Fat Injections / Fat Grafting
Injectable treatments for cosmetic purpose are one of the most popular methods with immediate and very satisfying results. The main goal of fat injections is to restore a more rejuvenated appearance of the face by eliminating wrinkles, crow’s feet and nasolabial folds (smile lines). The aged skin becomes smoother while the cheeks and chin are more defined.
Human fat is the best choice of material when injections are needed in deeper layers of facial tissue or larger volumes.
The procedure can also help to plump up depressed scarred areas on any part of the body.
Here is a summary of the most common reasons for having fat injections:
- Enhancing and rejuvenating the face contour
- Decreasing aging lines and crow’s feet
- Adding fullness to the lips and cheeks
- No risk of allergy because fat is extracted from the patient’s body
- No scars or bleeding
- Outpatient procedure that generally takes under an hour/ unless combined with surgery.
- Filling out creased and sunken areas of the scars
- The results may last from several months to permanently.
- Minimal pain which can be controlled with medication.
- Cost effective if combined with another procedure like liposuction
- Boosting one’s self confidence and life enjoyment
The technique usually involves three phases: fat extraction from the donor site, processing the fat and finally the actual fat injections.
First, the fat is harvested from the patient’s body (abdomen, buttocks or inner thighs). This can be done either by using a small needle attached to a syringe or by using the liposuction procedure. Next, the surgeon places the fat in a centrifuge to separate it from the excess fluid or surrounding tissues. Then, the fat is packed into several small syringes. Afterwards it is re-injected in multiple thin strands in the desired area.
For longest-lasting effect, patients generally receive 3 to 4 treatments over a six-month period.
Because fat is a bit larger than other injectable materials, it is almost always injected more deeply into the skin. A local anesthetic is used.
Injectable treatment normally takes between 30 and 60 minutes.�
Fewer risks are associated with fat injections compared with the other surgical procedures. No scarring or bleeding will occur. Because fat comes from your own body there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
However, the chance of risks much depends upon each individual patient.
The possible complications of fat injections may include:
Infection can be associated with any and all injectable procedures. This risk can be minimised by the sterile technique used and antibiotic prescription for a few days.
Weight gain in the injected areas
As injected fat cells continue to function in their new location, weight gain even a long time after the procedure may be associated with increase in size of the injected fat cells. This must be considered when a future weight gain is anticipated, especially in the lips.�
For the first consultation with the surgeon, you are advised to prepare a set of questions that might help them better understand the benefits, risks and performance of the procedure.
The most often asked questions related to fat injections are the following:
- Am I suitable for fat injections?
- How will my plastic surgeon evaluate me for fat grafting?
- What are the advantages of using human fat comparing to other materials?
- How are fat injections performed?
- What will be the donor sites?
- What are the possible risks?
- How should I prepare for this kind of treatment?
- How long will the results last?
- What aftercare should I follow after the operation?
- Are my desires realistic?
- What should I expect after the procedure, in terms of soreness, what to watch for, medication, bathing, and level of activity?
- What other cosmetic procedures can be combined with fat injections?
- What other materials can be used instead of human fat?
- I heard about several alternatives to fat injections such as: laser skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion or chemical peel. What would be the best solution for me? Why?
- What is the cost of the procedure?