gentle ultrasound waves that gently separates fat cells for easy removal. It does not destroy adipocyte fat cells, so they can be transplanted successfully after vaserlipo.

When using other energy-assisted liposuction devices, such as SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ , one gets significant area soft tissue contraction and dermal enhancement. This is important to optimize contraction and control of shape and skin.  However, fatty tissue that has been treated with the SmartLipo™ laser or the BodyTite radiofrequency device is no longer viable and cannot be transplanted elsewhere as it will not survive. The use of VASERLipo™ allows preservation of the fat cells so they can then be transplanted.

The most common areas for fat transplantation following liposuction in females include the face, the breasts and buttock. In males, the fat is often transplanted into muscle tissue to build up its appearance or it is used in the face.

How is a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure performed?


When Dr. Mulholland is using VASERLipo™ radiofrequency-assisted liposuction, the procedure is generally performed either under local anaesthesia with oral sedation or local anaesthesia with IV or general sedation.  Most Toronto liposuction patients who are not prone to anxiety have modern gentle liposuction performed under local anaesthesia and oral sedation.  Local anaesthesia is inserted into the area of unwanted fat.  The fat then becomes totally anaesthetic, much like a dental procedure, and the gentle fat extraction can be performed.


The Tumescent technique is the infiltration of dilute local anesthesia, making the fatty tissue numb with loss of pain in Toronto Patients

Figure 2.  Local anesthesia, called tumescent infiltration, is slowly inserted into the fatty tissue to be treated. It renders the fat completely without sensation, allowing the liposuction and transplantation to be performed under local anesthetic.

Once the local anaesthesia, also called tumescent anaesthesia, is completed, VASERLipo™ is deployed to liquefy, coagulate and tighten.  Once this phase has occurred, this liquefied, coagulated fat is immediately aspirated with a gentle, small, blunt-nose tipped microcannula.

 Micorcannula's small size illustrated

Figure 3.  This shows the small size of the microcannula that is used to gently extract the Vaserlipo fat cells to be removed after Vaser and use for transplantation.

Who is a candidate for a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?


The best candidates for liposuction and fat transplantation are individuals who have unwanted depositions of fat that detract from ideal shape and contour. These individuals have tried their best at diet and exercise to modify their shape and figure AND would like that fat to be moved to other, more deficient areas of their face or body.  Ideal Toronto fat transplantation and fat grafting candidates are medically well patients without uncontrolled illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease or hypertension.  Contraindications to VASERLipo™ and Fat Transplantation include anyone who is unrealistic about the shape and figure they can achieve or are medically unwell or excessively overweight.

What kind of anaesthetic is used during a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?


Vaser liposuction and fat transplantation is performed under tumescent local anaesthesia.  Tumescent local anaesthesia is an extremely dilute local anaesthetic that is inserted gently into the fat, distending the fat and providing loss of sensation during the procedure.  The tumescent anaesthesia also distends and expands the fat cells, exposing them to the ultrasound energy of VASERLipo™.  The VASERLipo™ procedure gently separates the fat cells for less traumatic aspiration and preserves their viability for transplantation.



Figure 4.  VASERLipo™ fat being removed by  blunt cannula to be used for fat transplantation.


Is a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure painful?

Modern liposuction, using energy-assisted devices, pre-coagulate and liquefy the fat. This turns it into a of “fat, mango milkshake” which makes fat very easy to aspirate. It is a very gentle procedure.  The energy-assisted liposuction techniques, such as VASERLipo™, have been shown in peer-reviewed medical studies to be far less painful and uncomfortable. There is less bruising and swelling compared to old-fashioned liposuction techniques where energy is not used.  This means much less pain, mild bruising sensation and much quicker return to work and activities. The actual fat grafting procedure is performed with a very tiny, blunt tipped microcannula minimizing risk of excessive bruising and pain.


Figure 5. A small blunt tipped microcannula, millimeters in size, is used to insert the fat grafts during the transplantation phase.

How are the fat grafted cells inserted into the area to be transplanted and augmented and how do they survive?

The fat graft cells are placed gently throughout the tissue to be augmented, using a microcannula (these are very small).  The transplanted fat cells, once evenly injected through the body part(s) to be augmented, survive for the first 96 hours on the passive diffusion of nutrients across the cell wall. Thus, the fat grafts need to be placed in multiple thin “tooth pick” sized columns through the host tissue to ensure they are thin enough to absorb nutrients and then the fat cells pick up a blood supply.


Figure 6.  The fat cells in yellow are deposited gently, using the blunt micro cannula in structural columns through the host tissue to be augmented. This delicate and methodical technique ensure a high percentage of fat graft transplant survival.


Figure 7.  Multiple columns of fat cells deposited in the tissue providing the augmentation leaving enough space for nutrients to flow and blood vessels to grow in and provide long term survival.

How long does a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure take?


Depending on the thickness of the localized areas of fat to be contoured, the VASERLipo™ component of the fat transplantation procedure often takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes per area and multiple areas are usually performed.  The actual fat grafting itself, where the fat cells are delicately placed in the tissue to be transplanted and augmented, may take another 30 minutes.

How do transplanted fat cells survive?

The fat cells that are transplanted are your own cells, therefore they are not recognized as being foreign by your body and are not rejected. However, a very delicate fat transplantation technique must be executed by an experienced fat graft and fat transplant surgeon. Experienced surgeons ensure that the structure and shape to be achieved is created and that the transplanted fat cells pick up a blood supply (called neo-angiogenesis) and survive. In Dr. Mulholland’s experienced hands, over 50% of the fat cells survive and flourish, providing augmentation support and contour.


Figure 8.  Transplanted fat cells are picking up a blood supply for long term survival.

How long is the recovery following a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?

Modern liposuction using energy-assisted devices such as VASERLipo™ have a very rapid recovery. It is not uncommon for Toronto VASERLipo patients to undergo multiple-area liposuction and fat grafting. Common procedures include fat transplanting and grafting of breast, buttock and body areas. Patients can have the procedure done in the afternoon and return to very light, sedentary work or non-work-related activities the following day as the transplanted zones are not visible and can be hidden with clothing. Facial fat transplantation and grafting typically requires several days off as there is usually significant swelling.

It is usually recommended that you take two to three days off after your lipocontouring procedure to allow focus and time on recovery.  The recovery process is also characterized by the patient wearing a post-liposuction garment over the zones where fat transplant cells were harvested. A post-liposuction garment is a high-tech compression garment similar to Spandex and Lycra® material. It is used to shrinkwrap the overlying soft tissue while it heals in the ideal shape and contours. Liposuction garments are not worn in the areas where fat transplantation was performed, only on the areas where the fat was taken.

In general, these liposuction garments can be worn on the liposuction area under any clothing and are quite comfortable.  They provide very comfortable support during the healing process.  Liposuction garments are worn 22 hours a day for three weeks.  After three weeks, the liposuction garments are worn for support during the day and left off in the evening and overnight.  Toronto Liposuction and fat transplantation patients can return to low-impact activities such as using the stair climber, elliptical or walking within the first week or two.  Return to high-impact activities such as jogging, running, aggressive weight training, hot yoga and stretching should wait till the fourth to the sixth week. The areas that have received fat transplantation will be swollen and bruised. For fat grafting performed for the breast, buttock or body areas, the modest swelling and bruising can easily be hidden with clothing immediately.  Fat grafting and transplantation to the face requires 5-7 days for the swelling and bruising to settle down.

What will I look like after a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?

Immediately after the procedure, there will be some swelling at the donor site which is contained by your compression garment.  Energy-assisted devices such as VASERLipo™ generally do not result in much bruising.  Avoidance of aspirin if possible three weeks prior to the procedure will minimize the risk of any bruising. There is often more bruising and swelling at the fat transplantation site where the fat grafts were placed than there is where the fat cells were harvested.

What kind of results can I expect after a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?

Toronto liposuction and fat transplantation patients can expect very elegant results in the hands of Dr. Mulholland.  Dr. Mulholland is well-known for his advanced liposuction body contouring of all body areas.  Improvements in figure, shape and contour are virtually assured, as fat is removed in the areas of contour concern and then transplanted in regions of the body that would benefit from more fat contours and shape. The “take from Peter to pay Paul” is a very popular strategy for many body contouring patients. Toronto fat transplantation patients can expect excellent contour shaping and reduction from the donor site AND excellent aesthetic contour enhancements in the fat transplantation regions.

Fat grafting and liposuction

Figure 9.  VASERLipo™ liposuction of the love handles and flanks for improvement in the waist, with fat transplantation to the buttock

 Fat grafting and liposuction

Figure 10. A patient who underwent a neck and jowl lift, along with an eyelid blepharoplasty and fat transplantation from her tummy to the cheeks, smile lines and marionette lines.

What are the patients saying about their fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?

Dr. Mulholland has performed his energy-assisted liposuction and fat transplantation techniques such as VASERLipo™ on multiple TV shows and programs. He has also been featured in numerous newspaper magazine articles.  Most patients are extremely happy with the results of their body contouring because they realize no diet and exercise can, in a localized and focal way, reduce unwanted bulges and contours in areas like pots, bra lines, love handles, saddlebags, bat wings and inner thigh/inner knee fat.  Dr. Mulholland’s patients are particularly satisfied because of his expertise in assuring the best possible soft tissue contraction after the removal of the fat. This ensures the best probability of tight, soft, compact, shapely figure enhancements after liposuction.

Fat grafting and liposuction

Figure 11.  Patient underwent VASERLipo to the abdomen and hip and used the fat for fat transplantation to the breast for a 1/5 cup size improvement.

How long will the results last after a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?

The results of your liposuction will be lifelong.  The fat that is removed will not return.  It is very important to have weight maintenance after liposuction and stay within five to ten pounds of your liposuction weight to ensure permanent contour and figure enhancements.  Usually, the result of excessive weight gain will not travel to the liposuction area, but to other areas where traditionally you would not have collected fat; again, compromising figure, shape and form.

Is there any maintenance required after a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?

There is no liposuction maintenance required for the fat that has been removed as it is permanently gone.  For the area where the fat transplantation was performed, the grafted fat may dissipate over time. In high animation areas like the face fat transplantation, results typical last for 1-3 years.  In low movement body zones, like fat grafting to the breast and buttock, the fat transplantation will quite often last several years.  However, with age, all fat is broken down and lost. Repeat volumization procedures, either fat grafting again or off-the-shelf fillers such long-lasting Juvederm Voluma, may be required.

Maintenance of the skin-tightening effect is recommended as well as body heating treatments to the areas where the fat was removed. This is usually required to keep the skin looking tight.  Bulk heating radiofrequency devices, using Venus Freeze, Accent®, Exilis®, the VASERShape™,  and the Forma™ or Thermage® Body are deployed in your program to ensure optimal skin contraction and tightness.  Once your series of post-operative treatments have been completed, Dr. Mulholland will recommend a single treatment every three months to maintain skin tautness, elasticity and contour.

How much will a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure cost?

Dr. Mulholland has a range in liposuction and fat transplantation pricing, depending on the size, amount of fat and number of areas to be removed.  In general, Toronto liposuction patients who have single-zone modern energy-assisted lipo with three combined devices such as VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ deployed during a treatment will start from $3,999 to $6,999 for the first zone. There are subsequent zone discounting for second, third and fourth zones.  Generally, depending on the size of the patient and their Body Mass Index, patients can have three to four zones performed with total body contouring for $9,999. The fat transplantation component of the procedure is usually $3999 for one large zone, which can be an entire face, breasts or buttocks.

Why choose SpaMedica and Dr. Mulholland for my fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?

Liposuction is an art.  That art meets science with the application of energy-assisted devices.  The use of energy-assisted devices is a highly-specialized skill; one that Dr. Mulholland has pioneered and proven to be an innovator. He has helped develop the radiofrequency-assisted VASERLipo™, SmartLipo™ and BodyTite™ procedures and has taught hundreds of physicians from around the world.  He has more combined energy-assisted devices than any other physician in Canada and North America. He is sought out by patients worldwide for lipocontouring procedures.  In choosing Dr. Mulholland, you’re getting one of the foremost experts in the world in advanced modern liposuction using energy-assisted devices.  The SpaMedica team is well-known for their service experience, care and attention to your post-operative and pre-operative needs.  In addition, Dr. Mulholland and SpaMedica combine post-operative skin tightening in addition to the lipocontouring to ensure the best possible contour.

How do I schedule a consultation for a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure?

To schedule a fat transplantation and liposuction combination procedure consultation with Dr. Mulholland, Toronto liposuction patients should simply call the number on this procedure page and/or fill out an e-mail consult request form. A SpaMedica customer service representative will respond quickly and schedule a consultation with Dr. Mulholland and his team so that you may find out more about your body contouring opportunities with energy-assisted liposuction and fat transplantation.  Call or e-mail now to initiate that process towards a new figure, shape and form.


Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Skin Care Spa:
66 Avenue Road Suite 4
Toronto, Ontario M5R 3N8
Tel: 1-877-695-2835