Fat transfer is a two—step facial rejuvenation treatment. The first step is to remove the unwanted fat, typically from the hips, thighs, buttocks or abdomen. However, fat can removed from anywhere on the body. Using a local anesthetic, the area where the fat is being removed from is desensitized. Then, a small cannula attached to a syringe is placed under the skin. It is gently and systematically moved back and forth as the fat fills the syringe. A nurse then purifies the fat and transfers it into another syringe with an extra small cannula for injecting.
The fat injections are performed using a topographical map layering technique (Figure 1 to the right) developed by board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dominic Brandy, MD. With the topography map, the smallest circle indicates the highest point and the largest circle indicates the lowest point. The fat is layered into the different circles, creating the desired shape and fullness. Layering the fat also guarantees the highest rate of fat retention. Typically, 50 percent of the injected fat is retained, therefore the injected area is overfilled by 25 percent to ensure optimal results.
Fat transfer is the most natural dermal filler as the fat is harvested from the individual''s own body. Fat grafting offers some of the most lasting results once the fat injection treatments have been completed.
Stem Cell Assisted Fat Transfer
Stem cell assisted fat transfer is an optional add-on treatment that patients may elect as part of the Fat Transfer to the face and is highly recommended. Stem cells are present in body fat; the same body fat that is removed during the small liposuction, or fat removal, procedure described above.
When stem cell assisted fat transfer is added to the procedure, twice as much fat is harvested during the fat removal or liposuction procedure. Using a special enzymatic technique, the additional fat that is harvested is purified until all that remains is the stem cells. These stem cells are then added back to the original fat that was removed. The original fat and added stem cells are then injected into the facial area as planned during the consultation process using Dr. Brandy’s proprietary topography technique.
Adding purified stem cells to the fat transfer increases the fat survival rate from approximately 50 percent to 85 percent because the number of stem cells present in the fat has doubled. Another benefit of stem cell assisted fat transfer is there is no longer a need for overcorrection because of the stem cells natural augmentation effect. As a result, stem-cell assisted fat transfer patients experience a less-exaggerated fullness in the initial two-week post-op period. The stem cells also stimulate the development of new blood vessels to the injected fat. Six months after the fat transfer procedure, the fat will have developed a healthy blood supply and will begin to grow — subtly enhancing the volume and fullness of the fat transfer, which will continue six to 18 months following the procedure.
Fat Grafting and Body Contouring
Many people choose to combine fat transfer to the face with liposuction surgery to remove a larger amount of unwanted fat from the belly, love handles, flanks or back.
Cosmetic surgery or body contouring procedures may include:
However, it is not necessary to have a significant amount of fat or a body contouring procedure to remove fat for fat transfer to the face.