Fat Transfer to Calves and Ankles - So Excited! - London, UK

My surgery date is getting close and this is...

My surgery date is getting close and this is starting to feel like it is becoming a reality. I'm so excited to be getting this procedure done, and can't believe I have found someone who says they can improve my horrible skinny lower legs. I have been embarrassed by them all my life and live in jeans mostly, avoiding dresses where possible. I love skirts, I'm very girly, I just wear them with boots all the time instead of shoes, so I'm really hoping I will have legs to liberate after this! I am having fat graft into the calf muscle and also the surrounding area down to, and including, the ankle, and I'm hoping to get as much as possible on the medial aspect. Fat will be taken from at least 3 places I believe, as I am not very big: stomach, thighs, flanks. I'm hoping this will reduce my hip measurement as well, as I've put on a bit of weight for this procedure because my PS said he might have trouble harvesting enough fat. I know there are mixed opinions on weight gain pre FT, but as I don't need to lose weight after, I'm hoping that what I've put on will stick around - just on my legs not my hips!

I currently weigh 132lb. My calf measurement at the widest point is 31.5cm and my ankles are 20cm. I don't have any expectations of how much I can gain in circumference but anything will be an improvement. The cost is very, very high and I suppose that shows the difficulty and time needed for this procedure (about 4 hours I believe). I hope that high cost reflects the outcome!

It also includes PRP treatment to enhance the chances of fat retention and (the most exciting part) I am being trailed for stem cell therapy!! This is another technique that will be used where some of my fat is collected, treated to concentrate the stem cells, and then added back into the injected fat. This should also improve my percentage of fat retention. Worldwide this treatment is getting a lot of attention because of it's success to other areas, so I shall be keeping my fingers crossed.

I've enjoyed reading everyones experiences on here and would love to hear from anyone else out there, as this is such a rare procedure - any tips or aftercare advice?

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Hi Kirsty, could you advise me how to post my pics? Do I upload them when I reply to someone in comments? If so how? Or do I post them with my profile? Sorry for the questions, I'm sure it's simple, regards Missytiny
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I'm going to PM you now
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Hi Faye2, I have calf implants & have filler injected under them in the area between the implant & the ankle every summer. This has become costly. I have contemplated having the implant removed & replacing them with a longer implant? I have researched aqua mid permanent filler only to be advised against this method. I have also been researching fat transfer & stem cell transfer but am not sure I have enough fat anywhere on my body to supply the amount needed to make a difference. The main thing that worries me is the survival rate of the cells that are transferred so I am very interested in how your op goes. I'm in Australia & would travel anywhere to be rid of the burden of never feeling girlie in a dress & the embarrassment of being at the beach & being asked if I have a disease. I wish you all the success with your procedure as only the few of us with this problem truly understand each other. Good luck & keep us posted.
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Hi Missytiny. Good to hear from you. There is so much I want to ask you about what you have had done, as I was looking to go down that route as I thought it was the only option for me until I researched the fat transfer. Did you do a review on here or anywhere? So, a few questions: What do you think of your results? What size implants? How many years have you had the implants, and did you have 1 or 2 in each calf? Do you have before and afters? What did/do you measure around the calf and ankle? How long is your scar and is it very visible now? I would love to see a close up of the scar if you don't mind. You could always private message me if you don't want to put photos up here. What filler do you have each year - Macrolane? How much cc is injected in each leg to fill the gap and what cost each time? Does it go lumpy at all and has anyone ever noticed it or commented? Do people think the implants are natural? Any negative issues with them? Yes, I also thought the temp fillers were expensive and also I was told it gets more difficult to inject each time as the tissue becomes more fibrous, has you PS found that to be a problem? I discussed Auqamid with my PS but way too expensive - what price have you been quoted? I could have bought a house cheaper (seriously). Why did your PS say no to Aquamid? Did they give you a price for the Aquamid? Yes, I have seen the implants with the ankle extensions, and if you were to replace yours that would be a good choice to do. If you went down the FT route you would need to have enough fat to replace the size of the implants or you will end up smaller after allowing for some fat loss. Your PS will be able to tell you if you have enough for this. Do you have someone in mind over there? A lot of the great PS for FT in America do Skype appointments and they can give you their opinion without going for a consult. Dr. Grossman does this and he is so experienced, so would be a good place for you to begin. My PS has done FT to the calf before, but I think the stem cell treatment is new to him, or at least to the legs anyway. It's an exciting procedure to have as the main concern with fat grafting is the absorption of it afterwards, so this should give a better retention. I do hope so, as like you, I don't have a lot of spare fat, so can't afford to loose my precious stuff if it is reabsorbed!! I believe the good surgeons can find the fat though. There are the ones that like to 'cherry pick' a lump of fat, like from the flanks or saddle bags, and then there are the surgeons who will take a layer from a larger area all over to obtain what they need on a thin person. It's about finding someone skilled enough to do this, and who is prepared to go that extra mile for the results. I have yet to find that out, so keep your fingers crossed for me? I'm getting excited now as I have hated my legs all my life and was teased something chronic when I was younger. I cover them and wear boots all the time, so would love to go out feeling confident. I do wear dresses when I have to, but always feel so self conscious. Thank goodness jeans never go out of fashion! But I adore high heels and just would love to feel I have more curvy, womanly legs and not like a 10 year old girl. It's demoralising. I hope to get most of the fat put in the medial aspect as that is where my legs are shapeless. Only 10 days to go now, and counting!
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Hi Faye2, I had my calf implants 17 years ago so there was not a lot of information about them back then. I believe I have the shorter harder ones that they use on male body builders. I remember the sizes being 1 2 3 4 , I think mine are a 2 or 3? I only have the one implant on the inside but I think they would be more balanced with two in each leg as the edge of the implant wouldn't stand out as much with two. Aquamid seems to be avoided by most Drs because of infection near implant & risk of lumpiness, cost approx $4,000. I have had different fillers at different times can't say anyone is better than the other, top ups can vary in price depending on how much I need each time, but approx 2ml each side is enough now every 6-12 months. The filler takes the sharp edge away & softens it but I would need a lot more to really make a difference to my shin to ankle. My calves measure 32cm right 32.5cm left, ankles 19.5cm. No problem with fibrous tissue? No one really comments, scars have faded a lot, but I see people look & still feel self conscious, but I do wear dresses now & it has been worth it. The negatives are you need to be careful when you cross your legs otherwise the implant pops out & you can see the distinct shape of it. Also my right implant is placed toward the back more & lower than the left so is more noticeable.I definitely feel I would not have enough fat to fill to the size I have now, let alone fill down to my ankle if I were to replace implants with fat graft & even more so if some fat doesn't take. I do however feel I would have enough fat to use around the implant to soften the edges & fill to the ankle. Thank you for referring Dr Grossman, I will get an opinion from him, is he doing your FT? I haven't seen the implants with the ankle extensions? unless they are the longer softer ones? I have also been researching stem cell but for muscle growth. Unfortunately I think we are along way off using this method on people although it is being trialled on patients with muscular dystrophy etc... My husband has just taken some photos for me to private email you of now, but no befores as it was so long ago. I'm new to this forum so not sure how to go about private messaging.
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Hi Missytiny Thanks for the info, we are similar sizes then! You say 'no one has 'really' commented', does that mean someone has in the past? Don't feel you need to answer that, but as I'm not ruling the implants out if the FT doesn't work, I'm keen to know all the pros and cons. It was especially useful how you commented on crossing your legs and the effect of the implant pushing out. Any other negatives please pass them on if you feel able? You don't need much filler each time, how much was originally put in then? Dr. Grossman is US and I'm using someone in UK where I live. I did a lot of my research using his website and youtube. There is also another US ps that posts youtube videos who is very good. If you put in, 'Fat transfer to calves and ankles' in youtube, he will come up. To private message me, just click on my name (in blue) then a box will appear, click 'send private message' and no one else will see it. I will post pics soon. Thanks.
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Hi Faye2, Hope you received my private message. I just wanted to wish you all the very best with your FT on the 3rd. You must be feeling excited, you're going to love your legs! If you have a little pain when recovering, do what I did & hang a mini skirt up where you can see it, to remind yourself of how worth it, it will all be when you can confidently wear it & look fantastic in it. All the very best honey & let me know how you are afterward, kind regards Missytiny x
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Thanks Missytiny. I'm ├╝ber excited now! Although I did have the wind taken out of my sails on Friday when the nurse phoned to answer some questions I had, and then started being really negative about the procedure, saying things like "don't expect too much from this", "you might have to do this again you know" "some people have it done 3 times". I told her that I didn't have enough fat for that and that is why I am having the PRP and stem cell treatment - to maximise my chances. "Yes, I know that", she replied. Well if she knew I couldn't have it done again, why tell me all that, just to be nasty? She said she's a realist and I suppose she meant well but I was mad and upset when I finished that conversation. Anyway, I just hope I am not disappointed with the amount of fat they can find. It's hard when you have expectations. I've seen some brilliant results on here, but haven't been able to yet follow them on a longer term basis to see if the fat goes after 6-12 mnths say. I shall be on my own and will travel back on my own, so I hope I'm mobile enough to cope with train/baggage etc. Have taken some photos and will post soon. I did get a PM from you thanks. Please keep trying to upload your photos won't you? Can't wait to see them. You can always get a member of the realself team to help upload them for you? See you on the other side! x
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Hi Faye2, you're always going to get negative people but when a nurse is negative it hurts twice as bad! Dont let any negativity get to you, if you are strong enough to make this decision to go after what you want, you are strong enough to ignore those comments! You are wise trying this method first & if for some reason you feel you want implants later you still have that to fall back on. I know you have done your research, so stay focused & confident in your decision to do this. When I had mine done it was a very new procedure & one that not many women had, so FT wasn't even an option. Hence why I have been researching it now. Just remember any amount of improvement will be worth it & they have to look better than they are now! You won't be on your own,,I will be thinking of you & sending positive energy to you for the best possible result, good luck xx P.S I have asked the Real Self team to help me with uploading my pics LOL I'm sure it's so simple it's embarrassing!
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Hi. I'm out the other side and feeling good. I started writing on here the same evening as my surgery but got distracted and must have lost it all. Never mind , it kept me occupied during my first night of recovery. I had a general in the end, not what I planned which was IV sedation. So I'm suffering the consequences from that at the moment. Bad, dry throat is the worst. I'm keeping my feet up as much as possible, but have to go to a function tonight. Really bad timing and I won't tell anyone what I've had done and won't want to drink, so might be difficult. I don't know any cc amounts out or in yet. I'll ask next week. I've got a long body garment from high waist to just down past the ankles and stockings over my feet that reach past my knees, which is great as that means no ridges or lines on the areas where the fat was placed. I'm not sure how much is fat and how much is swelling so trying not to judge anything yet. On the lipo sites my stomach seems so flat! And my lumpy tops of front thighs have gone which is great. Flanks done as well. He even said he would get enough fat without using the inner thighs which I was pleased about as I thought I was scraping the barrel for fat to transfer! I was concerned that the inner thighs will droop and look lumpy as the skin behaves differently there after lipo. It's also good because if I need a touch up there's a bit left to use in reserve which is a comforting thought. So, all good for now, eating soft foods and trying to drink lots, and deep breathing when I remember! Speak soon. x
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Wow Faye2 you sound good but don't over do it, rest up when you can. What a bonus to get the body sculpting at the same time! Are you going to use the hyperbaric chamber oxygen therapy for healing & retaining as much ft as possible? So happy for you, keep me posted x
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Hi. No, he didn't recommend HBO therapy because it is unproven with fat transfer at the moment and is very costly to do. It does work to help other grafting conditions (like a skin graft) though so just more research needed for this. As I have had PRP and stem cells added I think it's a pretty good start to retain the fat, but who knows what's best, were all experimenting and hoping aren't we? Went out last night for this function, it went well, and I managed not to drink any alcohol - yeh! Can rest now until Tuesday when I get my next MLD session. I have to keep this garment on for 5 days permanently so no showering yet! That's a nice little end thought to leave you with!!! Hope you are well and thanks for keeping in touch. x
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Hi Faye2, have been thinking of you, hope you are recovering well & are feeling happy with your results? Keep me posted, Missytiny x
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Hi. Thanks for enquiring. Had a bit of a rough time but over the worst now thanks. Legs still the same size (!!!) but must be a lot of swelling at this point. Not doing much as I don't want to do anything to disturb the fat, which is getting me down a bit actually, so I think I shall start getting out a bit next week. Can't wait to get to 1 month mark, I shall start to relax about it then. It's a shame to hurry through July which is our prime summer and it's lovely here, but I just want August to be here with my fat still with me! I've taken some pics so will post soon. Have you got some pics you can post now? Also, have you researched fat graft anywhere else or found out any facts about it that might be helpful? X
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Hi and thanks. My ankles are quite swollen at the moment so I'm still trying to rest my legs when I can. My legs look horrible with the swelling so I'm trying not to judge things until that's gone down. A bit painful, not really painful more like a pressure in the legs but tolerable, other than that they just feel heavy and I feel tired all the time as I'm not doing any exercise. Can't wait to start feeling normal again as I can't fit any shoes at the moment to see what I might look like! A waiting game but I'm still happy with things. Hope you are well. x
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Welcome and thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Good luck with your surgery, I hope it goes well and you have a smooth recovery! Please do keep us updated with your progress.
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