Why fat grafting?
Fat grafting is a versatile procedure which can be used to achieve a multitude of outcomes.
Face lifting and adding volume
As we age, our skin loses its support structures like collagen and elastin. This causes the skin to sag as it succumbs to gravity. The loss of these support structures also causes the face to lose volume. The combined effects make the jowls, wrinkles and hollows in our face much more visible, giving the distinctive “tired” appearance associated with old age.
By grafting fat from other parts of the body to the face, the lost volume of the skin can be filled out. This has both a lifting and volumetric effect on the face, hiding jowl lines, wrinkles and hollows in the face. Overall, this provides a younger, more radiant appearance.
Facial recontouring and sculpting
Some individuals may be unhappy with their current face shape, even if there are no signs of aging. By strategically injecting fat into specific parts of the face, it can be sculpted into a more desirable shape. Fat grafting can be used to shape the cheeks, jawline, nose, and generally any areas on the face which are suitable for filler injection.
Tissue material for other plastic surgery procedures
Many plastic surgery procedures can be complemented with fat grafting to achieve a more well-rounded result. Fat can be used to help smooth out sharp, unnatural lines and edges in the face if required. This is especially helpful in large scale plastic/facial reconstruction surgeries.
Complementary procedure with liposuction
Usually, the fat extracted from liposuction is discarded after the procedure. However, patients may opt to utilise these fat cells for fat grafting, possibly at a reduced cost. Hence, individuals considering liposuction may want to include fat grafting in their considerations as well.
Procedure of Facial Fat Grafting
Fat grafting is carried out in several steps. Firstly, fat will be extracted from a suitable part of your body using a liposuction vacuum. The extracted fat is then purified before it is injected under your skin at strategic points on your face or other areas of concern. The doctor may massage your face at this stage to properly distribute the injected fat before it settles. You may be asked to rest at the clinic for a short duration for observation, after which you can be discharged.
Local or general anaesthesia will be administered for the procedure as required.
Fat grafting, unlike liposuction, is generally much safer as only a small amount of fat is extracted.
Some possible complications include:
- Infection and inflammation
- Injection of fat into blood vessels, clogging them and leading to necrosis
- Damage of nerves, leading to temporary or permanent numbness/loss of sensation
- Rarely, the cannula may puncture an internal organ. This requires immediate surgery repair.
These complications are rare, and usually a result of poor technique. Be sure to approach a skilled and experienced doctor for your fat grafting procedure.