Are you noticing that with age your face is starting to look a bit thinner? That your skin is saggier, or that your cheeks are more hollow? Chances are, this isn’t your imagination– you’re just aging like the rest of us. It’s a fact of life: the older you get, the more fat you lose from your face. Even the most health-conscious of us cannot escape this fate. But no need to fear– if you are unhappy with how your face has changed with age, we have a solution for you. Fat grafting is the long-lasting, natural way to restore facial volume and look and feel years younger.

What is fat grafting?

Fat grafting— also known as fat transfer, fat injecting, or lipofilling– is the process of surgically implanting one’s own fat from one area of the body to another. It is commonly used for procedures targeting the face, hands, breasts, and buttocks. The transferred fat comes from a donor area where there is excess fat, like the inner thighs or the abdomen.

So why is fat grafting necessary in the first place? When the amount of facial fat is reduced, there is not enough soft tissue under the skin. Because there is nothing left supporting it, the skin begins to sag, cave, and look hollow. But as for any problem, there is always a solution. And in the case of fat grafting, there have been multiple iterations of solutions, from the early days to today’s top-notch technologies.

The history of fat grafting

The first attempts at taking fat from elsewhere in the face were not always successful. Back then, a surgeon would take a syringe of fat and squirt it into the targeted area; much of that fat would not survive, as the body would just naturally get rid of it. Some patients were left with lumps at the spot of injection and others had undesirable results. However, science kept moving forward, and as it did, the practice of micro fat grafting was made. This time, the fat was not placed into the face with a single shot, but rather injected in multiple, very small increments. This increased the rate of fat survival and drastically improved results overall.

But the innovation did not stop there. The latest improvement of fat grafting is known as nano fat technology. Through nano fat grafting, a surgeon breaks fat into tiny particles that can be injected like a pure liquid. This liquid fatty tissue is placed into areas of very fine wrinkles, improving even the smallest of imperfections around the face.

A set of tools used for a nano fat grafting procedure.

Fat grafting vs. dermal fillers

If you are familiar with facial plastic surgery, you may be wondering how fat grafting is different from dermal fillers. While the two are similar procedures, there are some key differences. Dermal fillers are injectable treatments that augment facial volume. The substance injected into your skin is not made from your own body’s fat. While fat grafting is a completely natural substance that will not be rejected by your body, the procedure does take more time to perform and to recover from. The results of a fat transfer are more long-lasting than those of dermal fillers, but come at a higher cost, as well. To determine which option is best for you, speak to your board-certified facial plastic surgeon or contact Dr. Konstantin’s NYC cosmetic surgery practice to schedule a consultation.

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