The Facial fat transfer procedure starts with liposuction to harvest the fat needed improve facial contours. The harvested fat is used to treat aging signs : wrinkles in the forehead, in the corner of the mouth, between the eyebrows, crow’s feet and nasolabial folds. It also serves to restore volume in hollowed areas of the face : under the eyes or under the cheekbones for instance. The lips can also benefit from the procedure to restore their lost volume or to improve their appearance.
Due to the fact that that patient’s own fat is transferred, the procedure is staged in three steps. First, a small liposuction is performed in the jowls, the abdomen, the thighs or the buttocks to harvest fat. Fat cells are then purified by centrifugation. Finally, the purified fat is injected in different areas of the face to address volume loss and deep creases / wrinkles.
Ideally, facial fat transfer patients are people of adult age wishing to alleviate wrinkles, creases, folds and hollows in their face. Patients concerned with lipoatrophy (fat loss in the cheekbones and jawline) can also benefit from facial fat transfer to restore the original shape of their face.
One of the benefits of fat transfer is that it doesn’t include any risk of allergy or adverse reaction of the body to a foreign material. However, smoking, blood-thinners and certain supplements can cause problems and must be controlled before surgery.
Fat transfer compared to filler injections
The main difference between facial fat grafting and filler injections is the duration of effect. Facial fat transfer results are definitive after a few months whereas hyaluronic acid based fillers last 4 to 6 months. Since hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body, allergic reactions are not an issue and fillers injections may offer a better control over the final result, but touch-ups are always possible with facial fat grafting.