Wales based surgeon gives us the bottom line on fat transfer surgery

THE BUM is back – and everyone wants a bigger and better one, don’t they?

Would you spend thousands of pounds in the quest for a curvier behind? With a backlash against implants, a procedure that allows you to move fat from your stomach, back and thighs – straight onto your backside – is in the headlines. WM speaks to one of the only surgeons in the UK qualified to do it….
Has she or hasn’t she had a bum job is the latest whisper in Hollywood, with the suggestion a curvy J-lo posterior is so desirable, stars are going to dramatic lengths for one of their own.

So reality TV star Kim Kardashian’s can’t just be the result of good genes. And singer Nicki Minaj must be boosting hers with padding.

Why so derriere obsessed?

This week, Grazia declared the rise of “the new soft body” – announcing “soft is the new skinny” with stars shunning the over-worked physique for a more “feminine” shape.

Camille Meskill, a fitness instructor from Swansea, said women are definitely looking for a figure that’s as curvy as it is slim.

“Women don’t want to look tiny. They want curves in all the right places,” she said. “There’s been a definite shift towards this more curvaceous, non-skinny physique and this softer, rounder bottom.

“There are lots of exercises you can do to isolate your glutes and give you that lifted bottom. “And I think it’s great that Next for example are answering the demand and creating these ‘relaxed skinny jeans’.

“I’ve tried a pair on and there’s so much room around your bum and your hips, you don’t have to squeeze yourself into them.”

But all the exercises or more forgiving jeans in the world might not be enough to stop those with a less than Beyonce-like rear end wanting a quick fix, via the cosmetic surgeon.

Like reality TV favourite Chloe Sims from The Only Way is Essex – one of the only personalities in the public eye to admit she’s had surgery – on her bum.

The tiny-waisted 30-year-old paid £4,500 for a Brazilian Butt Lift, a form of fat transfer which sucks fat from your back, stomach or thighs to be injected into the behind.

She told Now magazine: “I always had my bum in mind when I was buying clothes. I’d hate it most whenever I went on holiday and had to get into a bikini. It always looked awful, like a flat “granny” bum. With age and gravity it only got worse. By the time I turned 30 I’d ended up with a droopy bottom.”

Performed under a local anaesthetic and with no need for hospitalisation, the Brazilian Butt Lift sees fat suctioned from unwanted areas of the body before being processed and purified, then re-injected into the bottom cheeks.

Dr Harryono Judodihardjo at Cellite Clinic in Cardiff’s city centre is one of only a few UK surgeons qualified to perform it and says he expects a rise in interest, purely because people, especially in Wales, are unaware it exists.

“Fat transfer gives good results and it’s very safe,” said Dr Judodihardjo, who has performed hundreds of fat transfer breast enlargements and says after-effects are usually no more severe than the bruising associated with an injection of Botox.

“It used to be that we’d discard the tissue from liposuction but now patients realise they can use it elsewhere on their body.

“Patients want to recycle.” The most common area for fat transfer, he says, is the breasts, the second being the face, as fat is added to the cheeks, temples of the chin, even the lips.

He also injects transferred fat from the body into the tops of the hands, to disguise signs of ageing such as prominent veins.

“Some women who are very slim have a dip below the hip and above the buttocks and it causes a boyish shape,” he says, adding he performs around two fat transfer procedures a month. So they have fat transferred there to give them more of a curve.”

Last year a former Miss Argentina, Solange Magnano, died at 38 after a buttocks-enhancement procedure at a medical clinic in Buenos Aires caused an injection of liquid to go to her brain and lungs.

British dancer Claudia Aderotimi, 20, died following illegal silicone injections in a US hotel as part of, friends said, her quest to dance in music videos. A preliminary examination found the “industrial” silicone filler had leaked into her bloodstream, leading to heart failure.

Dr Judodihardjo insists professionally carried-out fat transfer, a procedure he has been performing for 12 years, is a far safer alternative.

No risk of rejection and no incisions

“Fat is naturally occurring so no foreign body is used as implant and there will be no risk of rejection and will usually last a lifetime,” he says.
“There is no big surgical incisions or even stitches needed so recovery is much quicker.

“Fat is a good volumiser as it’s natural.

“The feel and look of fat in the skin is also very natural compared to implants.”

A Brazilian Butt Lift at Cellite would set you back the usual cost of liposuction, plus £1,000 – £4,500 in total if you’re taking fat from the abdomen; £3,500 if it’s from the thigh.

But what are the risks?

“There’s a chance of injecting a piece of fat into the bloodstream and causing an embolism [which can be life-threatening] but this is extremely rare and there has been no recorded case,” says Dr Judodihardjo, who says all of his fat transfer patients to date have been women.

“The procedure is done very carefully and the cannula we use is extremely blunt and I’ve certainly never heard of this happening.

“I’ve never seen a fatty cyst either [where transferred fat forms a clump within the placed position]. Normally the body reabsorbs them.”

“The problem in trying to do large volume fat transfer is getting sufficient amount of fat from the client,” he adds.

“Most clients who need large volume fat transfer are slim individuals who do not have sufficient fat reserve.”

And Dr Judodihardjo makes potential fat transfer patients aware that for optimum results, some may need a repeat procedure.

“Not all fat survives the transfer so you may need a repeat,” he says.

“After healing you could notice that the area has lost volume but it can depend on the metabolic rate of that person.

“The fat will continue to grow with time so as the client puts on weight, the result will actually be better.”

And Dr Judodihardjo thinks we’re about to see a rise in demand for fat transfer in general, as an alternative to more invasive surgery such as face lifts and breast implant procedures.

Fat transfer to the face is a small volume fat transfer, usually with less than 50mls of fat transferred, and once the fat has been harvested, the injection procedure can be done in 15 minutes.

“It is almost like injecting any other fillers,” said Dr Harry, who has also performed the procedure on amputation stumps.

“The desire is there and I can definitely see it long term replacing implants.”

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