Fat transfer is an increasingly popular plastic surgery procedure. There is now fat transfer to cheeks, to the lips, to the breast and to the buttocks. A newer fat transfer procedure that has developed is fat transfer around eyes. This is done for those people who develop a more hollowed out look around the eyes that occurs with aging. The normal fat around the eyes that give people their youthful look may disappear as people get age, leaving behind hollow, darkened eyes, particularly around the lower half of the eyelid.
In fat transfer around eyes, the fat is taken from the upper arm, abdomen, thigh, hip or buttocks. It is then processed by centrifugation in which the red blood cells, connective tissue and broken fat cells are removed and the end result is a buttery slurry of intact fat cells. The fat cells are loaded into tiny syringes with a small needle. The doctor will then inject very small boluses of fat into the lower eyelid. Only a small amount of fat is necessary to rejuvinate the areas around the eyes.
The major side effects after fat transfer to the eyes is bruising and bleeding. Since the area around the eyes have a high blood vessel supply, the risk of infection is rare. Swelling is a more common side effect. After a week or two of recovery, the eyes will look smooth, and much of the swelling and bruising should have dissipated.
The alternative to fat transfer around eyes is a blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty involves a very small incision on the upper and lower lids to remove aged skin around the eyes. This procedure would be a better alternative for people with excess skin on the eye lids.