Natural aging causes soft tissue atrophy. As a result, muscles, skin and fat loose volume in certain areas of the face and suffer the action of gravity, conveying an aged face. Facial filling with body fat returns the volume to atrophic regions and rejuvenates the skin.
The patient may choose to combine facial fat grafting with liposuction of other areas (procedure performed by a partner plastic surgeon) or just follow the basic procedure. In the simple facial filling, fat can be taken from any part of the body that contains fat, but generally from the abdomen through the umbilicus. The fat is then treated by centrifugation and ready to be infiltrated in strategic places in the face.
The most important areas to fill are the cheeks, the nasolabial folds, the dark circles under the eyes, the jaw angle, the upper eyelid and the lip. The advantage of fat grafting is the durability of the procedure, 50 to 70% of infiltration volume will stay in place. A second major advantage is the amount of product that is available. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation in the operating theatre.
Unlike hyaluronic acid, whose cost increases with the amount needed, in lipo-grafting the amount of fat available is almost “unlimited”. Since fat comes from the body itself, there is no risk of graft rejection. The graft is injected by thin needles into the desired location, giving volume and form to where it is applied. Results can be seen after one session.