Over time, volume in the face diminishes, leading to hollowed eyes, sunken cheeks or an otherwise sagging or haggard facial appearance. Lipotransfer, also referred to as fat transfer or fat injection, is a very safe procedure in which fat is taken from an area of excess like the hips, thighs or abdomen and then injected into areas of the face to restore a more youthful appearance. Fat injections are a good option for filling in smile lines and jowl lines, plumping the lips, restoring fullness to the cheeks and brightening the eyes. Results are natural and long lasting. Lipotransfer can be used on the entire face.
Candidates for lipotransfer are in good general health and are realistic in their expectations. Fat transfer is often a good alternative to injectable fillers for those seeking a natural, longer lasting result. Patients must have sufficient excess fat to serve as donor fat.
The lipotransfer procedure takes approximately one hour to complete and is often performed with local anesthesia and sedation. Fat is first removed from the donor area using gentle liposuction techniques. Common donor areas include the hips, thighs and primarily abdomen. Once the fat is removed, it is then prepared and injected into the face.
There is minimal downtime or recovery following lipotransfer. The face may appear puffy or swollen at first but this will fade over the course of several weeks. Bruising or redness may also occur. Patients should stay out of the sun until redness and bruising have subsided. There is typically minimal discomfort after lipotransfer, but pain medication can alleviate any discomfort that does result. Work and other normal activities can often be resumed within a few days. The results of fat transfer are variable but in many cases are long lasting.