Wrinkles begin to appear as collagen and elastin fibers in the skin break down. This breakdown can also be attributed to excessive squinting, frowning and smiling.
While some injectable filler, like Collagen, pose an allergic risk, fat transfer is widely used because it is tolerated well: the substance injected is taken from your own body.
Fat transfer, (also called autologous fat transfer or micro-lipoinjection), fills facial features with a patient’s own fat. Because the fat comes from your own body, you cannot develop an allergic reaction. Fat transfer to the face is a safe procedure designed to recontour the face and provide definition to cheeks, chin, lips and lower eyes. Lip lines and, creases are also good candidates for release and fat grafting, smoothing and rejuvenating the area around the lips and mouth.
The fat used for fat transfer is liposuctioned from another part of your body like the abdomen or thighs and injected into another area that requires plumping.
Injected fat lasts longer in larger areas of non-movement, for example, for the correction of grooves under the eyes and sunken cheeks.
Not every area of the body responds well to fat transfer.
Fat grafting is performed in our office on an outpatient basis. Both the area from which the fat is taken and the treatment site are anesthetized with a local anesthetic. If there is a large amount of fat to be transferred you will be given the option of sedation anesthesia (twilight sleep) administered by an anesthetist. Using a small needle attached to a syringe, fat is removed from a donor site where your fat is most tightly packed, such as your abdomen.
Once removed, your fat is processed to remove excess fluids and then re-injected using another needle, which is placed just under your skin beneath the wrinkle. This process may be repeated until the desired correction has been achieved.
Swelling is expected after fat injection and discomfort following the procedure can be easily controlled with medication. There may also be some minor bruising. Over the first few months your body will absorb about 65% of the fat. The remaining 35% will usually stay in place. For longer lasting results, patients usually receive three of four treatments over the course of a year.