When in trusted and experienced hands, injectable fillers are a fabulous tool for improving the visible signs of aging. Did you know, however, that when it comes to fillers you can use your very own unwanted fat deposits, instead of a synthetic ingredient, via a procedure called fat transfer?
Fat transfer is essentially taking fat from one area via liposuction and moving it to another part of the body. Although injectable fillers, particularly those comprising hyaluronic acid, are the most popular go-to for smoothing fine lines as well as restoring lost volume in the face and hands, in some instances, fat transfer offers unique advantages. First of all, by using a patient’s own fat rather than injectable fillers you can achieve results that are long-lasting. Also, as the fat is the patient’s own tissue, it’s completely natural and there’s virtually no risk of reaction. Finally, most patients like the fact that fat transfer requires taking fat from an area where it’s unwanted—such as the abdomen, hips or thighs—so the “donor” area’s appearance improves as well as the area where the fat is placed.
The techniques used for fat transfer have advanced in recent years, and expert doctors can now optimize the amount of fat that “takes” through careful pre-transfer processing and actual placement. In general, fat transfer can basically replace any brand or type of injectable filler used for rejuvenation. Once fat is removed from the abdomen, flanks or thighs, it can be used to enhance the contours of the cheeks, chin, under-eye area, lips, nasolabial folds, marionette lines and upper eyelids. Another common area that benefits from fat transfer is the hands. One of the most widespread signs of aging on the hands is increased visibility of bones and veins, due to the loss of fat over time. Although injectable fillers can be used to restore the “padding” that hides these underlying structures, fat transfer can provide longer-lasting, natural rejuvenation that helps turn back the clock on the appearance of the hands.
That said, there are other cosmetic procedures where fat transfer offers terrific advantages.
Aside from addressing the signs of aging, fat transfer can be used in breast augmentation surgery and for the frequently requested Brazilian butt lift. Fat injections to the breasts can provide a modest volume boost as well as better symmetry, while the fat transfer procedure is an effective option for enhancing the size and shape of the buttocks without the need for implants.
Though it is possible to use fat transfer in a range of cosmetic and surgical procedures, it’s important to understand that this is a technique-dependent procedure that requires a surgeon who has extensive experience performing fat transfer, and a proven track record for achieving natural-looking, long-lasting and safe results.