As we age, the underlying collagen and elastic connective tissues 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. Fat grafting is a natural approach to restoring a youthful look to the face that does not involve removal of skin, stretching the skin, or the risk of an unnatural look that can result from a face lift. Fat grafting can be combined with a face lift, if volume is what one needs.

Facial Fat Rejuvenation

Fat transfer — also called facial fat rejuvenation — is the process of taking small amounts of fat from one part of the body and reimplanting it elsewhere, where it is needed. This fat can be implanted to the lips, the nasolabial folds (the folds from the corners of the mouth, nose), the under-eye areas, the cheeks and other parts of the face and body. It is minimally invasive and can be completed in an office setting to help correct problems such as volume loss, acne scars and restore a youthful look to an aging face.

Fat: The Perfect Injectable Filler

As an injectable filler, fat is almost perfect. It is soft and feels natural, it does not cause immune problems,and most people have fat to spare! The fat is harvested from some other spot on your body, such as the abdomen, and can be a by-product, if you will, of liposuction reduction of that area. The main downside to fat grafting is that the body tends to absorb the transferred fat at least to some degree. The amount of fat that is implanted and then absorbed by the body varies. Some older studies have found that almost all the fat is absorbed, but there has been a lot of recent improvements in techniques for harvesting, treating and injecting the fat. Many cosmetic surgeons are reporting very good, lasting results with the newer techniques. A lot depends on factors including how the fat was removed, how it was concentrated and treated, how much was injected, where it was injected.

Fat Transfer Candidates

To be a good candidate for facial fat grafting, one has to be in good health, not have any active diseases or pre-existing medical conditions, and one must have realistic expectations of the outcome. One may not be a good candidate for fat grafting if there is a history of poor wound healing or if their overall health is poor.

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 the nose in between the brows). Fat grafting has been used on the breast, buttocks and hips and the sternum. The site being treated must have good blood circulation and enough capillaries and larger blood vessels so that the injected fat cells are nourished and can form theirown blood supply. This is a key factor in getting the best and longest lasting results. Surgeons are continuing to discover new methods of aesthetic improvements through fat grafting. Although fat grafting and other types of grafting are still not perfect, they have certainly come a long way over the last few years.