Fat transfer is a very popular procedure right now. It involves the removal of fat from other parts of the body, usually around the belly button, flanks, or thighs, treatment of that fat, and then reinjecting into the face. The nice part about fat transfer is that it tends to last longer than the temporary fillers found on the market. There is also the added benefit of removing fat from an unwanted location in the body. When it comes to fat transfer, certain candidates are more ideal than others. First, you have to have enough of a donor supply. For those patients who have a low body fat, they may not be candidates for an adequate transfer to the face. Second, this is not a good treatment for younger patients. The reason is that the fat undergoes a change around the time of menopause. The fat harvested from the body tends to grow and can leave a very abnormal and overdone look for younger patients as they undergo menopause.
Also, fat transfer is not as predictable as other treatments. The reason has to do with the new fat stem cells getting a new blood supply in the face. As this occurs, not all of the fat that is transferred will survive. For deeper injection locations like around the cheeks and the temples, this will likely never be noticed. For areas of thinner skin that are transferred, such as the tear troughs or around the eyebrows, the unpredictability of the fat survival can lead to contour irregularities that can be difficult to treat. This does not mean these areas are not treated, just that they do carry a higher risk of a less than ideal outcome. The other drawback over traditional fillers, is that fat transfer does require a trip to the operating room.
Notwithstanding the limitations, fat transfer can be a very good treatment for the appropriately chosen patients with more longevity than other options. Dr. Guy can discuss all of this with you during your consultation.