Facial Fat Grafting

What are the benefits of facial fat grafting?

Most of us are familiar with the concept of removing fat from various areas of our bodies but the idea of adding it seems rather counterintuitive, if not outright insane. Fat grafting, also referred to as fat transfer, autologous fat transfer, liposculpture or fat injection, is a process in which adipose fat is removed from one area of an individual’s body and then injected into another. As odd as this may seem, fat grafting is becoming an increasingly popular technique in the battle to erase the effects of aging seen in the face. 

Benefits of Facial Fat Grafting

Facial fat grafting is used to compensate for the loss of volume in several areas on the face. These include sunken cheeks, lines that form around the eyes and mouth, scarring as a result of acne, as well as sun-damaged areas and lips that have lost their fullness. The addition of the extra fat cells can improve the texture and appearance of the skin in the area it is transferred to. In other parts of the body, fat grafting has proven successful in treating a variety of issues, including wounds, scars, breast tissue damage due to radiation and repairing poorly done liposuction procedures

Fat grafting may seem like a new procedure, but it was actually first performed in 1893 by Gustav Neuber, a German plastic surgeon. He was attempting to repair the scarring created by a bone infection in a patient’s orbital area of the eye and used the fat that he transformed from the patient’s arm to smooth out the area. This was long before the invention of liposuction techniques, however, and it was difficult to extract the fat and maintain its quality. Consequently, it was not until the very end of the 20th century that technology caught up and techniques for the extraction, processing, and injection of the fat were standardized.

Facial Fat Grafting Process

There are basically three steps to the facial fat grafting process. These are:

  • Extraction – inserting a cannula, which is a thin tube used for removing or inserting fluid, and suctioning out a small amount of fat, often from the abdomen or thigh. Local anesthesia is typically used to keep any pain or discomfort to a minimum.
  • Purification – processing by centrifuge.
  • Reinjection – using a cannula to inject the purified fat into the target area or areas.

A major concern during any type of surgery or procedure is that of infection and in cases where anything is being introduced into the body there is always the possibility of the body’s immune system reacting in a negative way. One of the alternate descriptors used to describe this process is autologous fat transfer. Autologous is an adjective that, in this case, means cells that have been obtained from the same individual. This is especially important because, unlike other methods that use fillers made up of synthetic substances, these fats come from the patient and will not cause any sort of allergic reaction. Plus, synthetic fillers tend to not last as long as autologous fat grafts.  

Dr. Brian D. Cohen is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive training in cosmetic/reconstructive plastic surgery and has had years of experience performing a wide array of cosmetic surgery procedures, specializing in procedures of the face, eyes, nose, breast and body and is known for his exemplary and compassionate care by his patients. Knowing that Dr. Cohen has been selected by his peers in Super Doctors for 6 years in a row in 2018 gives you the confidence that he is highly respected for his performance in his specialty.

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