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Autologous fat grafting

sfg-surgeryWith ageing the tissue that keep our skin looking youthful and 'plumped up' begin to break down. Loss of dermal ground substance contributes to wrinkling of the skin. Ageing is also characterized by loss of facial fat and along with alterations in skin elasticity, leads to sagging of facial tissue, evidenced by the naso-labial folds and jowls.

Fillers can help to fill out facial wrinkles, creases and folds. They can restore volume to sunken cheeks and can also add a fuller, more sensuous look to the lips. Specific mention is made of wrinkles caused by muscular activity (mimetic wrinkles i.e. frown lines and forehead wrinkles.)  Fat is most frequently used to fill sagging cheeks, naso-labial folds or to correct skin depressions or indentations and to enhance the lips.  

Fat is withdrawn using a syringe with a specialized large-bore needle. The fat is then prepared by removing the oils and excess fluid. The fat cells are then carefully injected into pre-determined sites with a 'fat injection cannula'.

To survive and maintain the correction live fat cells require a new blood supply at the recipient site. This may be somewhat unpredictable which is why overfilling is recommended. In addition, like all injectable fillers, the procedure may require repeating.

Anaesthesia

Local anaesthesia with sedation

Length

About 2 to 4 hours.

Side effects

  • Swelling - this is most evident in the first week but may last for up to 2 months. Cold compresses for 36 - 48 hrs post-op and elevation of head will help to minimize swelling.
  • Bruising.
  • Redness.
  • Being derived from your own body, there is no possibility of allergic reactions or the transmission of diseases.

Complications

  • Infections.
  • Damage to blood vessels and nerves, etc.
  • Over or under correction.
  • Visible irregularities.
  • Migration of the fat.

Results

It is expected that approximately half of the injected fat will not survive, hence the overcorrection. The fat, which does survive, should persist indefinitely. Repeat injections may, therefore, be necessary.

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