Fat grafting is the go-to treatment these days for volumizing the face. Apart from facial contouring, the less-known wonders of fat are in rejuvenating the skin and accelerating skin repair. Fat is a powerhouse of growth factors and stem cells (also known as adipose-derived stem cells, or ADSCs), both of which depletes with age. The well-loved “side-effect” of fat grafting is losing fat from areas of excess. The fat is harvested from an area of preference by liposuction, processed and re-injected into the face or other parts of the body.
Facial deflation, or atrophy, is one of the first signs of facial aging. Hollowing of the face is contributed by fat loss and tissue descent. The usual areas the show depression (no pun intended) with age are temples, forehead and cheeks. The result after filling and plumping up these areas with fat grafting is a more youthful appearance.
A harmonized facial profile, with its balanced forehead, nose, cheeks and chin, is the foundation of a beautiful face. There are many ways to restore this balance. The easiest is use highlights and contouring with makeup to trick the eyes. At the other extreme, facial bone contouring and orthognathic surgery can improve facial profiles by correcting the skeletal imbalances. Using fat grafting is the latest minimally invasive way to improve facial projection and to bring balance to the facial profiles without the need for invasive bony surgeries.
When plastic surgeons first started doing fat grafting, they noticed that apart from its plumping effect, the skin wrinkles and quality improved too. It is now a well-accepted fact that the effect is due to the regenerative stem cells and growth factors within the fat grafts. Surgeons have now brought this to another level with the introduction of Nanofat. In the processing of Nanofat, these rejuvenating agents are concentrated and reinjected into the skin substance to improve fine wrinkles and crepey skin around the lips and eyes and dark eye circles.
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Fat grafting also has a reparative ability. From scars to breast cancer reconstruction to cleft lip repair, although not the main stay of treatment, fat grafting is playing a larger role in optimizing the results of surgeries. Fat grafting helps to soften thick keloid scars, smooth out atrophic acne scars and minimise the stigmata of cleft lip repairs. After breast cancer surgery, fat grafting is increasingly being used to restore symmetry to the breasts.