How Fat Grafting Revolutionized Facial Aging Treatment?
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how fat grafting revolutionized facial aging treatment

How Fat Grafting Revolutionized Facial Aging Treatment?

Fat grafting, or fat transfer, has transformed facial rejuvenation and defied the aging process by providing a natural and long-term solution for filling areas of volume loss and depression in the face.

Over the past few decades, fat grafting has gained massive popularity among celebrities and the general population due to its promising results and long-lasting effects. On a broader scale, we can categorize various facial aging stages and the most suitable treatment approaches into three categories.

  1. The development of age spots, wrinkles and broken blood vessels on the surface of the skin comes under the first stage of facial aging. The best option to treat category-1 facial aging signs is laser surfacing. It smoothes out the wrinkles and the fine lines and removes dead cells.
  2. Sagging of the skin or losing its elasticity is categorized under the second stage of facial aging. Traditional surgical procedures, such as a facelift, brow lift, neck lift, removal of excess and droopy upper eyelid skin, are some of the appropriate treatment strategies to manage the second-category aging face.
  3. The third category of facial aging is when the skin starts showing signs of atrophy (the hollowing or shrinking of the face). This usually starts after 50 and comprises most volume and fat loss. While traditional facelift procedures are effective and have a definite place in anti-aging regimes, the new paradigm proposes non-traditional procedures, such as fat grafting, for better and long-lasting effects. This lifting- and excisional-based intervention is said to rejuvenate the face by filling hollow spaces and plumping up the sunken cheeks through fat transfer.

What Is Fat Grafting Or Fat Transfer?

what is fat grafting or fat transferFat grafting is known by many names such as fat transfer and fat injection. It is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses small needles to extract fat from fat-rich sites of the body (belly, thighs, buttocks) to graft it to the hollow and sunken areas of the face.

It adds fat tissue to facial skin and restores facial volume that has been lost through the years. This process of adding fat to the face is particularly beneficial on many counts.

First, it helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles, remove the deep skin grooves, fill the hollow cheeks, and remove forehead creases. Second and most important, the newly grafted fat blood supply from the nearby vessels stimulates the natural production of collagen – the building block of skin.

Moreover, fat grafting is a sculpting method to soften bony features and create a more plump and balanced appearance.

Will My Face Look Fat After A Fat Transfer?

Some patients may consider fat grafting counterintuitive as it adds more fat to seemingly fatty cheeks or heavy jawline. Moreover, those who feel they already have a fat face often perceive it as a very negative response.

However, it is worth spending some time and effort to explain the revolutionary fat grafting procedure to the patient and how it helps regain a youthful appearance by extracting and implanting natural fat tissue.

For example, instead of seeing droopy eyelids, look from the perspective that it is not the excess fat but the bony orbital rim that becomes more prominent due to aging.

Another noteworthy point is that a skilled plastic surgeon would position the fat at strategic places to improve the facial contours, fill in unwanted creases, create a lifting effect, and not make the face look fatter.

But If I Already Have Eye Bags, Won’t Adding More Fat Make It Worse?

Some patients remain unconvinced even after briefing them about the procedure and its effects. For such people, giving them an idea through their old and recent photographs is one of the best ways to explain things.

Patient’s old photographs would definitely show a more youthful face and possibly a glimpse to the past before the onset of eye bag concerns. Point out where there is a lack of facial volume on the cheeks, eye area, forehead and laugh lines.

This simple exercise is a great way to observe the aging effects on one’s face and identify specific areas which can benefit greatly from fat injection and how it is used to restore a more youthful facial contour.

Fat Grafting Vs Eye Bag Removal

Many of the traditional techniques such as facelifts are being performed to correct facial asymmetry and remove sagging skin. However, nowadays, plastic surgeons prefer to combine such techniques with fat transfer to enhance results, decrease facial aging, and reduce the chances of side effects.

Such hybrid procedures have allowed for micro-excision and cutting of the skin, thus allowing for better and more natural results compared to traditional interventions. For example, aggressive blepharoplasty produces a bonier, rounder look for the patients with almond-shaped eyes.

Whereas, when the same blepharoplasty procedure is combined with minimally-invasive fat transfer technique, the result is less rounded and a much more youthful look.

The sunken look of the aged midface greatly affects the natural look of the eyes. It contributes significantly to the tired and baggy appearance of the eyes. Fat grafting allows great precision when it comes to volumizing the cheek into a fuller, rounder contour and allows the face to look more pleasing and the eyes to look more refreshing and rejuvenated.

Fat transfer covers the exposed or prominent bony prominence, fill the sunken areas and blend them in with the surrounding depressions. This way, it helps achieve a more youthful appearance.

The biggest difference between eye bag removal and fat grafting is that an eye bag surgery’s process – incision, stretching of the skin and positioning skin tissue upward – doesn’t resolve the underlying problem of volume depletion of the mid-face. While skin may appear tauted, volume loss is not replacable without reinstating the presence of fat.

Fat Deposits Differently In Male & Female Facial Structures

It is essential to keep in mind the gender difference. The central frontal cheek is usually the most important region to fill. However, excessive filling may achieve an overly cherubic look and feminize a male face.

Likewise with the side of the cheeks, if filled too aggressively with fat (which can be required in individuals with very heavy low-volume faces) may provide a very masculine look to a female face due to excessively prominent cheekbones.

Trying to balance facial features is the main objective with any facial cosmetic procedure. There has to be balance between different sizes of neighboring facial structures, taking into account the age, gender, and ethnic differences while trying to preserve the unique identity of the person.

Conclusion

The idea of using your very own fat as opposed to foreign or synthetic medical implants, is becoming more and more popular today. Fat grafting brings about natural anti-aging benefits and is ideal for re-volumizing and enhancing facial contours. The key to facial rejuvenation using fat tissues is really in the strategic placement of fats in particular areas of the face that needs volume. If you are considering fat grafting, it is recommended that you speak to an experience plastic surgeon who is well versed on the procedure and find out more about the possible rejuvenation effects you can achieve with fat grafting.