Fat injection is used to fill in skin depressions and to add fullness to the cheeks and lips. It can be used alone or in combination with treatments renewing the skin’s surface such as laser treatment or treatments reshaping the facial contours such as a facelift.
Why use fat injections?
The main intended purpose of fat injections is to improve the appearance of the skin. This method help treat wrinkles or cracks on the face, creases on cheeks and skin and some scars. They can also be used to add fullness and a pleasant appearance on the face.
What is a fat injection?
The fat injection is technically called autologous fat transplant or micro lipoinjection. It is a procedure in which fat cells harvested from the abdomen, thighs or buttocks of the patient are reinjected to the appropriate areas, mainly beneath the skin of the face. It is mostly used to fill in cheeks or laugh lines between the nose and mouth, to correct skin depressions or scars, to minimize forehead wrinkles and to plump up lips.
What kind of a procedure is used during fat injection?
After both the donor and recipient sites are cleansed and injected with a local anesthetic, the fat is removed from the body with a large syringe or a cannula (similar to a liposuction cannula) that is connected to a vacuum device. The harvested fat is processed and reinjected to the recipient site with a syringe. Sometimes an adhesive bandage is applied over the injection site.
It is necessary to overfill considering the fat to be absorbed by the tissues in the weeks following the procedure. When this procedure is used to add fullness to the cheeks and other sites rather than wrinkles, your face may temporarily look puffy.
What should and shouldn’t I do after fat injection?
When a large area is treated, you may need to reduce your activities for a short period of time, but still many patients return to their normal activities immediately. You can expect some swelling, bruising or redness in both the donor and recipient sites. The severity of these symptoms depends on the size and location of the treated area. You should avoid sunlight until redness and bruising go away (approximately for 48 hours). During this period, you can wear makeup to help cover your scars.
The swelling in the recipient site may last several weeks, particularly when a large area was filled.
Does injected fat stay permanently?
The material injected by injectable fillers (Hyaluronic acid= Restylane, Juvederm) is eventually metabolized by the body. However, only 40% of the injected fat will last. On the other hand, you should not expect outcomes of fat injections last as long as cosmetic surgery procedures.
How should be the treatment frequency with fat injections?
Treatment results may last longer in some individuals while some others may have short-lived results. The procedure may be repeated after the effectiveness of the fat injection is evaluated at the end of two months.
Researchers believe that age, genetic background, skin quality, quality of life and injection site play a role in the longevity of the treatment results. However, the definitive cause of variations in individual results among patients still remains to be clarified.
What complications are expected after treatment with fat injections?
No complications are observed in treatment with a fat injection when they are performed in the hands of an experienced doctor. However, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, physical reactions and ability to heal. It is not possible to make a 100% prediction for the outcome of treatment with injectables.
There is no risk of allergy after treatment with fat injection since the fat is harvested from a patient’s own body.
Where can I get the fat injection?
Fat injections are usually administered in the doctor’s office. However, if it is combined with a facelift, neck lift, brow lift or any other procedure, it must be done in the hospital as well.
Do I need to get an anesthetic for the fat injection procedure?
Fat injection is performed under local anesthesia in both the donor site and the recipient site. The patient can be sedated if necessary. If a sedative is given, you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
What should I expect after the procedure?
The duration of fat infections varies greatly from patient to patient. For the majority of patients, at least half of the injected fat disappears within 3 to 6 months. Therefore, repeated injections may be necessary.