A facial fat transfer, commonly referred to as facial fat injections or facial fat grafting, is a surgical cosmetic procedure during which doctors take fat from one area of the body and transfer it to the face. It's meant to combat the signs of aging, nutrient depletion, and volume loss. As time goes by, the skin around the face loses its elasticity. Gravity pulls the features lower. The body stops producing proteins like collagen. Fat melts away, and bones start to reduce in size. All of this results in volume loss, which becomes most apparent in the nasolabial folds near the nostrils and corners of the mouth, the paranasal area around the nostrils, the lips, under the eyes, and the cheeks. Volume loss emphasizes aging. It makes patients look tired and sunken. The face will sag, and the natural, youthful glow will start to wane. Facial fat transfer can be used to reverse this effect, plumping lips, smoothing wrinkles and lines, bringing life back to the face. It's considered to be a more effective alternative to dermal filler injections, including those which make use of hyaluronic acid and collagen. The body tends to accept its own tissue better than synthetic chemicals or those harvested from somewhere else.
Facial fat transfer operations have several steps. First, the patient receives either a local or general anesthetic. Sometimes the procedure is performed while they are awake, and sometimes they are put to sleep. The fat is then taken from what is known as a "donor site" such as the abdomen, around the belly button, inner or outer thigh, the hips, lower back, or flanks. Often patients and doctors will work together to find a site that they would like to contour, shape, or slim. The fat is harvested through the use of a cannula suction device, which is inserted into a small incision. Once the fat cells have been harvested, they are purified inside a centrifuge. Poor-quality cells are sorted from high-quality ones, and the highest-quality fat is injected into the recipient site on the facial area. Roughly 60% of the fat is accepted by the body, while the rest is metabolized through natural processes. This is considered to be more effective than alternative injections, such as dermal fillers. Fat transfer is prized because it has a two-tiered effect. It can be used to remove fat from the donor site, slimming the target area, before it is used to add volume on the face.