When you think of facial rejuvenation, a surgical facelift or Botox usually comes to mind, but there is now an innovative trend known as fat injections. It involves injecting your own fat into your face, to rejuvenate your appearance and reduce wrinkles. However, the procedure is not limited to the face it can be used on other parts of the body that lack volume and shape. However, are fat injections permanent?
Fat injections also known as fat grafting or fat transfer is a minimally invasive procedure that is done to replenish volume in certain parts of the body. It has become a very popular facial rejuvenation technique especially for those aged 40-50 years. Fat injections is considered an affordable solution for individuals not yet ready to undergo a facelift.
How It Works?
A small amount of fat is taken from an area of the body that has excess reserves. The donor site selected depends on the availability of fat, but typically includes regions such as the thighs, flanks, or stomach. The fat is usually harvested via liposuction. It is then purified to remove debris and unwanted blood cells.
The procedure is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and sedation. There is minimal pain with fat injection, no scarring, and the results look very natural. Since the procedure uses a patient’s own fat cells, there is unlikely to be any infection or allergic reaction.
Are Fat Injections Permanent?
One of the major drawbacks of fat injections as a cosmetic procedure is its unpredictability. There is really no telling how much of the fat will take or what results to expect. Some people have excellent outcomes as most of the fat cells survive, but there are times when the fat cells die after the initial transplantation, due to a lack of blood supply.
When this happens it would appear that the fat injections are not permanent, but they actually are. However, a lot depends on how quickly the fat cells develop their new blood supply after being transplanted.
Once the blood supply has been established, the fat cells will survive for the long term. Typically, about 75% of the fat cells survive. The face will look fuller and healthier as soon as the fat grafts have stabilized, and this usually occurs about 3 months after the procedure.
Fat injections must be properly administered in order to achieve permanent results, it is therefore important to find a plastic surgeon with the necessary expertise and experience performing this technique. If too much fat is injected, it can result in residual lumps, and lead to a distorted look.
At Accent Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Mark Craig uses a novel fat grafting technique that significantly improves the chances of survival of the transplanted fat. Dr. Craig has a lot of experience with fat injections, as he has been performing the procedure for more than 15 years.
Dr. Craig carefully removes the fat with a gentle hand-harvesting method, which assists in maintaining the viability of the fat. The grafted fat is then purified, before being injected into the areas of the face that have experienced volume loss. The fat is injected using the micro-droplet technique.
What Does It Treat?
Fat injections grafting is popularly used to correct volume loss in the face, but can also be used to augment the hands, buttocks, and breasts. The face typically starts to show signs of age resulting from loss of tone and elasticity. This results in the downward pull of the skin.
The face loses its youthful heart shape and instead takes on a more rectangular shape. This is particularly obvious in the mid-face region and in the cheeks. Sunken cheeks can be fixed by adding fat to the mid-face via fat injections.