The use of fat grafting to rejuvenate the face is an advanced minimally invasive technique which uses a patient’s own fat taken from another part of the body to restore the face’s youthful appearance. When combined with PRP which incorporates the body’s own stem cells and growth factors, the results can be even more effective and long lasting.
The characteristics of an aging face include dryness and wrinkling of the skin due to sun exposure and loss of elasticity, sagging of the soft tissues due to the effects of gravity, and loss of volume making the face seem haggard and hollow. By means of fat grafting the lost volume is replaced and the face restored to its natural, youthful appearance.
Up until now, a problem with fat grafting has been the tendency of the body to reabsorb some of the transferred fat resulting in a degree of uncertainty as to the final result, however with the advent of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) technology, which employs patient’s own blood cells containing stem cells and growth factors, much of the uncertainty is removed, and the fat cells, stem cells and growth factors work in combination to produce a natural and enduring youthful appearance.
Facial fat grafting can be used to improve the contour of the face, correcting or improving thin or asymmetrical areas of the face, sunken eyelids and tear trough, hollows below the eyes, thinning lips, soft tissues of the chin and cheeks, areas around the temples and jawline, and also facial scars due to acne or trauma.
Mr Rezai explains that “fat grafting procedures are also sometimes referred to as free fat transfer, autologous fat transfer, fat injections and lipofilling. It is a minimally invasive procedure where the patient’s own fat is harvested from an area of the body, typically the abdomen or waist, but sometimes also from the hips or the buttocks, and re-implanted where needed. Although this is most frequently the face, it can also be employed to correct atrophic aging of the hands and post-surgical and post-traumatic defects. However it is important to understand that not every area of the body responds well to fat transfer.”
Mr Rezai goes on to explain that “depending upon the extent of the area being treated, facial fat grafting can be performed under either general or local anaesthetic. It is a minimally invasive procedure resulting in little scarring. The recovery time is also short, meaning that most patients can return to work or other non-strenuous activities the within 4-7 days following their procedure.”
According to Mr Rezai the Facial Fat Grafting with PRP procedure comprises three key parts: “Firstly the harvesting of the fat and preparation of the PRP, with the fat being harvested from regions of the body where it is most tightly packed, such as the abdomen or the buttocks, using a cannula connected to a syringe in a process very similar to that of liposuction. Preparation of the PRP involves drawing the patient’s own blood and preparation of the plasma in a centrifuge. The second stage involves purification of the fat, either by hand or mechanically, so as to obtain the fat cells needed, and its subsequent combination with the PRP ready for transfer. We are then ready to progress to the final stage in which the area for the graft is prepared and the combined fat cells and PRP blend is injected via the cannula. The injection is then repeated until the desired correction is achieved.”
“In most cases the results of combined fat grafting and PRP treatment are permanent after repeated separate injection treatments, typically requiring three or four sessions. The procedure can be carried out either alone or in combination with other facial surgery procedures such as Facelift, Browlift and Eyelid surgery,” explains Mr Rezai. “Furthermore this is a procedure with relatively few risks and infrequent complications, firstly because it is only minimally invasive and secondly, since we are using the patient’s own blood and fat cells, the risk of an allergic reaction is almost negligible. Furthermore the PRP contains a concentrated amount of white blood cells, which are the body’s natural defense against infections.”