One of the hottest trends in plastic surgery today is fat transfer, a technique that involves removing fat from unwanted areas of the body via liposuction and then using that fat to enhance the volume and fullness in other locations. However, even though many people know that fat transfer techniques can be used to enhance and shape the buttocks, a procedure commonly known as a Brazilian Butt Lift, or during breast augmentation procedures, fewer are aware that the same technology can also be used to give the face a fuller and more youthful appearance.
One of the most common problems associated with aging, for both men and women, is the loss of facial volume. Underneath the skin of the face are a number of individual fat compartments, and as we age the fat in these compartments can gradually break down. This is the main reason why children’s faces tend to look rounded, full, or even chubby while adult faces slowly evolve into a more slender, and eventually even a gaunt, appearance. Moreover, skin tends to lose much of its elasticity as it gets older, so the loss of volume means that the surface skin will be left hanging loose to wrinkle, sag, and droop.
In the earliest stages, the effects of lost facial volume can often be addressed with injectable facial fillers, like Juvéderm®, Restylane®, and Perlane®. But even though these treatments rely on hyaluronic acid, a substance that occurs naturally in youthful skin, they are usually eliminated by the body relatively quickly and so provide results that last for only a few months, depending upon the specific product. However, the natural fat that is used during fat transfer procedures is taken from the patient’s own body and so can be more readily incorporated into the existing tissues. This means that the results of fat transfer can potentially last for several years before additional maintenance procedures become necessary. Additionally, fat cells represent a safe and readily accessible source for stem cells, which have myriad applications for regenerative medicine. The latest research suggests that the stem cells in natural fat can potentially reverse some of the skin damage caused by the aging process, improving the condition and the appearance of the skin wherever we put it. Finally, even though only tiny amounts of fat are removed during fat transfer facial rejuvenation, many patients see the opportunity to have liposuction performed on problem areas like the abdomen or thighs as an added, and highly desirable, bonus.
Facial fillers and fat transfer techniques are only two of the many different ways that cosmetic plastic surgery can help you to look younger, and every patient has their own distinct goals. When you come in for a comprehensive facial rejuvenation consultation we can discuss your individual areas of concern, use advanced Vectra ® M3 imaging technology to view computer-simulated pictures of your potential results, and determine what approach would be right for you. If you are interested in undergoing a less invasive facial rejuvenation treatment, or even a full cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery procedure, contact me, Dr. James Namnoum, to schedule a consultation and please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery news and updates.