Fat transfer is an option for treating signs of aging that involve a loss of volume. As we age, the loss of volume in the face and other areas of the body, such as the breasts and buttocks, results in wrinkles, lines, and sagging of the skin. In a fat transfer procedure, small amounts of the patient’s fat are harvested, generally from the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs. After undergoing a special treatment process, the fat is then injected into the areas to be treated. The increased volume creates a fuller, more youthful appearance. Using the patient’s own fat cells avoids the risks of rejection or allergic reaction. In addition to treating signs of aging, fat transfer is an option for patients with scars or areas of the face or body that are sunken or depressed due to illness or injury.
This minimally invasive procedure can usually be performed on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic. The areas of treatment may appear swollen or bruised for one to two weeks following the procedure. There may also be some swelling and bruising in the areas where the fat was harvested. Patients can generally resume normal activities immediately.