The problem of depressed scars, deep creases, and unsightly facial and body contours can now be treated in a revolutionary and yet very natural way. A relatively new technique of transplanting one's own fat cells from one area of the body to another is now available. This procedure is extremely safe, as only the patient's own fat cells are used. There is no chance of rejection or allergic reaction. Deep glabellar creases, cheek folds, creases under the eyes, facial depressions, and the skeletal look can all be improved and, at times, eliminated. Cosmetic surgeons are increasingly recognizing that the aging process is not only a result of sag and loss of elasticity but also a result of loss of youthful fullness due to fat loss under the skin. Fuller more youthful lips and brows, stronger cheeks, eyelids that are natural and youthful, improved jaw lines, and facial contours can be attained with fat transfer.
Body lines can be changed dramatically with fat transfer. Augmentation of the buttocks combined with liposuction can make a dramatic and pleasing new shape. Breast augmentation with fat can be accomplished but is not often performed due to concerns with mammography accuracy after fat transfer to the breasts.
Local anesthetic is injected into the donor site from which the fat cells are to be removed, as well as into the recipient site. A special needle is used to remove the fat, and then it is re-injected into the area of need. Since not all of the transplanted fat cells survive, we over-augment the area by about 20 percent.
There Is More To It
How long does the transplant last? There is every indication that fat transplanted from one part of the body is able to permanently live in another part of the body. One can generally expect a 40 to 70 percent survival rate of the fat we re-inject into those problem areas. Uncommonly, lower survival rates of fat are observed. This is in marked contrast to fillers which are completely re-absorbed in four to 12 months. Depending upon the area and type of fat transfer, extra fat is harvested at surgery and stored in cold storage. This can then be transplanted 12 weeks after the first procedure and then again 12 weeks later, if needed. This technique can, in certain instances, increase the survival rate of the fat cells and improve the overall result.