Fat injection or grafting has many applications in cosmetic surgery. Fat injected into areas requiring volume-enhancement produces safe, long-lasting, and natural-appearing results as volume is replaced to tissues where fat is diminished.
How is it performed?
Fat grafting usually involves harvesting fat from one part of the body, washing / purifying it, and the carefully re-injecting it with specially designed needles into the areas requiring augmentation.
How successful is it?
The process of fat acceptance is like any other graft. In normal conditions around 70 – 80% of the inject fat is accepted. Secondly, as lot of fat cannot be injected at one place; the procedure may need to be repeated several times to achieve the desired result.
Am I a good candidate for fat grafting?
Healthy adults desiring augmentation or filling of volume-deficient areas. Commonly grafted areas include the hands, face (including the lips), and depressions in the skin contour such as those that have developed following liposuction and scarring.
Patients with history of abnormal bleeding and those who smoke have higher chance of graft loss.
What are the advantages?
Fat injection or grafting is a technique that is growing in popularity. Fat is one of most well-tolerated fillers available to aesthetic surgeons, and thus has broad applications. It is natural-appearing, lasts a long time, and is safe. It is effective filler used for changing body contour, revising scars, filling depressions created by liposuction, and rejuvenating the hands and face.
Perhaps most importantly, it spares the patient the inherent risks associated with fillers derived from animals or cadavers.
What are the possible complications?
Common problems are listed below
- Swelling mostly settles down within several weeks
- Bruising in both the donor and recipient is harmless and settles in 2-3 weeks
- Numbness is usually temporary
- Slight asymmetry or contour irregularity
- Under or over correction of the defect
- Loss of fat viability, with resultant failure of the desired augmentation
How long will the surgery take?
Surgery can be typically performed depending upon patients need under local or general anaesthesia. It is usually a day care procedure following which patient can be discharged on the same day.
Are there any postoperative precautions?
Postoperatively the grafted area will be covered with adhesive dressing to prevent movement of that part for better graft take. Strenuous activities are to be avoided for a period of three weeks.
When will be the final result apparent?
Following the fat grafting usually 70 – 80% of the fat cells survive. To compensate for this, we normally inject around 20% extra fat. The balance is achieved in around 3-4 months. This is the time when patients have to be re-assessed regarding any need of further grafting.