Facial Fat Grafting Washington DC
Besides wrinkling and gravity, volume loss to the face has become increasingly recognized as an important component to the aging process, which can be restored with either office-based fillers or facial fat grafting.
Fat grafting, through a gentle hand-harvesting method, purification process, and microdroplet injection technique, has shown to improve durability compared with older techniques that could compromise transplanted fat longevity.
What areas can fat grafting be used for?
Fat transferred from other areas of your body to your face will not only give some lifting to the general facial structure, but also improve the look of your skin. Patients seeking a fat transfer for facial rejuvenation often present with these symptoms:
- fine lines and wrinkles
- crows feet
- under eye bags or dark circles
- worry and/or frown lines
- ‘sunken’ cheeks
- tired look
As we age, the dermis under our skin thins out, which can leave the face looking thin and has the effect of making the skin look like it sags. This happens to men and women of all body types. A facial fat transfer adds fat to the area beneath the skin, and has the effect of ‘filling out the face’ to a more youthful state.
What is involved with fat grafting?
Volume loss is particularly more pronounced around the eyes, cheeks, and jawline, where fat grafting can play the greatest role in creating a balanced and comprehensive facial rejuvenation. Oftentimes, this is combined with surgical options including blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid surgery) and/or a facelift.
Fat grafting involves removing fat from one’s own abdomen or thighs to put into certain regions of the face that start to lose fat. Only tiny amounts of fat are removed so this should not be equated with liposuction. Using blunt tip cannulas, the fat is injected as little droplets throughout the areas of facial hollowness with little to no trauma because a needle is not used. By using this microdroplet technique, grafted fat has a much higher blood supply so that survival is improved and the results are smoother given how small each individual fat parcel is.
Fat grafting contains growth factors
In addition to filling out wrinkles in the face, highly purified fat injections also enhance the blood circulation in the tissues. This is because there is a population of adipose stem cells in the fat cells that are re-injected. This means that these stem cells are rich in growth factors which help to make the overlying skin look healthier and more youthful.
Many women actually like the shape of their face better in their early 30s because they have lost a lot of their baby fat and start to have more of a triangular heart shaped face. As one continues to age the loss of fat in the eyes, cheeks and jawline, including some weight gain in the lower face, neck, and jowls starts to invert the triangle so that the base of the triangle is now at the bottom of the face. Conceptually, the goal of facial fat grafting is to invert the triangle so that the heart shaped face of youth returns. Volume restoration for the face also adds more light to the face, which in turn can make the skin look more radiant. Adding fat back to the face can even begin to help the skin texture and tone through what is thought to be a stem-cell response that the skin undergoes over areas of transplanted fat.