Fat Injections For Face Enhancement – How Well Do They Work?

While there are now nine different synthetic injectable fillers for the cosmetic treatment of facial wrinkles and wrinkles, none of them are permanent. Since they are all man-made materials, the body will eventually absorb or break them down, so that their plump effect will dissipate over time. Fat from your own body remains a very appealing injectable filler material with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Because fat is taken from your own body, it is never rejected or causes any foreign body reaction problems. But even though it is your own tissue, its survival after being transferred to a new site by injection is not certain. In fact, the unreliability of maintaining fat injection volume has plagued its use for over 50 years. Today we learned and applied certain techniques that will help improve fat survival after harvest and injection. One thing that is certain is that when it comes to fat graft survival, the face will do better than the rest of the body. This is because smaller amounts of fat are needed and injected, which gives a better chance of restoring blood supply and survival. In addition, the face has a very robust blood supply (better than the neck down), which provides more blood vessels (and therefore oxygen) to starving fat cells that are struggling to survive.

An interesting study of facial fat grafting and how well it survives was published in the July 2008 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal from Spain. In this study, 26 patients with HIV disease were treated with fat injections. HIV positive patients were selected because they usually have a lot of facial waste (fat loss), which makes it easier to determine how fat grafts survived since there is little natural fat in the area. Through CT scans and computer measurements, they were able to show that there was a sustained (up to a year) change in the amount of facial fat after maintaining the injections. This is especially important as the HIV patient has difficulty surviving a fat graft over time as his retroviral drug regimen has already destroyed the patient’s natural fat.

Despite the attraction of fat injection, it has several drawbacks. First and foremost, it cannot be placed in lines and wrinkles in the skin. Fat grafts are thick, viscous materials that must be injected through rather large needles. All synthetic injectable fillers are materials that flow easily through very small needles. Therefore, fat grafts need to be injected under the skin, which makes them good for adding volume and filling in facial areas. Like the synthetic injectable fillers, they can be used to augment the lip and cheek lip grooves. However, they should not be viewed as line and wrinkle treatments as they cannot be applied directly to the skin. Second, fat grafts are not off-the-shelf injectable fillers. They require fat to be harvested, processed, and then injected. This entire process must be done sterile, which means that most of the time they cannot be done in the typical office setting. Because of this, I usually use fat grafts when the patient is undergoing another operation and we can use the area around the operating room. Outside of surgery, I will use synthetic injectable fillers in the office when recovery and an immediate result are most important for the patient.