What Are Fat Injections?
As we age, we lose volume in our face. The crease between the cheek and lip (the nasolabial fold), the junction of the lower eyelid and cheek (the nasojugal fold, or “tear trough”), and the progression of the jowl to the chin (the marionette line), all tend to become accentuated by shadow as we age. Elsewhere on the face, full cheeks may lose their prominence, and lips may seem to thin and wrinkle. Restoring volume to smooth these transition zones is a wonderful solution that minimizes the effects of age. We can harvest fat cells as fat grafts from your own body and injected to smooth wrinkles and other areas in need of volume.*
What is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting goes by many names, such as autologous fat transplantation, fat transfer, autologous fat grafts, or mico-lipo injection. Fat cells are gently removed from the abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, back or buttocks, and then prepared as fat grafts. The cells are then transferred to problem areas of the face or elsewhere. This fat can then be injected back into the body to:
- Rejuvenate the face by softly filling folds and wrinkles.
- Restore volume to your lips.
- Highlight cheek areas that have become less pronounced.
- Fill areas in need virtually anywhere on the body.*
What Issues Can Fat Transplantation Correct?
We can use fat injections to refresh tired, aged hands, and also to replenish or add volume to arms, buttocks, and elsewhere.* Fat grafts are an excellent choice in certain breast reconstructions after lumpectomy or mastectomy. As a result, we also can use grafts to improve deformities from previous liposuction, disease or trauma. Fat grafts are often performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as liposuction, facelift, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), breast reconstruction and other facial and body plastic surgery procedures.
The Fat Transfer Procedure
Dr. Dahan’s safe and effective fat injection technique provides a soft, natural feel. Utilizing local anesthesia, we then obtain the fat from an area such as the abdomen or hip with sterile liposuction techniques. We thoroughly rinse and clean to concentrate the fat cells. Then we use a special blunt needle, known as a cannula, for injecting the fat into layers of fine tunnels. We achieve the desired contour through placing small amounts of fat being in a very precise fashion. This maximizes its longevity by enabling the growth of new blood vessels to nourish the grafted fat cells. However, we may need to perform larger fat grafting surgeries in a hospital or outpatient surgery center.
Fat Transplantation Results
The injected fat is living tissue and the blood supply it develops in its new location enables the achievement of long-term results. If some absorption does occur, we can perform additional treatments at any time. Most importantly, the final result of fat grafting can last for several years.*
Does Fat Grafting Hurt?
Post-surgery, patients report minimal pain. We are able to control any discomfort through the use of oral medication. Applying ice can minimize the mild swelling and bruising most patients experience.
Fat Transfer Alternatives
There are a variety of “fillers” that can be used to replenish lost facial volume: injectable fillers, such as Juvéderm®, and your own tissue filler, fat.
Risks of Fat Injections
Just like with any procedure, fat injections – though generally safe – come with possible risks. These risks include:
- Nerve damage
- Under- or over-correction
Dr. Dahan has experience in liposuction and the reinjection of that fat into the body, either as a facial filler or filler in another area of the body.
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*Individual Results May Vary