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Fat grafting for the hands, face, breasts, and buttocks

June 12, 2021
February 9, 2024

From fat transfer for breast augmentation & buttock enhancement, to fat grafting for the face & wrinkly hands, here are some facts about this treatment.

Table of Contents

Did you know that you can transfer fat from anywhere in your body to your face or another part of your body, such as your hands? Fat grafting uses liposuction to surgically extract unwanted and excess fat deposits, and then re-inject them into areas of the body or face that need a boost!

From fat transfer for breast augmentation and buttock enhancement, to fat grafting for the face and wrinkly hands, here are some interesting facts about this versatile cosmetic treatment.

Fat grafting: A popular cosmetic surgery

Fat collected via VASER Lipo by Dr. Ivan Puah that will be separated and cleansed for fat grafting in Singapore
Fat collected via Vaser Liposuction by Dr. Ivan Puah for fat grafting in Singapore

According to a 2017 American Society of Plastic Surgeons survey, the number of facial fat transfer procedures went up 22.3 percent from 2016. Buttock augmentation (via implants and fat transfer) had a whopping 25.5 percent jump, and breast-related cosmetic treatments were also on the rise. Breast augmentation and liposuction were the top two cosmetic surgical procedures in 2017.

Amaris B. Clinic is one of the few medical practices to offer fat grafting procedures in Singapore. The clinic’s medical director Dr Ivan Puah will first remove unwanted body fat from specific areas of the body (donor site) via Vaser Liposuction, a form of ultrasonic-assisted liposuction.

Fat tissues are then separated, cleansed, and re-injected into areas in need of a boost– for example, facial lines and sunken cheeks (facial fat grafting), droopy or asymmetrical breasts (breast augmentation), saggy buttocks (buttock enhancement) and even ageing hands. The purified fat tissues fill in the “deflated” appearance and create a smooth contour. Since the treatment uses the patient’s fat, there is no risk of rejection commonly associated with other procedures like fillers or implants.

Fat grafting for the hands

While there’s no fountain of youth, you can give yourself a younger look by getting fat pumped into wrinkly hands. Most of us prioritise our face and neck when it comes to maintaining youth and reversing ageing through cosmetic treatments, yet the hands are also a major giveaway of age. On top of dry, scaly skin, brittle nails and age spots, age leads to a skin laxity and the development of wrinkles.

“Your hands lose volume and elasticity over time, which means you can develop a ‘skeletal’ and ‘translucent’ appearance with skin wrinkling as you age,” says Dr Puah. Fat grafting as a treatment for ageing hands is popular in Europe and America. In recent years, its popularity has risen in Asia, too, as more people have become aware of its rejuvenating results.

Breast & Buttock augmentation with fat transfer

Dr. Ivan Puah during a buttock enhancement procedure
Dr Ivan Puah during a buttock enhancement procedure

Breast enhancement has long been a popular procedure in Dr Puah’s practice for post-breastfeeding mums concerned with saggy, droopy and “empty” breasts. Smaller-chested women who want to increase their cup size without breast implants have also benefited. A 2017 article by Today revealed that local doctors are seeing a growing interest in fat grafting procedures specifically for breast augmentation with fat transfer (instead of implants).

Another popular fat transfer procedure is buttock enhancement; this can help to add volume and smooth out skin texture. Like breast enhancement surgeries that use fat transfer, the procedure involves liposuction to extract fat tissues and redeposit them into the buttocks. As no implants are used, any potential risks of ruptures or leaks are eliminated.

Facial fat grafting

Over time, the collagen and volume in our skin deplete. Subjected to the laws of gravity, the skin gets saggy and droopy, with lines and wrinkles appearing on the face and neck. The ADR-C Facial Enhancement (facial fat grafting) at Amaris B. Clinic aims to restore youth by replacing volume loss, lifting facial projections, and achieving skin rejuvenation.

“Apart from being a solution to counter signs of ageing, one other reason for the rise of facial fat grafting is the presence of social media, facial augmenting apps and filters. Many of my patients want smooth skin and enhanced facial features such as cheeks, chin and temples, which are achievable with facial fat grafting,” Dr Puah adds.

Why fat grafting?

You're getting a two-for-one deal for body fat grafting procedures like breast and buttock enhancements. The process allows you to remove stubborn body fat in any of your “problem areas” to enhance another in one session. You can even inject your harvested fat into more than one body part at a time.

Furthermore, repurposing your body fat works better than other fillers or implants since it’s “natural.” Instead of inserting a foreign substance into your body (silicone breast implants or dermal fillers for your face, for example), you’re reusing your fat. This reduces the chances of rejection or allergic reaction and produces more natural-looking results.

Additionally, the results are permanent, with a retention rate of around 70 to 75 percent. A research study done in 2017 proved that adipose (fat) tissue is easily obtainable and biocompatible, which means it isn’t harmful to living tissue.

A work of art

Dr. Ivan Puah during a liposuction and fat grafting procedure in an operating theatre in Singapore.
Dr Ivan Puah during a liposuction and fat grafting procedure in an operating theatre in Singapore.

Some see fat grafting as more than just a “copy and paste” surgery but also a work of art. To achieve safe and natural-looking results that don’t look overly done, the procedure requires a doctor with an excellent artistic perception, attention to detail, a good understanding of facial and body anatomy, and years of experience. They must know exactly how much fat must be extracted, where it should be removed, and the correct injection techniques.

Dr Puah believes that fat grafting, like all other face and body sculpting and enhancement treatments, is 30 percent science and 70 percent art. He likens the process to a sculptor using his artistic training to mould material into the desired shape – in this case, he combines his artistic sense with modern technology to shape the face and body.

Not all doctors in Singapore are certified to conduct fat transfer procedures. As the procedure involves surgical fat removal, only doctors accredited with a liposuction license can perform fat grafting. The treatment requires highly trained, experienced doctors adept at injecting fat tissues into the subcutaneous layers of the skin for optimum retention. Good techniques are a must. It’s always advisable to choose a qualified and well-trained doctor with years of experience in liposuction, body sculpting and enhancement procedures that can speak to his skills. After all, your face and body are at the mercy of their hands!

Where to go

Dr Puah has over 17 years of surgical body-sculpting experience, including liposuction, Vaser Liposuction, 4D Liposuction (Hi-Definition Lipo), Laserlipolysis (Laser Liposuction), fat grafting and gynecomastia surgery.

Under the care of Dr Puah and his medical team, your procedure will be carried out in their MOH-accredited operating theatre. An anaesthesiologist will care for you during the surgery while you’re under twilight sedation (not general anaesthesia), ensuring you’re comfortable, relaxed, and safe.


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