Exclusive Sneak Peek Into Everything You Need to Know About Fat Transfer

Have you been contemplating to do plastic surgeries like Rhinoplasty, Double Eyelid, Breast Augmentation or Fat Transfer? People love to fly to Seoul aka world's Plastic Surgery Capital for their face-changing experience. In this article, one of our readers Erin chose to do Fat Transfer from her thigh to her forehead and cheeks at The Sloane Clinic in Singapore. We talked to Erin about her procedure and interviewed her surgeon Dr Tan Ying Chien to find out all about Fat Transfer.

Q: Hello Erin, tell us about your decision to do Fat Transfer in Singapore even though it is cheaper to do in Seoul.

Erin: Have you seen the China Variety shows about failed plastic surgeries in Korea? It was totally horrifying! The ladies from China went to Korea to do their plastic surgeries. They had to sign on consent forms they didn't understand without the surgeon's signature, and that was given to them when they were in the operation threatre, just before the surgery! 

The failed results were atrocious and they couldn't seek any help even from the Korean police. That was because many of the Plastic Surgery Clinic were related and they covered up for each other. The victims were left with failed surgeries and helplessness because there is absolutely nothing they could do. I wouldn't risk anything for that. 

I chose The Sloane Clinic because the reason is simple. The Sloane Clinic is a well-known aesthetics clinic in Singapore and Malaysia with more than 14 years of experience. I've been to their clinic for aesthetic treatments such as Facial Fillers and rejuvenating facials and the results were always more than satisfying! Dr Tan Ying Chien is an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon in Singapore. He was also often featured in various newspapers. I know I am in 100% safe hands.

Q: What "Fat Transfer" did you do?

Erin: I did Fat Transfer from my thighs to my cheeks and forehead. I am skinny as you can see. But you know I also have my woes. My thighs are flabby and look big in proportion to my body. My face is sunken in and makes me look tired and older. I want to make my thighs slimmer and my cheeks and forehead fuller so I think Fat Transfer is a perfect solution for me. Thank goodness I have enough fats on my thighs. Haha!


Q: How was the procedure like? Were you scared and was it painful?

Erin: Even though I've did aesthetics treatments before, but a plastic surgery still sounded frightening to me! Dr Tan was so reassuring and patient while explaining all the questions about Fat Transfer that I had, therefore I know that I will be in very safe hands under his care. I was under local anesthesia during the procedure so I didn't feel any pain. One can also choose to do light sedation, but I prefer to not feel anything instead. Dr Tan did Liposuction on my thighs and transfer those fat to my forehead and cheeks.

I woke with some needle holes on my cheeks and forehead which were not so visible. The swelling and bruising appeared later that night and lasted for a bout a week. I had to take some medication to ease the swelling and apply some medication cream too.

After about a week, I was able to put on my full makeup up in my rejuvenated baby face! I love how plumped up my face looks like now. No more sunken cheeks! I not only look younger but also feel younger and more confident! My boyfriend also joked that he is now dating a teenager. There is no visible needle mark on my face, which was such a great relief!

Overall, the surgery is worth all the money even though I have to pay slightly more (compared to Korea)! There is no language barrier and doing surgery is definitely safest in Singapore. I was able to rest at home after my surgery and also able to call The Sloane Clinic when I had some questions during my recovery period. I am glad that I made the correct choice to do my Fat Transfer in Singapore! I can't imagine if I was all alone and helpless in Korea. 

We would like to thank Erin for sharing about  her "Fat Transfer" journey with us. For the second part of the article, we are thankful that Dr Tan took out some time from his busy schedule to answer some of our burning questions about Fat Transfer.

Q: Hello Dr Tan, can you tell us if there are different ways of doing “Fat Transfer Surgery”? 

Dr Tan: Generally, fat harvesting can be performed by manual method or machine aided (i.e. via liposuction techniques). The harvested fat is then processed and injected into the desired areas.

Q: Which body parts can we enhance by “Fat Transfer’? 

Dr Tan: Fat can be transferred to almost any part of the body that requires extra volume. These areas are generally divided into the face and the body. Popular areas on the face include the forehead and cheeks that I did for Erin, while the most common area on the body would be the breasts.

Q: Who are most suitable for “Fat Transfer’? Are there candidates who are unsuitable for this? 

Dr Tan: As long as one has sufficient fat for transfer to the desired area, and does not have fluctuations in weight, anyone is suited for fat transfer.

Q: How long is the “Fat Transfer’ surgery? 

Dr Tan: The duration of the surgery would vary, depending on the volume of fat required, the areas from the the fat is harvested (eg. if the fat has to be taken from multiple areas, this would naturally prolong the surgery), as well as the number of areas to which the fat is to be transferred.


Q: What is the recovery process like and when can one resume normal activities? 

Dr Tan: A patient generally has minimal discomfort from the surgery. However, there can be mild to moderate degrees of swelling that can be obvious where the fat is transferred to. This would last 3 to 7 days.

For fat that is transferred to the body for eg. the breasts, patients generally complains of an aching sensation that some post-partum mothers will describe to be similar to that of breast engorgement during breast feeding.

One can resume most activities of daily living almost immediately, but will be advised against prolonged, direct pressure over the treated areas for a period of at least one month.

Dr Tan with Erin before the
"Fat Transfer" surgery
Q: What are the risks and complications associated with the procedure?

Dr Tan: This is a relatively simple and safe procedure with low risks. Bruising and prolonged swelling are complications that can occur.

Q: Are there any side effects? Will the surgery leave any visible scars or marks? 

Dr Tan: The fat transferred can be partially lost during the recovery process, hence some patients may require another session of fat transfer to achieve the final desired result. That is also why surgeons will generally over-correct to the certain degree. As the surgical incisions are all very small, the scares or marks are usually not noticeable.

Q: Are the effects permanent? Will the fat return to the areas that have been treated? 

Dr Tan: Once the fat settles well in the new areas after a few months (2 - 3 months for the face and 9 months for the breasts), the effects are more or less permanent provided that there are no weight changes. Fat can return to the areas from which the fat is taken, but one will find it harder for large amounts of fat to re-accumulate in these areas because of organized scarring that has taken place from the fat harvesting procedure.

Thank you Dr Tan for the valuable information and time to answer our questions. Dr Tan also shared that Thread Lift is a good treatment that complements Fat Transfer surgery on the face very well.

We hope that we answered some of your questions regarding Fat Transfer. Make your appointment with Dr Tan at The Sloane Clinic for any of your plastic surgery enquiry.

Dr Tan Ying Chien

The Sloane Clinic
  Plastic Surgery Centre
Novena Medical Centre, #08-35 
Tel: 6397 6848


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

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