Facial wrinkles and creases are part of the aging process. They begin to appear as the underlying collagen and elastin fibers break down and wear out. While this breakdown is part of the natural aging process, it can also result from excessive squinting, frowning and smiling.
Fat transfer, also called autologous fat transplantation or micro-lipoinjection, plumps up facial features with a patient’s own fat and is a popular alternative to other wrinkle treatments. Fat transfer to the face is a safe, natural, non-allergenic procedure designed to recontour your face and can provide definition to your cheeks and chin. It can also be used to correct facial deformities.
Since fat transfer uses your own fat cells, you can never have an allergic reaction, because it’s from your own body. With fat transfer it is possible to have fat liposuctioned from your thighs and then transferred to any area of your body. Reinjected fat lasts longer in larger areas of non-movement, so it is very successful for the correction of sunken cheeks because this area does not move as often.
Fat transfer can also correct atrophic aging of the hands, post-surgical and post-traumatic defects. 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 with mammograms.
What are the benefits of Fat Transfer?
- Fat transferred to the face can last as long as three years.
- Fat transfer can be very cost effective when combined with another procedure.
- With fat transfer there’s no chance of an allergic reaction.
What can I expect after my fat transfer?
Patients are up and around immediately following fat injections. Any discomfort following the procedure can be controlled with medication. Some swelling at the treatment site may last up to 36 hours. There may be some bruising, which can be covered with make-up. Your initial injection should last up to six months.
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.