Facial fat grafting, also known as facial fat transfer or facial fat injections, is as much an art as it is a science.
There are three stages in fat injections procedure – Proper harvesting, Gentle processing and Meticulous injection technique.
The fat has to be aspirated properly from the donor site because higher pressure suction disrupts and kills a certain percentage of fat cells.
The harvested fat is then transferred to smaller syringes where it is then put in a centrifuge to be spinned to separate fluid and contents of dead and disrupted cells from the remaining live cells. The surgeon then separate 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.
The fat has to be injected properly in order for those tiny cells to be able to receive nutrients from the surrounding blood vessels (capillaries) to grow and become healthy cells. This is a very painstaking and slow process because if you inject a lot at a time, many cells will not survive.
The post operative period is as important as the surgery and you are 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.
Patients will be able to return to work within a week although a full recovery from the fat injections may take up to two weeks.
Fat graft benefits
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.
After the facial fat graft I feel younger again without any wrinkles.