Fat grafting to the face is one of the best ways to rejuvenate your face to a more youthful look. After my 62nd birthday in 2012 I decided my face could do with a little rejuvenation.
In late November, my husband accompanied me to RE-Plastic surgery clinic to surrender myself to the skillful hands of the Plastic surgeon Dr. Yap Lok Huei. I decided to have the Fat injections procedure under local anaesthetic. Why you may ask…
I have a mission. First I wanted to experience every step of the procedure so that I can share it with whoever is interested in getting this natural facial rejuvenation using our own fat. Secondly I wanted to know how much pain I will experience. Call me crazy but I did it!
Fat injections also known as fat grafting is one of the best ways to rejuvenate our face. This procedure is suitable for both male and female patients who are experiencing a loss of volume in the face. Fat injections can restore the volume to your face and considered a natural way to make you more youthful.
There are several ways fat injections can be used to help with facial rejuvenation:
1. Eliminate or reduce bags in the lower eyelids.
2. Substitute for cheek implants if you are seeking a higher profile in your cheeks.
3. Increase general volume in the mid face area with a natural distribution of fat which I had done.
4. Lip augmentation (fuller lips) by injecting with your own fat which I had done to my lower lip.
5. Chin can be more defined using your own fat which I had done.
How long do fat grafts last?
Fat grafts are permanent if done correctly. This is because of the way fat is harvested and the choice of sites for harvesting fat are crucial to the success of any fat injection procedure
Fat injection procedure
There are three stages in fat injections procedure – Proper harvesting, Gentle processing and Meticulous injection technique.
The fat has to be aspirated properly because higher pressure suction disrupts and kills a certain percentage of fat cells. For this reason, most surgeons including Dr. Yap uses manual syringe technique, because the pressure generated by a syringe is much lower than that generated by a suction machine.Gentle processing
The harvested fat is then transferred to smaller syringes where it is then put in a centrifuge. The centrifuge has to spin long enough to separate fluid and contents of dead and disrupted cells from the remaining live cells, but not so long as to disrupt live cells. Dr. Yap then separated the live fat cells from the body fluid and contents of disrupted cells by a decanting process which does not touch the live cells. What is left is a slurry of almost 100% live cells.
Meticulous injection technique
The fat has to be injected properly in order for those tiny cells to be able to receive nutrients from the surrounding tiny blood vessels (capillaries) to grow and become healthy cells. If you inject a thick wad of fat cells, the cells in the center of the wad will starve before the blood vessels reach them. Thus the fat grafts have to be injected with very fine needles in small quantities. This is a very painstaking and slow process. If you inject a lot at a time, many cells will not survive.
Post operative care
The post operative period is as important as the surgery and I was advised to be very gentle with the face for at least four weeks after surgery. Once the fat grafts are in place, they are not likely to take root if they are being treated rough. You want to keep those grafts completely free of pressure until blood vessels grow into them and until those vessels are hardy enough to withstand any pressure such as salon facial treatment that can cause swelling of the face. When there is swelling, oxygen delivery and evacuation of toxins are impaired. This in turn reduces likelihood of fat graft cell survival.
Regenerative properties of your own fat tissue
In addition to making your facial structure look younger, fat injections can also improve your skin. More than a decade ago, researchers discovered that your own adipose tissue contains adult stem cells. These are cells found in your own fat that have regenerative properties. When the procedure is performed correctly, fat grafting can provide a new source of blood supply for your existing tissue and skin. Thus, the fat not only adds volume to your face, but it also has these natural regenerative properties to make your face look more youthful.
I am a living proof!
Please contact me if you are interested in this procedure.