Fat Injection, also referred to as fat grafting or fat transplant, provides an alternative to artificial dermal filler materials. When used for volume enhancement for the face, fat injection can reduce wrinkles and creases and fill in areas of lost volume resulting from age, injury, surgery or other causes. Fat injection is also being used to enhance areas other than the face, including the buttocks and breasts. Because this procedure uses the patient’s own fat, there is no risk of rejection or allergic reaction.
Candidates for fat injection are generally healthy, do not smoke and have realistic expectations for improvement. Though fat injection is a very successful procedure, it is often best seen as a complement to other, more current aging face treatments. The best results are often achieved with a combination of fat transfer and a minor surgical procedure.
Dr. Miller and Dr. Steinbrech perform fat injection procedures on an outpatient basis at their JCAHO accredited office-based surgery facility at Gotham Plastic Surgery of New York City. The procedure is typically completed in under an hour and may be performed with local anesthesia. Fat is first harvested from an area of excess on the body, such as the outside of the leg or the stomach. This is performed using a very small cannula and gentle liposuction techniques. The harvested fat is then prepared and reinjected into areas of the face.
There is minimal downtime or recovery associated with fat injection. Some minor swelling or bruising may occur which typically resolves within 48 hours. Most patients experience little discomfort. Work and other normal activities can often be resumed the same or next day.
There is some controversy regarding the duration of results with fat injection. Some claim that the fat can remain for years while others say it only lasts for a few months.