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Latest news: Elective hospital surgeries are now unrestricted and we have options to book prior to Christmas. You no longer need to have a COVID test prior to hospital admission. Dr Tomlinson is operating at The Avenue and Glenferrie Private; Epworth Cliveden is indefinitely closed at this time. Our office will be closed from 21 December 2020 to 10 January 2021 inclusive. 

We consult with patients via videoconsultation where it is clinically appropriate to do to maximise patient and staff safety under the new COVID normal. Enhanced hygiene measures in our rooms include acrylic screens, masks, hand sanitiser, face shields and physical distancing-related changes; long (48 minute) consultations and our See and Treat service have been adjusted under our COVIDsafe plan to include the use of telehealth to reduce face to face time. We require that all patients provide a referral prior to booking an appointment so that urgent and emergency conditions can be identified and managed in a timely manner and so that Dr Tomlinson can assess your suitability for a telehealth appointment and identify any further information or investigations that might be required before your consultation. 

Victorians are in this together and together we will get through this. Thank you for your understanding as our community works through these unprecedented times together (last updated: 24 November 2020).

Fat grafting

Written by Dr Jill Tomlinson on .

enquiringwomandecolletagefaceFat grafting can provide a long-lasting enhancement to lips, hands, eyes, cheeks, temporal hollows, areas of contour deformity and more.

What does the procedure involve?

Fat is harvested from another body area with gentle liposuction through a very small cannula. Most commonly the fat is taken from the abdomen or thighs. The fat is immediately processed to remove excess oil and fluid. The fat is then placed in the treatment area with many passes through tiny incisions (1-2mm), using a blunt cannula in a weaving pattern to separate tissue without damaging underlying structures.

Can dermal fillers be used instead?

Absolutely, hyaluronic acid, poly-L-lactic acid and calcium hyroxylapatite fillers can be used instead of fat and these do have good temporary results (3-15 months). However, using fillers can be expensive in areas where a volume of 1mL or greater is required. A benefit of using fat is that it is a natural product that comes from your own body and can achieve long-lasting results - although the extent to which a fat transfer maintains long term results is variable.

What is the recovery period?

The treatment area is initially swollen. It is important to avoid touching, massaging or compressing the treatment area during the first week. Cold compresses are recommended to reduce swelling.

Dressings will be applied to your treatment and your fat graft donor sites. These and any sutures will be removed at one week after surgery. At this time you will be instructed how to perform regular massage and other techniques to maximise your outcome.

The swelling will reduce gradually, with the majority of swelling resolving in the first 2-3 weeks.  If less fat is transferred this will minimise the trauma of transfer and minimise the swelling, but the long term outcome will also be less successful. There will still be mild swelling for many weeks; the eventual outcome of surgery can be judged at the 6 month stage.

What are the possible complications?

The main post operative issue is that of swelling, which resolves over time. Some patients may notice small lumps or irregularitites as the swelling resolves, perhaps caused by uneven fat distribution or migration. Other possible complications include infection, cyst formation and temporary alteration in sensation (numbness, burning or tingling). Multiple treatments are commonly required to achieve a long term, sustained outcome.

To schedule an appointment to see Dr Tomlinson about fat grafting please phone (03) 9427-9596.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.
Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Website Disclaimer

This website is authored by Dr Jillian Tomlinson, a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon who practices in Melbourne, Australia. This website aims to inform patients and health professionals about hand surgery, illness prevention and the practice philosophy of Dr Jill Tomlinson. This website's content is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own doctor. The information is not intended to replace the advice of a health professional. This website does not host or receive funding from advertising or from the display of commercial content.