Fat Transfer (Fat Grafting)
When we age our underlying collagen and elastic begin to break down and wrinkles emerge. We also tend to lose some subcutaneous fat on our faces. This brings about a haggard, hollow, or even skeletal look. While this breakdown is part of the natural aging process, it can also result from excessive squinting, frowning, and smiling.
What Is Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer, also referred to as fat grafting is an exciting minimally invasive rejuvenation procedure which allows us to sculpt and restore the face to its natural youthful beauty. The procedure can be used alone or in combination with other procedures such as facelift or blepharoplasty.
This fat will be taken from the patient’s own body fat from an area of excess (usually the love handles) and then injected to an area to add volume. Fat transfer can replace fullness that has decreased with age to restore a smoother, more youthful appearance. It is a safe, natural procedure designed to recontour your face and provide definition to your cheeks and chin. It can also be used to correct facial deformities.
Most Popular Treated Areas:
- Facial Fat Reshaping: Fat grafting can be done on almost all areas of the face and body. However, the most common treatment sites are the areas under the eyes, the tear troughs under the eyes, the temples, the cheeks, the chin, the lips, the jaw line, the forehead, and the glabella (the area just above your nose in between the brows). Fat grafting can also be used to help fill in scars on the face.
- Body Fat Reshaping: Fat grafts can be used to refresh tired, aged hands, and can also be used to replenish or add volume to arms, buttocks, and elsewhere. But not every area of the body responds well to fat transfer. The breasts for instance, are out. Injecting fat into the breast makes it much more difficult to detect breast cancer.
It has been discovered that liposuctioned fat is rich with stem cells. These are the undifferentiated cells that when placed in contact with the other organs will actually create or repair those organs. Fat (which contains stem cells) injected into the face will corrected problems with skin pigmentation, wrinkles, loss of facial volume secondary to decrease in bony size, and other aging effects. Therefore, patients who have facial reshaping get a double benefit; a better-shaped face and stem cells which help correct skin and other conditions.
Benefits of Fat Transfer
Fat transfer can be very cost effective when combined with another procedure.
With fat transfer there’s no chance of an allergic reaction.
Fat transfer in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as facelifts and eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) could have miraculous results.
Who Are Good Candidates for Fat Transfer?
Women and men of various ages who want to look younger and improve fullness, volume and facial appearance, or to help recontour areas of the body. To be a good candidate for fat grafting, you have to be in good health and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of this procedure.
How Is a Fat Transfer Procedure Performed?
Since fat transfer uses your own fat cells, you can never have an allergic reaction. It is typically extracted from body parts like the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, and can be a by-product, if you will, of liposuction, the fat is then spun in a centrifuge to remove excess fluids and the damaged fat cells are picked out and only whole, undamaged fat cells would be then injected into another area that requires plumping, such as a patient’s facial features. Re-injected fat lasts longer in larger areas of non- movement, so it is very successful for the correction of sunken cheeks.
Patients are up and around immediately following fat transfer. Any discomfort following the procedure can be controlled with medication.
How Long Does a Fat Injection Last?
It’s long lasting. Fat transfer transplants live fat cells that develop their own blood supply and become a permanent part of your body. Over the first few months about 65% of the fat will be absorbed by your body. The remaining 35% will usually stay in place for years. For results that will last years, patients usually receive three or four treatments over a six month period.
Fat transfers last longest in areas of minimal movement and results can be permanent. Areas with a lot of movement such as around the mouth will probably require periodic touch-ups.
What Are Side Effects of Fat Transfer?
Some swelling at the treatment site may last up to 36 hours. There may be some bruising, which can be covered with make-up.