Fat Injection New York City
Fat injections are an excellent alternative to other fillers to help reduce or eliminate wrinkles and provide greater volume and contour to facial structures. Fat can be injected ln all layers of facial tissues – deeply to add to the projection or of bone and reduce sagging that occurs with age and more superficially to reduce wrinkling.
Since fat comes from the patient’s own body, so there’s no chance of an allergic reaction or rejection. As such it is referred to as an ‘autograft’. By its very nature, its softness is transmitted to the areas where it is injected giving a smooth, fuller softer look.
Fat injection is used in patients who do not want to have man-made materials injected into their bodies, have multiple allergies that are unpredictable, have had a negative past experience with other fillers or require high volume correction of defects.
The most common area for fat injection is the face, usually the cheeks, jaw line, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines. Other areas are deformities and depressions from scars, poorly done liposuction, breast enlargement and buttock enhancement. The latter procedures are more involved, requiring high volumes of fat transfer and are usually done under deep sedation, anesthesiologist monitoring and longer recovery times.
Fat is one of the best choices of material when injections are needed in deeper layers of tissue larger volumes (greater than 5cc). However, unlike other materials, fat is not as predictable in its duration as other synthetic materials such as the Hyaluronic acid fillers [Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, Voluma]. The natural history of fat that is injected is that some, if not all, may be absorbed slowly over time and it cannot be predicted which patient will retain or resorb more and varies from patient to patient.
In general, 50% of the fat that is injected is absorbed in the average patient within 3-6 months and therefore complete correction is not achieved. Some retain up to 90 % and others retain little to none. If a significant amount is absorbed, a second treatment of injection can be done to complete and achieve a full correction.
A fat injection procedure is usually done under local anesthesia and involves harvesting the fat from another on your own body — most commonly the abdomen or hips. After it is removed in a liposuction fashion, it’s sterility is maintained as it is placed in a centrifuge, a machine hold the tubes of fat and spins at high speed. This separates the fat from surrounding tissues, serum and blood. The fat is then transferred to sterile syringes and injected into the areas needed. In general, multiple and numerous droplets are placed by injection in each area. In the face, depending on the defects to be created, the fat injected first at the deep layers on the bone working upwards to gradually fill and expand tissues in all planes. This gives the most natural result as it incorporates all the deficits that result from aging- loss of bone, atrophy of fat, loss of collagen and elastic tissue.
Following fat injection most patients experience swelling, tenderness, redness and black and blue for the first 24 to 48 hours. Swelling from the procedure will begin to regress after 48 hours with discoloration changing over 7-10 days. However, recovery time will depend on the extent of the procedure and larger corrections will require longer recoveries.
From a practical point of view, resumption of work and social activites can be resumed in 4-7 days.
Since fat injections are a patients own tissue, there is no rejection and complications are very uncommon. Prolonged bruising and swelling, though not a complication per se, can occur. Infection is possible but this is also the case with any other material placed in the body.
Fat injections are done on an ambulatory basis and can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the area of the body, the extend of the need and the volume of fat injected.
A good time to consider fat injections is when a patient has other facial procedures such as a facelift or eyelid surgery. It then adds little time onto the procedure and give the patient the opportunity to assess how successful a fat graft ‘take’ is for them.
When fat injection grafts ‘take’, they can last for many years, if not permanently. In that case, patients do not need to keep up injection procedures as with the man-made materials, where most are clearly not permanent and need to be retreated.