Restoring volume in the face or areas of the body, such as the breasts or buttocks has become one of the hottest new developments in plastic surgery. It has long been known that a chubbier face has a more youthful look. Think of your friends who have lost weight - their bodies look terrific but their faces look older. We now have a technique that directly addresses this problem. I have been using modern fat injection techniques for over 15 years and have found that the results are very long lasting. The idea that the injected fat eventually disappears can be true if the surgeon uses methods, which are too harsh, or if the fat has been stored under refrigeration. When fat is properly transferred, it is the ideal filler - soft, natural, long lasting, and has a zero risk of allergic reaction! I believe that as people become more aware of microfat injection, it will become one of the most popular plastic surgical techniques.
Microfat injection is done as a formal surgical procedure in my private clinic as day surgery. Except for very minor adjustments, it usually requires a general anesthetic. It involves taking fat from tummy or hips, concentrating it in a sterile centrifuge, and injecting it into areas of hollowness. The cheeks and lips are two of the most common areas of the face that can become thinned and hollow. Enhancing the volume of these areas gives a younger, smoother look that appears totally natural. After surgery, there is swelling and some bruising, so most patients need 5 to 7 days to stay home and recover until they look presentable. The transplanted fat stabilizes in its new location and after 2 to 3 months.
Other body areas can be treated as well as the face. Depressed scars, flat buttocks or irregularities from injuries can often be significantly improved. One application that is getting more and more attention is the use of miocrofat injections for breast enhancement. Patients who would like a larger breast size but who are not comfortable with the idea of implants can enhance their volume using microfat injections. Not everyone is suitable for this. Patients need enough extra body fat to transfer to the breasts, so very slim women can’t have this done. The amount of size increase is modest – about half a cup size – so anyone who wants a bigger look either has to do several stages for fat injection or think about using breast implants.
Another concept that is becoming more widely appreciated is the correction of contour problems for women who have had breast biopsies or mastectomies. The injection of one’s own body fat with the microfat technique can provide a very natural replacement for breast tissue that has been removed. It is particularly good in areas that have had previous radiation treatment.
Buttock enhancement is seeing a tremendous increase in popularity. In my opinion, microfat injection to build up buttock volume and shape is the best way to achieve a natural, full, “Brazilian” look. As with breast augmentation, patients must have enough extra body fat to use for the procedure to be done successfully.
Microfat injection is a very safe, conservative technique. No foreign materials or implants are used, so there is no risk of a reaction or allergy. My main concern is just preventing infection so we always use antibiotics for a few days after surgery to be extra careful.
After surgery, most patients have some soreness and may need pain medication, which is prescribed. The donor site is usually a bit bruised and tender. The area that received the fat also swells. If fat has been placed in the face, social engagement will be awkward for the first week so I advise my patients to book off for a week to heal and recover. After their check up visit one week after surgery, some swelling may persist but patients may return to their normal daily activities. I do recommend that they avoid the gym for a few more weeks until all bruising and swelling has resolved. We take our post-op photos about 3 months later when the healing process is fully complete. After that, the new contour is stable and the transplanted fat lives in its new location permanently.
Visit Dr. Carman's focused fat injection website.