Wrinkles begin to appear as collagen and elastin fibers in the skin break down.
This breakdown can also be attributed to excessive squinting, frowning and smiling. Some injectable fillers pose an allergic risk, but fat transfer is widely used because the injected substance is taken from your own body.
Fat transfer (also called autologous fat transfer or micro-lipoinjection), fills facial features with a patient’s own fat. Since the fat comes from your own body, you cannot develop an allergic reaction. Fat transfer to the face is a safe procedure designed to recontour the face and provide definition to cheeks, chin, lips and lower eyes. The fat used for fat transfer is liposuctioned from another part of your body like the abdomen or thighs and injected into another area that requires plumping.
Injected fat lasts longer in larger areas of non-movement, so while it is successful for the correction of grooves under the eyes and sunken cheeks. It is not as successful for creating fuller lips. Fat grafting can also correct atrophic aging of the hands.
Not every area of the body responds well to fat transfer. Fat cannot be injected into the breasts, for instance, because this makes it very difficult to detect breast cancer with mammograms.
When fat grafting is performed, both the area from which the fat is taken and the treatment site are anesthetized with a local anesthetic. Using a small needle attached to a syringe, fat is removed from a donor site where your fat is most tightly packed, such as your abdomen. Once removed, your fat is processed to remove excess fluids and then reinjected using another needle, which is placed just under your skin beneath the wrinkle. This process may be repeated until the desired correction has been achieved.
Swelling is expected after fat injection and discomfort following the procedure can be easily controlled with medication. There may also be some bruising. Over the first few months your body will absorb about 65% of the fat. The remaining 35% will usually stay in place. For longer lasting results, patients usually receive three or four treatments over six months.