Non-surgical anti-aging treatments like Botox are now the most common procedures performed in the United States, quickly outpacing surgical procedures like facelift surgery. It's no surprise that many people want to reverse signs of facial aging without incisions. One revolutionary new technique that is quickly catching on is known as facial fat grafting, or fat transfer. This procedure uses your own fat from undesired areas like the buttocks or hips to add facial volume, recreating a youthful and healthy appearance.
As we age, we tend to gain weight on the body while losing fat in the face, which leads to a sunken or gaunt appearance. This is actually the primary reason the face begins to look older, as the under eye area looks volume, along with the temples and cheeks, allowing skin to sag and wrinkle further.
Fat transfer can be done to specific areas of the face like the temples, cheeks, under eye area and elsewhere to restore this lost volume -- without incisions. Facial fat grafting involves harvesting live fat cells from one area of the body, usually the stomach, thighs or flanks, and then processing it before injecting it in very small amounts with a fine needle to improve contour and fullness of the face.
Rather than turning to artificial or natural fillers that typically last anywhere from 6 to 18 months, fat transfer uses your own body and there is no risk of rejection. The transferred fat is also alive and it can produce permanent results, depending on how fast the body can form a new blood supply to the transferred fat.
While fat transfer cannot replace other procedures like a facelift, it can be an excellent complement to achieve better results. The procedure itself takes no more than two hours as an outpatient procedure. Recovery usually takes between one and two weeks, with many patients returning to work after seven days. Bruising and swelling are common, and the face may appear overfilled at first. Some amount of the transferred fat will die and be absorbed by the body, however, to reveal the final results.
The amount of fat that survives the transfer and becomes permanent depends largely on the skill of the surgeon, as this is one of the most technique-dependent procedures performed today. When done improperly, fat grafting can result in bumps or overfilling or underfilling. Always seek out a highly skilled surgeon to perform facial fat transfer for long-lasting and natural results.