In this method, the body’s natural fat is used instead of a filler. Fat Grafting is used in the following cases:
- Fat Grafting for treating facial asymmetry which is congenital, due to injury or surgery.
- Losing facial fat due to weight loss diets
- Losing facial fat due to aging
- Injecting fat to fill cheeks or eyebags
- Filling laugh lines and wrinkles around the mouth
- Adding volume to breast and buttocks
- Injecting fat to the back of your hand
Losing face volume is one of the most prominent effects of aging. Fillers are a way to curb this problem.
Fat cells required for Fat Grafting are taken from the patient’s own stomach (around the belly button), buttocks, or thighs. After removing and thickening the fatusing the patient’s PRP, the combination is then injected into the desired place.
We must keep in mind that in Fat Grafting, PRP is used as a stabilizer for cells, which means that in the absence of PRP most of the fat cells experience cell death before capillaries are formed and therefore get destroyed.
PRP containing growth factors results in accelerated capillary growth and guarantees longer cell life. Moreover, due to PRP containing activated platelets, the fat cells are trapped in a web-like structure which results in their increased stability.
Nonetheless, some fat cells are lost and the initial volume will be reduced (by approx. 50 percent). The remaining fat cells live and blend with the body’s tissue.
The advantage of injecting fat rather than gel or filler (hyaluronic acid) is that the filling substance is taken from the patient themself as a result, the body will not have a negative reaction towards it.
Another advantage of this method is the fact that the fat cells injected are alive whichreduces the need for re-injection, whereas with gel or filler you must be reinjected every 6-18 months. The fat used in Fat Grafting is soft and flexible therefore it is easier for the doctor to shape it (if needed).
Side effects of Fat Grafting
The most common side effect of Fat Grafting is swelling and bruising of the injected area which will disappear after one or two weeks. Inconsistencies could occur in symmetrical areas due to unequal injection, in such cases reinjection would be needed for repair.
In the case of injecting a large amount of fat into a single area, there is a chance the fat becomes lumpy and obtrusive. If the doctor’s orders are not followed and the filled areas receive pressure it would lead toan uneven distribution of fat and create a bumpy texture.
It must be kept in mind that even pressing a finger could create a bump therefore it is essential that you do not exert any force on it for atleast a week after injecting.
If any main blood vessel is harmed during injection there is the risk of an embolism which could lead to heart failure or stroke.
Medical precautions before Fat Grafting
Fat Grafting does not have an age or gender limit, but it is usually done for individuals above 18 years of age.Before Fat Grafting inform your doctor of your cosmetic operations and medical records, these involve:
- Injecting filler gel
- Having any prostheses
- Any surgery done in the area to be injected
- Consuming drugs that affect platelet aggregation such as aspirin
- History of neurological diseases affecting the face such as bells palsy
- History of fever blister
- Allergies related to penicillins or cephalosporins
- Consumption of any herbal medicine
- History of diabetes
- History of using cortone
- Any medication being used
After operation care
Avoid exerting pressure on the injected area for 7-10 days after injection, it moves the fat and causes deformation.
An ice bag can be used to reduce bruising and swelling in the injected area.
Elevating your pillow to hold your head high when asleep for a few days after injection will accelerate the reduction of swelling.
Avoid sleeping on the face for a week after injection, it is best to prevent your head from moving from side to side by placing two pillows on either side of the head.
In order to speed up the healing process, it is best to avoid doing tasks that require a bent head or exert pressure on the head.
The place the fat is removed from will have one or two stitches that do not require any special care, only showering must be avoided for 24 hours after injection. Visit the doctor after a week to have the stitches removed.
Heavy exercise must be avoided for some weeks but light exercise is permitted after a few days.
To prevent infection antibiotics must be used from before the operation till a week after.