Although fat transfer technique has been used for a long time, it has recently been making a comeback. Our fat has tremendous power – when it is in the right places it signifies youth and vitality, and provides us with all the right curves and projections.
One of the key characteristics of a young youthful face is facial fullness. As we get older, we tend to lose facial volume, particularly around the eyes, the cheeks, the mouth, and the jowl area. This results in the flattening of the natural curves of the young face. Other parts of the body, such as the breasts and buttocks, undergo the same changes as we age.
Rejuvenation techniques have come a long way – the latest of which focus on three-dimensional volume restoration. Fat transfer accomplishes this by restoring the natural arcs of the youthful face. This is in contrast with other techniques such as a face-lift or laser skin resurfacing, which deal with excess skin and skin texture, respectively.
In the past, the duration of results associated with fat transfer were called into question. Today, however, the latest modalities – using intra-muscular fat placement and optimal fat preparation – have produced much more sustainable results.
What is fat transfer?
It is a technique where fat is taken from an area of the body that has plenty of it, and placed into an area that is lacking it. Fat transfer requires a high standard of cleanliness and infection control.
Where can fat be taken from?
Usually fat is taken from areas such as the abdomen or thighs, where we tend to have more of it. Other areas such as the lower back and buttocks can also be used.
Where can fat be transferred to?
The harvested fat can be transferred to almost any area on the body. The most common areas that fat is transferred to are the facial regions, neck, chest, breasts, hands, or buttocks, although other more unique areas, such as genital regions, can also be treated.
How long will the results last?
The latest modalities in fat transfer promise long lasting results. The goal in fat transfer is to restore volume in the target region and to make the restoration last. In order for this to be achieved, the harvested and transferred fat must “take” and start living in the recipient site. Once this occurs, it is likely the fat will stay there permanently, but will still be subject to natural aging.
What are the side effects of fat transfer?
Fat transfer is a surgical procedure, and therefore involves the side effects typical of such. The most common side effects include bruising, discomfort, irregularities as well as a rare incidence of infections. These are generally managed with appropriate medications and timely follow up. There may be some irregularities at the target site, depending on the “take” of the transferred fat. Further injections may be required in order to make the final outcome as pleasing as possible. In rare situations, the harvested fat can be injected into the blood vessels or obstruct blood flow in some way. This can cause damage to the tissues that are supplied by these vessels. It is imperative that in such a case, patients notify their treating physician immediately so the damage can be mitigated.
Fat transfer is an excellent choice for patients seeking to achieve long lasting volume rejuvenation. The resurgence of this unique rejuvenation technique is great news for all patients searching for a more natural solution to volume restoration.