Fat transfer, also called autologous fat transplantation or micro-lipoinjection, plumps up facial features with your own fat, and is a popular alternative to other wrinkle treatments. Fat transfer to the face is a safe, natural, non-allergenic procedure, designed to re-contour your face, and can provide definition to your cheeks and chin. It can also be used to correct facial deformitites. Since fat transfer uses your own fat cells, you can never have an allergic reaction, because it’s from your own body.
With fat transfer, it is possible to have fat liposuctioned from your thighs or abdomen for example, and then transferred to any other area of your body. Re-injected fat lasts longer in areas of non-movement, so it is very successful for the correction of sunken cheeks, because this area does not move as often. Fat transfer can also correct the aging of your hands, and any post-surgical and post-traumatic skin defects. Fat can also be transferred to your breasts to improve breast size and shape. However, this procedure will not produce the same dramatic results as with breast implants.
Fat transfer is performed on an outpatient basis. Both the area from which the fat is taken, and the treatment site, is anesthetized with a local anesthetic. Using a small needle attached to a syringe, fat is removed from a donor site, where the fat is most tightly packed, such as the abdomen or the buttocks.
Once removed, the fat is processed to remove excess fluids, and then re-injected using another needle, which is placed under your skin beneath the wrinkle. This process may be repeated until the desired correction has been achieved.
Harvesting the fat cells for reinjection is often performed in conjunction with other procedures, such as liposuction, tummy tuck or facial rejuvenation. When fat is harvested during another procedure, it is often possible to obtain a larger amount of fat, then freeze and store that fat, for future usage when it becomes necessary.