One of the great things about cosmetic surgery is that creating a new look for yourself doesn’t always have to involve something major or drastic. There are several nonsurgical or “nearly nonsurgical” procedures that can achieve a similar look or feel without the need for general anesthesia, big incisions, or a long recovery time. Fat grafting is one of these “nearly nonsurgical” procedures, and it’s pretty amazing what this one procedure can do to benefit you.
What is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting, or fat transfer, involves moving or redistributing the fat that’s already in your body. The fat can be harvested from almost anywhere, though it is generally taken from areas where you already have a decent amount, like your thighs or buttocks. The fat is treated and then re-injected into the body at strategic points.
What Does Fat Grafting Do?
Fat grafting is typically used to reshape, augment, or visually improve the appearance of an area of the body. It is used most often in the face, but it can also be used in the buttocks, a procedure known as a Brazilian Butt Lift. In this procedure, fat transfers can be used to add more volume and round out the shape of the buttocks.
In the face, the fat acts in a similar way to other injectable fillers. The fat grafts add volume to different areas of the body, achieving a variety of different results. Here are a few things that fat grafts can do for your face:
- Change the shape of your nose – Minor bumps and dents can be smoothed out with a little extra fat strategically injected into the nose. If the nose looks a little crooked, fat can also be added to the bridge to visually smooth it out without rhinoplasty surgery.
- Smooth out wrinkles around the mouth and eyes – Adding volume underneath wrinkles can help smooth them out and improve their appearance. This isn’t as effective on really deep wrinkles, but for smaller ones around the mouth and eyes it can be very helpful.
- Add more volume to the area under your eyes – People can develop a hollow or gaunt look about their eyes as they age. Adding fat into this area can add more volume to the face and improve that tired look for a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.
- Plump out your cheeks and chin – These two areas provide a lot of contouring and definition to your face. As you get older, the fat pads in the cheeks start to move downward, causing them to look flat or contribute to a gaunt appearance. Your chin can also become weaker, or it may not have been very prominent to begin with. Fat grafting can help add volume to your cheeks and chin to improve the contour of your face.
Fat grafting can also be used on other areas of the body, but these are the most common applications for the procedure.
What Are Other Benefits of Fat Grafting?
These same improvements to your body can also be accomplished through surgical procedures involving implants or other synthetic materials. In general, these materials are considered safe for patients and produce great results; however, because these materials are foreign to your body, there is a greater chance of rejection or complications resulting from the procedures. With fat grafting, the material used in the graft is a natural product that comes from the same patient, so the procedure has a much lower risk.
Fat transfers are also generally cheaper than other surgical procedures. Using general anesthesia, having a longer surgical period, and a longer recovery period add up to more costs to the patient. With fat transfers, any anesthesia is used locally so the patient can stay awake. Patients are also able to go home sooner and recover faster than they would from a surgical procedure that achieves similar results.
Fat grafting can be beneficial to patients who are considering a surgical procedure but are unsure if they really want to go through with it. Since fat grafting can achieve similar results, it allows patients to get a preview of what they could look like after a surgical procedure. For patients who are planning to or have already had a surgical procedure, fat grafting can be used to help give surgical procedures a touch-up or a boost.
Finally, results from fat grafting are actually quite durable. The body may reabsorb some amount of fat but the remaining fat is usually long-lasting, if not permanent.
Schedule a Fat Grafting Consultation
Dr. Paul Vitenas M.D., F.A.C.S., offers fat grafting for both the face and body at Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery in Houston, TX. For a patient consultation, call (281) 484-0088 or contact him 24/7 here.