What is Fat Grafting?
Fat Grafting is carried out by eliminating a person’s own fat and implanting it elsewhere on those parts of the body where it is needed. Most commonly targeted areas are the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. The fat removed from these areas is then injected into another region which requires plumping viz. the face. The fat is collected in a syringe and injected into the region where plumping is required. This fat is in the liquid form. The facial regions which appear sunken and creased may be enhanced as a result of Fat Grafting. Furthermore, fat grafting can add fullness to the cheeks & lips. Fat harvesting can also be done by means of Vaser Liposuction.
Ageing Process for the face:
Facial appearance typically alters as age advances. Thinning of skin and loss of muscle tone gives a sagging or flabby appearance to the face. In some individuals, the sagging jowls may give an appearance of a “double chin”.
Fat present in the eyelids gets settled into the eye sockets, which imparts a sunken appearance to the eyes. The lower eyelids can slacken and bags can be formed below the eyes. Weakening of the muscle that supports the upper eyelid can cause the eyelids to droop. This may lead to difficulty in vision.
Ogee Curve: This is the double soft S shaped curves that are visible in a young face from an oblique angle. There is convex fullness in the lateral brow that softly curves where both the eyelids meet, then softly curves outward on the upper cheek to again curve inward just above the mouth.
As ageing takes place, the natural curve disappears – the face loses its volume, and also loses the harmony and grace of the Ogee Curve of youth.
How to correct ageing of the face?
Facial ageing can be rectified using the following:
- Fat grafting
- Facial fillers
How does Fat Grafting help in enhancement of the Face?
Due to ageing, our facial fat starts losing volume and our skin gets drawn downwards. The chin & the mid-face area are the most commonly affected ones. Our cheeks look sunken which causes the entire face to look empty. Our face appears like that of an emaciated person who has lost a significant amount of weight. The youthful appearance can be brought back by volumizing the mid-face using fat transplant; where the fat can be taken from various parts of the body like abdomen, inner thighs, buttocks, etc. This may help in making your face look more healthy and glowing. This can bring back the added years of your life which were taken away by ageing.
Fat Grafting is an alternative treatment option for implants and fillers for chin augmentation.
When will you know if you need Fat Grafting?
- When some areas on your face appear creased and shrunken
- When you wish to improve your body contour, fill bodily depressions, revise scars & rejuvenate your face
- When facial fillers are not sufficient enough for correcting facial areas that appear sunken
- As we age, the facial fat (over chin, cheek bones) draws down and becomes loose. Fat Grafting can rectify this to certain extent.
Fat Transfer is carried out under local anaesthesia. It is a minimally invasive procedure. No hospital stay would be required since it is a walk-in walk-out procedure.
What are the merits & demerits of Fat Grafting?
1. Fat Grafting is cheaper
Fat Grafting is not predictable.
2. Fat Grafting contains your own tissue to be grafted in an area elsewhere on the body where plumping is needed.
Fat Grafting can disappear.
Fat Grafting can become lumpy.
Fat Grafting can become bulky if you put on weight.
This method allows the fat from the body to be removed by suction. Blunt-tipped, thin, tiny tubes (cannula) are introduced through tiny incisions in the skin. Using these cannulas, the fat is suctioned out.
Liposuction is an outpatient procedure and is carried out in a well equipped healthcare centre.
What are the alternative treatment options available?
Using Dermal fillers is the best line of treatment rather than going for Fat Grafting. These filler injections are a type of cosmetic treatment which result in smoothing of wrinkles or pitted scars in the skin, generally on the face. Facial fillers are genetically engineered products like hyaluronic acid, collagen and calcium hydroxyl apatite that revitalize facial skin by decreasing and eliminating facial lines and wrinkles, raising scar depressions, enhancing lips (lip augmentation). These facial injections also help in replacing soft tissue volume loss.
Different types of Facial fillers are available; each of them serves a different purpose such as lip enhancement and wrinkle reduction. A qualified medical professional can help you in knowing what injectable fillers would be best suited for you. Hyaluronic acid is the basic, natural element of your skin’s collagen. It is the natural filler substance in your body. Hyaluronic acid fillers viz. Perlane, Restylane, Juvederm (Juviderm, Juvaderm) are artificially produced with the help of recombinant technology and then injected from outside the mouth just beneath the facial folds which impart a younger look to the face by replacing the volume lost.
Facial Fillers – Different uses:
- Dermal fillers are used in case of cheek augmentation as well. These are injected in the cheekbones, chin and cheeks. Juvederm Voluma with Lidocaine is the latest injectable filler, specially designed for areas like cheek bones & chin where volume is needed to be created. These require very less downtime, allowing patients to resume their normal activities & work immediately after the treatment.
- In case of under-eye dark circles, hyaluronic acid fillers are used for for filling the region under the eye. This can impart a new and younger look to the mid-face. Filler is injected using a tiny needle into the space directly above the bone and then keep massaging till it becomes smooth and even.
In summary, Fat grafting for the face is just NOT recommended since it is very risky and can be hazardous for the face, in terms of appearance. Facial fillers serve as the best treatment in order to reduce wrinkles, fine lines and signs of ageing. Though it is a temporary solution, it is the most trusted one. But at the same time, make sure you opt for the BEST Facial Plastic Surgeon who is highly skilled at injecting Dermal fillers. If you have chosen the best surgeon, undoubtedly you WILL get the best outcomes!
Dr. Debraj Shome a top facial plastic plastic surgeon, he is in Mumbai, India at Saifee Hospital, Girgaon, Mumbai; Nova Specialty Hospital, Chembur, Mumbai & Holy Family Hospital, Bandra, Mumbai. Internationally trained in the USA, UK, Germany and Singapore, Dr. Shome has received super-specialty training in facial plastic surgery, eyelid surgery, oculoplastic surgery, orbital and lacrimal surgery. Dr. Shome is one of the few Indian surgeons listed on Wikipedia.