Fat Transfer (grafting) as a Permanent Filler
Fillers add volume to areas of the face to enhance appearance. Aging changes in the face involve one of several aspects of the face. Loss of elasticity of the skin, downward migration of fat pads under the skin, and loss of volume of the face through loss of fat.
Fillers can be used as a temporary fix for this loss of volume. However, a disadvantage of a synthetic filler is that it is temporary, requiring repeated expensive treatments.
Adding the patient’s own fat to augment deficient areas, can enhance beauty and reverse some of the signs of aging. The fat can be aspirated (suctioned) from one area, for example the abdomen, and injected into an another area, such as the face. Survival of fat grafts is technique dependent – but skillfully done fat transfers can be potentially permanent. Fat transfers can be done as a stand-alone procedure, and are often used in conjunction with facelifts and other cosmetic facial procedures. Fat transfer to the top of the hand is easy and is the only effective method of hand rejuvenation.
Although the use of fat transfer from one area to another is not a new procedure, recently innovated techniques have significantly improved our results with fat grafting. We are employing Water Assisted Liposuction to harvest fat for transfer. This is a gentle technique that protects and preserves the fat cells. In fact 90% of the fat cells harvested are viable (living). Published studies have documented 70% graft take using this method of fat harvest and the results we are seeing are consistent with these studies.
As with any cosmetic procedure, the best way to determine the appropriateness of fat grafting is in a personal consultation with a Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Fat Transfer to the face adds volume where time has reduced the facial fat – a sign of aging. New technology has made fat grafts more effective – A potentially permanent filler.