As people age, the skin of the face and hands becomes thinner. As early as their thirties, individuals can start to see thinner cheeks and less volume around the eyes. The face naturally loses the roundness of youth over time. Volume can be restored to the face with fat injections.
Fat injections can be used to correct scars and indentations in the skin, as well as restore plumpness to a thinning face. Autologous fat injections are an effective way to restore volume to the under eye area, laugh lines, cheeks, and forehead.
The best source of fat is the patient’s own body. Using one’s own fat is called autologous fat transfer. Autologous fat has no risk of infection like synthetic fillers. The body readily accepts its own fat in the new location.
Fat is inserted into the skin through a series of microinjections. Very small amounts are injected into each location. Distributing the fat in this way promotes uniform results across the desired area and makes it easier for the body to assimilate the small pockets of fat. This method ensures that the grafted fat receives adequate blood flow.
Fat injections are a less invasive way to treat thinning skin. Face lifts work by pulling lose skin tighter, but this procedure leaves scars and has a long recovery period. Fat injections do not leave scars. The injection sites may be red and tender for a few hours.
An added benefit of fat grafting of the face is that the tone and texture of the skin seems to improve over time. This effect has not been fully studied but it is believed to be due to stem cells within the transferred fat.
Fat injections can also be used to rejuvenate the hands. Just like the face, the skin on the hands tends to become thin with age. A series of injections to the hands restores fullness to the skin.
In addition to the face and hands, fat grafting can be performed on the breasts and buttocks. The process is essentially the same. Fat injections can add up to one cup size to the breasts. Fat grafting can make augmented breasts look more natural, especially in very thin women.
Fat injections in the buttocks add fullness. Fat may be taken from the hips or abdomen to inject into the buttocks.
The results of fat injections may not be permanent. Some of the fat will be absorbed by the body. The longevity of the remaining fat varies with each patient and is dependent upon where the fat was injected.