Fat transfer, also called autologous fat transplantation or micro-lipoinjection, plumps up facial features with a patient’s own fat, and is a popular alternative to other wrinkle treatments. Fat transfer to the face is a safe, natural non-allergenic procedure, designed to recontour your face, and can provide definition to your cheeks and chin. It can also be used to correct facial deformitites. Since fat transfer uses your own fat cells, you can never have an allergic reaction, because it’s from your own body.
With fat transfer, it is possible to have fat liposuctioned from your thighs, for example, and then transferred to any area of your body. Reinjected fat lasts longer in larger areas of non-movement, so it is very successful for the correction of sunken cheeks, because this area does not move as often. Fat transfer can also correct atrophic aging of the hands, and post-surgical and post-traumatic defects. But not every area of the body responds well to fat transfer. The breasts for instance, are not appropriate. Injecting fat into the breast makes it much more difficult to detect breast cancer with mammograms.
Fat transfer is performed on an outpatient basis. Both the area from which the fat is taken, and the treatment site, are anesthesized with a local anesthetic. Using a small needle attached to a syringes, fat is removed from a donor site, where the fat is most tightly packed, such as the abdomen or the buttocks.
Reinjected fat lasts longer in larger areas of non-movement.
Harvesting the fat cells for reinjection is often performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as liposuction, tummy tuck or cosmetic breast surgery. When fat is harvested during another procedure, it is often possible to obtain a larger amount of fat, then freeze and store that fat, for future usage when it becomes necessary.
Once removed, the fat is processed to remove excess fluids, and then reinjected using another needle, which is placed under the skin beneath the wrinkle. This process may be repeated until the desired correction has been achieved.