What is Facial Fat Transfer?
Autologous Fat Transfer to the face refers to the method of processing and purifying fat for use as an injectable filler that has powerful rejuvenation and anti ageing properties.
When fat is processed and re-injected to the face, it can help restore lost facial volume (atrophy), as well as improve skin tone and skin texture.
It can also be used in the hands.
The fat liposuction and re-injection process is completed during a single session of approximately 90 minutes.
The fat processing technique is performed on site at the time of extraction.
How is the fat collected?
The fat used in the injection procedures is collected using a very small tumescent liposuction system.
This means that during the liposuction process, a formulation consisting of saline, local anaesthetic and adrenaline is injected into the extraction area to limit discomfort, swelling or bleeding. This technique also helps to separate the skin from the fat that lies below it, limiting any damage to the tissue during the liposuction process.
The tumescent liposuction technique involves the use of cannulae that are much smaller than the ones used in conventional liposuction.
- A cannula is a blunt needle that has holes on the side of it rather than at the end like a standard needle.
- All forms of liposuction create some bruising and swelling, but the area affected is usually small, as is the volume of fat removed.
- The liposuction site usually recovers fully within a few weeks.
- There is no need for any stitches.
- The procedure is usually performed under local Anaesthesia.
The volume of fat taken from an area like the buttock or hip will vary depending on the volume of fluid required for the area being treated – for facial rejuvenation usually between 50-80 ml.
How is the fat processed?
- The fluid collected from your body is processed before re-injecting. Technically, fat transfer is called ‘autologous fat grafting.’
- Not all of the injected fat will ‘take’ however and repeated procedures are often required.
- At times, you may also find it more practical to use a traditional volumiser (such as a high quality temporary-filler-solution based injectable product).
Fat Graft survival rates vary.
This procedure has been proven to improve the quality of surrounding tissue as well as the general appearance of the overlying skin, by replacing lost volume. However, fat graft survival rates can be in the 30% to 80% range. This can mean that multiple procedures are required (whilst fat grafting can help you get a great result, it is variable and sometimes a temporary-filler-solution based injectable can get you the look you want in less time and at less cost).
Is there any downtime with Fat Transfer – and what results will I get?
The re-injection is performed via cannula and local Anaesthetic is used in most cases.
Pain or tenderness in the extraction area can be expected for a few days, as well as minor bruising. Bruising in the re-injection sites is less common, but can occur due to a cannula not being as fine or sharp as a regular needle.
Fat Transfer methods offer volume enhancement to areas like the mid face and under the eyes, while also offering greatly improved tone, elasticity and vitality to the overlying skin.
Fat tissue that is re-injected doesn’t have it’s own blood supply; therefore it needs to be placed near blood vessels to ensure the survival and prosperity of the fat cells. It is particularly suited for facial rejuvenation as it’s injected superficially into tissue that is rich in vessels.
Several treatments might be required to get the desired effects.
Fat transfer methods can be a way to reduce scarring or to fill facial lines (other methods are also available).
Areas particularly suited to Autologous Fat Transfer (Fat Grafting) Rejuvenation include:
- Tear troughs
- Mid face
- Nasolabial folds
- Lips and around the mouth
- The backs of hands
For more information, send a Confidential Enquiry form today. Ask to see Facial Specialist Surgeon, Dr Douglas McManamany.