Fat Injections - Cosmetic Treatments Guide

Fat injections or fat grafting are surgical procedures which can help to reduce wrinkles, scarring from acne or simply be used to regain a more youthful look. They can also help to improve contours or correct other defects. The basis of the technique is moving fat from one part of the body and onto other parts of the body. Human fat is used as this can be injected into even the deeper layers of facial tissue without causing any adverse effects.

The Procedure

Fat injections or grafting use medical techniques to take fat from one part of the body and inject them into another like the lips, cheeks or chin. Collagen is the main protein of connective tissue and fat injections or grafting can help to renew the skin's collagen layer. This will even out wrinkles and lines and can help you to achieve a more youthful look. The most popular areas treated with fat injections are crows feet and frown lines which occur due to aging. However it can also help with several other problems such as sunken cheeks, certain types of scarring, creases and skin depressions. Injections or grafts to the lips create a fuller and more sensuous appearance.

There's two main steps in fat injections or grafting. Firstly the part of the body where the fat will be harvested from (the donor site) will be cleansed and anaesthetised. The fat will be removed through liposuction which involves a hollow tube called a cannula and a suction device to vacuum the fat cells. The most common donor sites are the hips or abdomen. Following it's removal the fat cells will be washed in order to separate any damaged cells. The fat cells will then be injected into the intended locations such as the lips, cheeks or under the eyes with a small syringe. The surgery takes around an hour and a half to finish. However usually multiple injections are required to get the best results.

The length of the effects of a fat injection vary from person to person. Some patients report that the effects last for over a year whereas others notice the effects fading within three months. In cases such as this more injections may be necessary to achieve the desired result.

Aftercare and Recovery

Immediately following treatment you're likely to experience swelling and redness, which will last a couple of days. It's also common to experience itching and minor discomfort. Fortunately, since the fat will be harvested from your own body there's no risk of an allergic reaction. And, although infection is very rare you may need to take antibiotics before and after surgery to minimise the risk. The total recovery time will depend on the extent of the treatment but patients are usually fully recovered within 10 days.

The Risks

As with all surgical procedures fat injections are not without risk. Although infection is very rare it can occur despite use of sterilised equipment and antibiotics. Fortunately, any redness or swelling from the treatment will quickly subside. Although rare, unevenness or asymmetry of the face may occur. This means that if the fat is injected into two or more areas it may appear uneven. It's also important to note that you may have to undergo multiple sessions to achieve the best results. To help promote healing you can maintain a healthy diet and make sure to follow all aftercare instructions carefully.