Autologous Fat Transfer
The use of fat as a volume enhancer has revolutionized the treatment of the aging face. Structural components are lost during the aging process giving rise to the hollow and collapsed appearance of the face. Facial sculpting with fat can restore the natural contours of the cheeks, chin, eyes and mouth area.
Micro-lipo-injection or autologous fat transfer is a procedure where an individual’s own fat is used to plump collapsed areas of the face. Fat transfer is a procedure which can be performed under local anesthesia or in combination with other procedures such as facelift or brow-lifts. First, the procedure involves gently removing fat from the buttocks, abdomen or thighs.
Then the fat cells are cleansed, prepared and loaded into small syringes. The last step involves injection of the fat cells using soft tip cannula or small tubes. The fat is injected in small rows and strands which avoid the clumping or lumping of the fat. The end result is to restore the natural volume of the face by structural augmentation. Facial fat transfer lasts significantly longer than commercial injectable fillers.
Who Is a Candidate?
The procedure is safe for all ages. These patients have acquired lines and folds as a result of aging or weight loss. The indication is having a structural deficiency.
What Anesthesia Is Used?
In most cases local anesthesia with oral sedation is used. Intravenous anesthesia is also an option.
Is it Painful?
In most cases the pain is minimal, and discomfort is managed with mild analgesics.
How Long Will the Results Last?
Newer fat grafting techniques can improve the longevity of the fat transfered. Generally a small portion of the fat grafted will be reabsorbed by the body over several months to years. The benefits are seen through many years.
Are Multiple Injections Needed?
Touch up injections may benefit some patients especially allowing for additional fat to be transferred with less damage or trauma. I believe it is safer to add more fat and get the desired results than to inject too much fat.
What Is the Recovery?
In most cases the recovery involves mostly swelling and a minimal bruising. Most patients can resume normal activities at 7-10 days after surgery.
Where Is the Fat Harvested From?
The fat is removed from any area that contains excess of fat tissue. It may be removed from the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks
Why Fat Over Fillers?
Fat is preferred to fill large areas of the face and also it is your own tissue, so there is less risk of allergic reaction when compared to some collagen fillers.