What Is Facial Fat Grafting?
Facial fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or lipofilling, is a procedure in which fat is injected into different areas of the face to restore volume and counter the effect of ageing.
Strategic placement of small volumes of fat into specific areas of the face can have a profound rejuvenating effect. Deep nasolabial folds, sunken lower eyelids and temples can all be improved.
For patients who have loss of volume and sagging facial tissue, for example a patient with flat cheekbones and heavy jowls, Mr Karri may recommend a facelift and facial fat grafting as a combined procedure. Otherwise known as a volumetric facelift, this 3-dimensional approach to facial rejuvenation provides a superior outcome.
Am I A Good Candidate For A Facial Fat Grafting?
Suitable candidates for facial fat grafting are patients who have;
- Facial ageing with loss of volume and loose skin but do not want a facelift
- Flat cheekbones and want to have full, youthful cheekbones
- Deflated eyebrows
- Deep nasolabial folds and marionette lines
- Hollow temples
- Hollow lower eyelids
How Is Facial Fat Grafting Performed?
Mr Karri performs facial fat grafting under local anaesthesia or sedation anaesthesia. There is no need for general anaesthesia.
Fat is gently harvested from the medial knees, abdomen or hips. After purification and addition of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), it is injected into the facial areas using special blunt-tipped needles that cause minimal bleeding, bruising and swelling. The fat is injected using a ‘fanning’ or ‘cross-hatching’ technique to ensure an even placement of fat droplets.
Improved Outcomes With Facial Fat Grafting
One of the main reasons why fat grafting is becoming more popular is the predictable and consistent results that can now be obtained. This is due to better understanding of fat graft physiology and processing, and less traumatic fat harvesting. Less traumatic fat harvesting enables better quality fat to be obtained, which in turn results in higher fat survival.
What Is Nanofat Grafting?
This refers to injection of liquid fat that has been mechanically emulsified. Although this liquid suspension does not contain any viable fat cells, it is rich in stem cells. It is thought these stem cells are responsible for skin rejuvenation by stimulating collagen production and remodelling.
Nanofat grafting can be used to treat forehead wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, decolletage wrinkles, prominent scars and smokers-lines around the mouth.
Facial Fat Grafting Recovery
As fat grafting does not require any significant incisions, recovery is relatively short. Swelling and bruising that invariably occurs resolves by 7 to 10 days. During the first week many patients are able to do light duties. The recovery process is variable and depends on how much fat was transferred and your general health.
As with all surgical procedures, facial fat grafting has risks that should be considered before a decision on treatment is made. Risks include;
Minor skin discolouration, or scarring at the incision points is a possibility.
Bruising & swelling of the donor and recipient area.
Excessive bleeding / haematoma
Loss of volume (not all the fat may survive)
Donor site irregularities
Numbness – temporary sensory nerve loss may occur, however sensation typically returns to normal within a few weeks.
Over-correction and under-correction