Fat grafting is an excellent method for the long-term enhancement of facial volume. It is well recognized that loss of volume is a part of the aging process. Restoring that lost volume is accomplished by adding volume to the face with solid or injectable implants. Using your own (autologous) fat for facial augmentation has the advantages of providing long lasting correction with living tissue that comes from your own body. For patients who need a considerable amount of volume enhancement, using fat can also be more economical than injectable filler products.
The fat grafting procedure starts by harvesting fat from a donor site, usually the abdomen or flanks. The fat is then specially processed under sterile conditions to remove fluid, oils and blood cells, leaving pure fat graft which can be made into micro- or nano-fat. This is then reinjected as needed for facial augmentation with blunt cannulas, much as an injectable filler may be used. An additional benefit of fat grafting is that the purified fat is rich in stem cells and growth factors, which can help to improve skin quality.
Most patients can have fat grafting procedures done in the office under local anesthesia and some mild sedation. There is usually a few days of swelling and mild bruising so there is some recovery time but the long-term results are worth the minimal downtime.