Age-related changes of the face appearance are caused mainly by atrophy of its fat compartments. Lack of skin support results in its laxing and gradual drooping, creating folds. Fat tissue transplant allows to restore the lost tissue volume, giving a spectacular rejuvenating effect to the skin. It is also applied to enlarge lips or enhance cheeks, also in young patients. The procedure can be indicated as supplementary to other procedures, such as blepharoplasty or face lifting. Fat tissue graft is dedicated mainly to those who value a natural look.
Autologous fat transfer has many advantages, making it a better solution than hyaluronic acid or other artificial volumizers. First and foremost, it is the patient's own natural tissue. This makes it fully safe and eliminates the risk of an allergic or inflammatory reaction. As opposed to other volumizers, its 100% biocompatibility prevents its complete resorption over time. It allows to reconstruct the atrophic fat tissue of the face with an analogous tissue. Furthermore, the obtained fat tissue graft contains also a fraction of stem cells, having a positive effect on the surrounding tissues at the administration site. Not only does the graft restore volume and tension of the particular facial regions, but it also improves the blood supply of the facial skin, restoring its glossy, youthful appearance.
In my practice, I recommend using the fat tissue transplant only when it is possible. I recommend volumetric augmentation of the face using hyaluronic acid only when the patient does not possess sufficient own fat tissue resources.
The method can be divided into 3 stages. The first one is obtaining the fat tissue graft, using the liposuction technique, from such areas as the abdomen, thighs or love handles. Fat is obtained using special cannulas introduced through a small, several millimetres long skin incision, usually hidden in the natural body grooves or in the umbilicus. The second stage consists in preparation of the obtained lipoaspirate to isolate valuable cellular fractions. The final stage consists in fat graft injections in the selected facial regions.
The procedure is little invasive. It can be performed under local or general anaesthesia.
There are many indications for the fat tissue graft in the facial region. Interest in this procedure is growing among young people who wish to enhance their lips, cheeks or improve the appearance of their skin. An additional benefit of this method is body shaping due to removal of excess fat tissue.
Estimation of potential results is possible after specialised physical examination, taking into consideration the skin texture and tension, location and depth of wrinkles as well as thickness of the subcutaneous layer of the particular facial regions. During the consultation, I discuss the essence of the procedure and expected results with the patient in detail.
After the surgery, the patient remains under care of qualified medical personnel. The patient is usually discharged on the same day.
Post-operative pain ailments are mild and can be treated with OTC pain relievers. The graft site remains swollen in the early post-operative period. It usually subsides in the first week after the procedure.
To maximise the benefits of liposuction, it is recommended that the patient wears compression garment shaping the body for 6 weeks.
Returning to professional and sport activity is possible even after several days, but it is recommended after the facial swelling subsides.
The procedure is little invasive. Liposuction is performed by means of one or several small skin incisions. They are usually made in little visible regions, such as the umbilicus or body grooves. If the post-operative indications regarding wound care are observed, the scars become almost invisible after some time. The fat grafting sites usually leave no visible traces on the face.