Fat is what gives the face volume, the hallmark of youth. There are three main factors for volume loss: hormonal changes weight loss, and age. As we get older, the mid face and chin loses volume. This is exacerbated by slow collagen production and can make our faces look hallow, sunken and empty. To regain a youthful appearance, volumizing the mid face can be done using a number of different modalities including fat transfer. Volumization can be done by transplanting fat from another part of the body and re-introducing it into the face to help restore volume and reduce the signs of ageing.
Fat transfer is an autologous procedure to help restore facial volume. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done under twilight anesthesia and can take between 1.5 to 3 hours. The fat is removed by liposuction, usually from the lower part of the abdomen or the inner thigh, and is then processed in order to prepare it for re-injection to the face. This prepared fat is then injected into the face with a blunt cannula through small punctures. Because only about 50% of the fat is retained, more fat is placed than anticipated. The fat will settle within the first 2 months but may take up to 6 months to see the end result. You can go home immediately afterwards. There will be some bruising after the procedure that can be covered with make-up for up to 10 days.
Risks and complication include infection, bleeding, skin irregularities, numbness, fat absorption and asymmetry. Antibiotics are used during the procedure to help minimize infection. Bleeding is extremely rare but can occur with any surgery. Skin irregularities can happen when fat is resorbed as fat resorption can be unpredictable. This can be corrected with further injections and treatments.
Fat transfer is an effective way of restoring significant facial volume. It can be used to diminish the appearance of bags under the eyes, restore volume to hallow cheeks and soften facial lines and wrinkles.