One of the latest procedures to hit plastic surgery is fat transfer. Fat transfer involves using liposuction to take fat from areas of the body that have plenty of fat and transferring it to areas of the body that need filling out. This can be fat transfer to buttock, breasts or to the face. Fat transfer to the face is perhaps the quickest method of doing fat transfer as just a small amount of added fat can make a difference.
Fat transfer to the face is used for several purposes. It can be used to plump cheeks that have hollowed out with age. It can be used to plump lips for a more voluptuous look. It can also be used to fill in hollowed areas such as hollow acne scars. In the case of the latter, it takes just a tiny bit of fat to make a difference.
Liposuction to Harvest Fat
As in all fat transfer procedures, fat transfer to the face involves liposuction from another body area. These areas can include the upper arms, the abdomen, the hips, the buttocks, the back or the thighs. It is especially good to remove fat from body areas that have too much fat to begin with. If you are very thin and have only a little fat, you are not a good candidate for fat transfer because you don’t have enough donor fat.
The fat, removed by liposuction, needs to be analyzed before injection. It is sent to the laboratory and centrifuged to remove broken fat cells, red blood cells and connective tissue. What’s left is a buttery-looking smooth slurry of fat cells. The fat cells are loaded into sterile syringes that are eventually injected into the sunken area or the area that needs plumping.
The injection process is painstaking. Only a small amount of fat is injected at a time. The needle is inserted as deep as it needs to go and a small bolus of fat is injected into the area. The needle is raised a bit further and another bolus is injected. As many boluses as are necessary to raise the skin up to the level it needs to go are injected. Then the doctor goes a centimeter or so away from the injection site and creates a new injection site.
Gradually, the hollow areas are filled in or the areas that need plumping begin to take shape. Often, more fat is injected than is actually necessary because some fat is absorbed by the system after being injected. This is called fat necrosis and happens when the fat globule/bolus doesn’t get a good blood supply. There is some consensus that areas of the body that don’t already contain fat will have more fat necrosis than those areas of the body that already have a layer of fat.
In the end, acne scars are filled in with fat and the cheeks are plumped out to the point that they look more youthful and perky. Lips can look plumper with natural material that is impossible to be allergic to. The fat transfer to face procedure can last indefinitely, although it has a tendency to dissipate over the years.