Your Own Fat as a Filler
Although more popular in the past than in the present, many people still opt to use their own (autologous) fat to smooth out deep wrinkles and to restore lost volume to the cheeks, lips, and other facial areas (as well as to the back of the hands). During the treatment, fat is extracted from the patient’s own abdomen, thighs, and buttocks and then injected into the facial skin. Since the fat comes directly from the patient, there’s no risk of the body rejecting it.
A Two-Part Procedure
This treatment essentially involves fat grafting, which makes it a bit more involved than other types of dermal filler procedures. After the “harvest” area is anesthetized, the fat is suctioned with a special aspiration needle. The fat is then purified before being injected (again under a local anesthesia) into the area of the skin being treated.
You can expect some swelling and redness around both areas of the body involved in the procedure. These side effects may last up to several weeks. If you experience any pain or extended swelling, contact your doctor.
How Long will the Results Last?
It’s difficult to always predict exactly what percentage of the autologous fat will take hold. The amount may vary from 10 percent to 50 percent, depending on the technique used by the physician to extract and transplant the fat and on factors pertaining to the patient’s skin. (The procedure is less effective if the patient smokes, for example.) It’s also difficult to predict how long the treatment’s effects will last, although typically the skin returns to its former appearance by the end of six months. Results can last up to a year, however. As always, be sure to seek care from a physician who has considerable experience doing this particular procedure.