Fat Transfer Procedure
Fat Injections: Microfat Grafting – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is meant by fat injections?
A. It is the procedure where excess fat is removed from areas such as the abdomen, flanks, hips or thighs and, after special preparation, injected into areas of the body that need filling. Dr. Jones Singer specializes in the use of the microfat grafting technique and her clinic provides several procedures in plastic surgery Indianapolis patients are seeking to produce a slimmer appearance. The microfat grafting process requires gentle fat removal using low-vacuum liposuction and the use of thin, delicate, non-traumatic cannulas to protect the survival of each harvested living fat cell. The fat cells are then purified and slowly injected through tiny skin incisions into the tissue of the recipient site utilizing a small syringe and cannula. Tiny droplets are placed throughout the tissues assuring that each transferred fat cell will have an adequate blood supply to achieve the permanent survival of the injected fat cells.
Q. What are the uses for fat injections?
Your own fat can be used for lip augmentation, achieving a permanent natural look. It can also be used for correction of the lines around the mouth. Lip augmentation can increase the fullness and definition of the upper lip, lower lip or both. After 2-5 days the swelling is gone and the lips have a natural fullness. There may be some bruising which can be covered with make-up. Over the first few months some of the fat may be absorbed by the body. For permanent results, 2 injections over a six month period is recommended.
Fat injections to the hands achieve the effect of fuller, more contoured hands as those of younger hands.
Correction of Skin Depressions, Subdermal Attachments and Scars
Facial lines, depressions, folds and depressed scars on the body and face can be successfully treated with injectable fat. This is the preferred treatment for lines that are too deep to benefit from Botox injections. However, many deep folds, wrinkles, lines, and scars are resistant to the injected fat or fillers (synthetic and natural) because of the severe attachment of the depression to the underlying deeper tissue. To overcome this problem, Dr. Jones Singer uses a novel wire scalpel method that doesn’t require skin incisions to release the attachments. Following the release of the skin, fat injection is performed to correct the defect and to act as a spacer to prevent reattachment of the released area.
Fat Injection to Labia Majora
In some women with aging the labia majora may undergo a significant atrophy and the dermis under the skin thins out. As a result of these changes the labia majora becomes flat, saggy, wrinkled, and darkened. Dr. Jones Singer can drastically rejuvenate the labia majora with microfat grafting. The fat injections add fat to the areas beneath the skin, creating fullness where needed that results in a lasting, youthful appearance of the labia majora. This is a less invasive procedure than labiaplasty, which may the preferred procedure in some cases.
Q. How are fat injections different from commercial fillers?
A. There are many commercial injectable fillers such as Radiesse, Restylane, Captique, Sculptra, Cosmoderm, Cosmoplast, Hylaform, etc, that are available for facial rejuvenation. Each of these products has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Using fine needles, the fillers are injected into the skin under each depression or wrinkle. The filler pushes the depressed wrinkle forward and makes it less visible. There is temporary discomfort associated with the injection. The use of ice or an anesthetic cream can be used to numb the area, making the injections painless. Three important factors should be considered when selecting a filler: 1) longevity of the filler, 2) cost, 3) ease of administration. As an example, Restylane (a cosmetic filler) lasts 4-6 months, costs $400-$500 per syringe, is easy to administer, and feels natural. Fat injection is a more involved procedure that requires first harvesting the fat using liposuction and disposable harvest devices. Second, the fat must be processed and purified prior to injection. Fat injections may be associated with more bruising and swelling than commercial fillers. The advantages of fat injections include its long acting effects (the fat that does survive is there permanently); the fat is your own tissue so there is no chance of an allergic reaction; and, unlike commercial fillers, the availability of one’s own body fat enables its use in larger volumes to fill larger defects.