Many women believe that they are at their most beautiful around the age of 30. By then, they have a mature look, but the visible signs of aging have not yet manifested. As years advance however, most women experience volume loss to their faces particularly on the jawline, cheeks, and around the eyes. The volume loss causes the skin to be drawn downwards, creating sunken cheeks that add to an aged appearance. Substantial weight loss can also have the same effect. To give women back that fresh healthy look, they opt to undergo facial fat grafting, one of the most novel cosmetic procedures performed by plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeons.
Fat transfer or fat grafting is not exactly a new concept. As early as 1909 there were already reports of fat transfer from the abdomen to correct deficiencies on the cheeks and chin. However, facial fat transfer is a newer development in cosmetic surgery that became more popular in the 80s as a spin-off of liposuction’s popularity.
What is facial fat grafting?
Facial fat grafting or facial fat transfer is a cosmetic surgery procedure that involves the extraction of intact fat tissues from another part of the body such as the thigh or abdomen. This process is called harvesting and is done with a syringe attached to a device called a cannula. A local anesthesia is administered on the harvesting site once it has been thoroughly sterilized. The harvested fat tissues are subjected to refinement/purification to ensure that only undamaged, whole fat tissues are used. During the purification process, fat tissues break off into the following three layers:
- Top layer: oil
- Middle layer: Useful subcutaneous tissue
- Bottom layer: Blood
The final step in the procedure is the transplanting of the fat tissues on specific facial areas such as the chin, cheeks, the area around the nose, lips and eyes that need treatment with the use of a syringe. The whole process could take from 1 to 4 hours and is done on an outpatient basis. After a facial fat transfer, a patient will experience some discomfort with minimal swelling and bruising. But recovery time is relatively short with little or no downtime at all. It is expected that a patient can return to daily normal activities in a few days time.
There is very little risk of rejection or allergic reaction to a fat transfer since the fat tissues implanted on the face came from the patient’s body. But, patients should watch out for some form of infection and other rare complications.
The effect of fat transfer
Facial fat transfer or grafting can also be used to correct skin scarring from acne, add fullness to the cheeks and lips, and plump up hollowed cheeks and other areas of the face. The overall effect of this cosmetic procedure is restoration of that youthful radiance to give the face a healthier glow.