Fat transfers are changing the face of plastic surgery.
While plastic surgeons have long been extracting fat from the stomach or thighs to inject into breasts and buttocks, the latest trend is to use similar techniques to add a youthful fullness to the face.
Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, helps to revitalize and rejuvenate skin quality while adding fullness to the injection site. Surgeons remove a patient’s own fat from a donor location and inject it into a spot that could benefit from some volume. Increasingly, fat transfers are accompanying facelift procedures to increase volume in such areas as the cheeks, lower eyes, and temples.
The procedure is gaining in popularity with the number of facial fat transfers increasing by 16 percent between 2017 and 2018, the most recent data available from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. There were
The procedure involves using liposuction to remove fat from areas that won’t miss it. Once collected, the fat cells are separated to concentrate healthy fat to provide the best results. That refined fat is then injected into the face in areas that can enhance a more youthful appearance.
Plastic surgeons utilize injectable fillers, such as JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® XC or Sculptra® Aesthetic, to add cheek volume, which can last up to two years with optimal treatment. But fat transfer may have longer-lasting results for patients with age-related midface volume loss.
While fat grafting in the face has been increasing in popularity, it is often used in other parts of the body. While it is an option in breast augmentation for women looking for an increase in breast size, it is also used in the buttocks for people wanting volume added to their bottom cheeks. For breast augmentation, fat transfers are used to accomplish smaller volume increases compared to enlargement with breast implants. To provide a more natural appearance, plastic surgeons often use fat transfers to supplement breast implant surgery.
There are other uses for fat transfer, as well. Fat grafting is used to comfort prostheses for amputees and it can be added to aging hands and feet to improve appearance and reduce pain.
Anyone interested in a fat transfer to their face, or any other area of the body, should schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to explore whether they are a good candidate and develop a tailored plan. To find a plastic surgeon near you, search by zip code within our directory.