FACIAL FAT GRAFTING
Surgery: Fat is obtained by miniliposuccion and grease is applied on the face or hands.
Associated Surgeries: Facelift, Blafaroplastia, Rhinoplasty.
Fat Transfer (Microlipoinjection)
If you have considered undergoing a facial rejuvenation procedure but don’t think you’re ready for a face lift or other form of facial surgery, you may wish to investigate facial fat injections. This injection method of facial fat sculpting, also called microlipoinjection, can restore attractive contours to your cheeks, chin, and under-eye area, and add volume to your lips.
Microlipoinjection , also called autologous fat transfer, is a procedure in which an individual's own body fat is used to plump up sunken or emaciated areas of the face or to add volume where desired. The word "autologous" simply refers to the use of one's own tissues or fat. Because the patient's own fat is used, autologous fat transfer requires three steps. The first step involves the gentle liposuction of some excess fat (such as that found in the jowls, abdomen, thighs, or buttocks). The second step involves the isolation and cleansing of the fat cells. The third and final step involves the injection of the fat cells into the targeted facial areas (i.e., the fat cell transplantation).
Facial fat injections can eliminate aspects of facial "wear and tear" that often appear with age, such as smile lines, frown lines, marionette lines (running from the sides of the mouth down to the chin), wrinkles and furrows, and hollows in the face (such as under the eyes or under the cheekbones). Lips that have lost volume may also be treated through fat transfer as can scars or depressions in the face from scars (such as those from acne). Individuals with one or more of these conditions may be good candidates for autologous fat transfer.
Ideal Fat Transfer Candidates
In general, candidates for fat transfer are adults who would like to diminish or eliminate the appearance of wrinkles, creases, furrows, smile lines or frown lines, marionette lines, or depressions in the face. Fat injection may also be used for lip augmentation. Younger patients may be eligible for fat transfer in some casA fat transfer via injection is also often used in patients who have experienced lipoatrophy, which is loss of the layer of fat in the face that forms the contours of the cheeks and jawline. A fat transfer can fill in the hollow areas and restore pleasing contours to the face.
Those suffering from a facial problem that isn't listed above should still talk to a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon about whether fat injection treatment could help, or whether it would work well as a complement to another facial treatment such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, RadiesseTM,
The safety of the autologous fat transfer technique ensures that there are no restrictions associated with allergies. However, at your first appointment, you should be sure to disclose all of your medical history and current habits such as smoking and use of blood-thinners, medications, birth control pills, or supplements, so that your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon can accurately determine whether you're a good candidate for fat transfer.
What Areas of the Face Can Be Treated with Fat Injections?
The facial areas that can be improved with fat injection treatment include creases in the forehead or in between the eyebrows, and hollows under the eyes. Fat injection can also plump up or improve the contour around the nose, the area between the upper lip and the nose, the jawline, and the temples. Indeed, fat transfer can correct scars, sunken or hollow areas, and any place on the face or neck where fat has been lost.
Some of these facial areas need only one fat injection for noticeable and long-lasting improvement, whereas others will require more than one fat transfer to be adequately corrected.
Fat Injections vs. Other Dermal Fillers
The most important difference between autologous fat injection and other types of dermal fillers is that fat transfer doesn't introduce a foreign material into the body. This aspect of fat transfer is particularly beneficial for people who are allergic or sensitive to products such as collagen or Hylaform® .
Another factor that sets facial fat injection apart from other dermal fillers is the length of time that the volume enhancement provided by a fat transfer lasts. Generally, the effects of fat injection can last from several months to two years or more. In some cases, the effects last indefinitely. By contrast, dermal fillers that contain hyaluronic acid, such as Restylane®, break down and disappear over the course of several months, making additional treatments necessary.
The Fat Transfer and Re-Injection Procedure
The fat transfer procedure is a simple three-step process of removing fat from one area of the body and purifying it, then injecting the fat cells into the target site. Fat transfer results are usually noticeable immediately after the procedure and can last several months or years, or even permanently.
Preparing for the Fat Transfer Procedure.
A fat transfer procedure performed alone (that is, not with another procedure such as extensive body contouring) is usually done with local anesthesia only, not general anesthesia that would put the patient to sleep. Some physicians may also offer an oral sedative for patients who are more apprehensive, but this isn't usually needed. The type and amount of anesthesia depend in part on the amount of liposuction and fat transfer you require, which will be determined by your doctor.
A fat transfer procedure can usually be performed as an outpatient procedure at your cosmetic surgeon's office. You should avoid the use of blood thinners such as ibuprofen (Motrin® and Advil®), aspirin, and Naprosyn® for two weeks before the fat transfer procedure. Since there's no risk of an allergic reaction to your own fat cells, there's no need for pre-procedure allergy testing.
Step 1) Fat Removal
The fat transfer procedure begins with liposuction to remove some excess fat from the donor site, which could be the abdomen, buttocks, hips, "saddle bags," thighs, or even jowls. In order to collect as many undamaged fat cells as possible, only very-low-suction liposuction is used. These fat cells are removed from the donor site with a small-gauge hypodermic needle or a special cannula that is designed to limit damage to the fat cells.
Step 2) Isolating Fat Cells
Once an adequate amount of fat has been collected, it is spun at a very high speed in a centrifuge to separate the fat cells from the liquid that is also removed by the liposuction. The damaged fat cells are removed. Only whole, undamaged, and cleansed fat cells are then used for the fat transfer.
Step 3) Re-Injection of the Fat
The fat transfer procedure is completed by injecting the fat cells into the target site(s) on your face. At this point, your doctor will have already identified the site for each fat injection, with the intent to correct imperfections or create a new contour. U sing a separate hypodermic syringe, the doctor will inject the fat cells at the depth needed to achieve the desired fat transfer results.
Recovery and Results - What to Expect
You can expect fat transfer results that are immediately apparent or that will be clear after any swelling has receded. A significant benefit of this technique is that the results generally last much longer than the results of other dermal fillers such as Restylane®, collagen injections, and Juvéderm®. Individual fat transfer results definitely vary, but with a properly performed procedure, the results may last for years, or even permanently.
Risks and Benefits
Facial fat sculpting offers several major benefits. In addition to correcting problems of the aging face, autologous fat transfer is natural. The material used is not from an animal, or a cadaver, or a synthetic product. It's also versatile; the fat can be used for many facial imperfections, including scars and depressions in the skin. The effects of facial fat sculpting are very long-lasting — facial fat injections last significantly longer than cosmetic injectables such as collagen, Restylane®, and Juvéderm. And facial fat sculpting is safe, since there are no allergic reactions to worry about, because the fat transplantation is from your own body.
Microlipoinjection is also an excellent complement to facial resurfacing procedures, such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels, and to BOTOX® Cosmetic injections and Lipodissolve™ on the chin.
The risks of fat transfer/fat injection are few and minimal. Soreness and swelling are possible, but they're not commonly experienced. One should consider all of the risks and benefits of fat transfer before undergoing treatment.