Facial Fat Grafting
Facial fat grafting, or fat injection, is a procedure that transfers fat from areas in which you have excess fat, such as the outer thighs, abdomens or buttocks, and injects it into areas that may be lacking in volume, such as your face or hands.
When to Consider Facial Fat Grafting
- If you have facial areas that appear creased and sunken
- If you desire more permanent correction than is provided by temporary fillers
- If you wish to improve your body contour, revise scars, fill bodily depressions or rejuvenate your hands and face
Fat Grafting Procedure
Facial and hand fat grafting can reduce wrinkles and acne scarring, fill deep creases, plump lips and build-up shallow contours.
Fat is harvested from the donor site of your body using liposuction techniques. It is then purified, and re-injected with specially designed blunt cannulas into the areas that need augmentation.
Facial fat grafting
For patients with facial creases, such as laugh lines, smile lines and crow’s-feet, fat can be removed from your abdomen, thighs or other areas and be injected into your face. The cheeks, temporal areas, smile lines and lips are the most common areas that fat can be added.
Acne scars and sunken areas of the face can also be filled in with fat grafting techniques. Fat is often used in conjunction with fractional skin laser therapy for acne scars and in facial volume deficiency with laser resurfacing.
Hand rejuvenation with fat grafting
Fat grafting into your hands is effective for adding volume, “plumping up” wrinkled areas, covering underlying vessels and tendons and improving the quality of your skin over time.
Fat Grafting Recovery
Recovery from facial or hand grafting may take several weeks. A compression girdle may be worn at the donor area for initial fat transfer recovery. During recovery, patients should avoid sun exposure and may wear makeup with UV protection to disguise and protect the effects of the procedure.
Treated areas may appear too augmented at first due to swelling. Bruising, swelling or redness in both the donor and injected areas are expected, but typically lasts only a few weeks.
Swelling will subside, and in approximately three months patients will see their true results.
In general, about half of the injected fat is absorbed back into the body in three to six months.
Aging skin is characterized by decreased thickness, elasticity, adherence to underlying tissue and loss of collagen production. As the dermis of our skin thins out, it leaves our face looking thin, which has the effect of making the skin look like it sags. A youthful face has more of a heart-shaped or rounded appearance whereas aging thins the face out. Women of all body types and ethnicities are prone to volume loss to the face. As this is part of the aging process, it can be restored with either office-based fillers or facial fat grafting.
Volume loss is more pronounced around the eyes, cheeks and jawline, where fat grafting can play the greatest role in creating a balanced and youthful appearance. Fat grafting involves removing fat from one’s own abdomen or thighs. Fat grafting is achieved through a gentle hand-harvesting method, purification process, and microdroplet injection technique. Only small amounts of fat are harvested so this should not be compared with liposuction. Fat is harvested with the use of a small cannula and then injected throughout the areas of the face where volume has been lost. With a microdroplet technique, the grafted fat has higher blood supply and improved survival giving you smoother results.
Fat grafting also adds more light to the face, which in turn can make the skin appear more radiant. Adding fat back to the face also helps the skin’s texture and tone. Fat grafting appeals to many patients as it is minimally invasive and does not require any traditional facial incisions.