In modern society, fat has been deemed “evil.” From obesity to clogged arteries leading to heart attacks fat, has a negative connotation. The truth is that fat has very important properties and functions. It is essential in metabolism, serves as an energy store, provides hormones and is a rich source of stem cells. Also, it is fat that produces the curves associated with a beautiful and sexy figure.
In the world of aesthetics and cosmetic surgery fat is often used as a filler. As we age, volume is lost from our face, which leads to an older, sad or droopy appearance. While other alternatives such as hyaluronic acid fillers are available, fat provides a stem cell rich option. Fat is obtained through liposuction of another area of the body, usually from the lower abdomen or inner thighs. The fat is processed, concentrated and then re-injected into the areas where more volume is desired.
Fat transfer to the face can be used to smooth lines related to volume loss, such as the parenthesis folds around the mouth, sleep lines and/or marionette lines. Fat transfer to the face can also be used to improve the hollow appearance of sunken eyes and to replace volume lost from the cheeks or lips. Because there is usually no scarcity of fat, the amount obtained in one session is sufficient to improve all of the desired areas.
The face is not the only part of the body that can be treated with a fat transfer. As we age or if we lose weight, our hands progressively change from a full, young look to a more “bony” appearance where the tendons and veins become more pronounced. Fat transfer to the hands replaces that lost volume, decreasing the appearance of tendons and veins and providing a much more youthful look.
Scars and skin depressions can also be improved with fat transfer. The increase in volume lifts the skin, resulting in a smoother look.
As we can clearly see, fat is not as bad as it has been made out to be. It is one of the best (if not the best) sources for volume restoration and correction for many areas of the body. It is obtained from a patient’s own body, so there is no risk of allergic reaction or rejection.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks and possible complications associated with both obtaining and transferring fat. Be sure to speak with a physician who has had training specifically for this procedure and has performed the procedure many times.