Fat grafting or fat transplant is a technique that uses the patient’s own fat to subtly and naturally restore volume.
As patients age, volume loss occurs in the cheeks, temples, jaw, leaving the face looking deflated and fatigued. Fat can be used to restore volume loss and fill creases. This leads to a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Fat can also be used to feminize the face, as women tend to have a different fat distribution than men. Increasing the volume of fat in the cheeks and temples can help round the face and make it appear softer and more feminine.
Fat is harvested from the patient’s own body, usually from the abdomen. It is then processed and cleaned, so only purified fat cells are injected. The fat is injected through a small blunt cannula into the cheeks, temples, lips, nasolabial folds, jawline or wherever the fat would like extra volume.
Fat Grafting versus Malar or Submalar implants
The advantage of fat transfer over malar implants in facial feminization is that the fat can be distributed across the midface for a balanced, natural appearance. It can also be injected into temples and lips to increase fullness.
The disadvantage of fat grafting is that while the majority of the fat survives, the results are not absolutely predictable. Some patients will need an additional transfer to achieve the desired results. Generally, additional fat transfers can be performed in-office with local anesthesia.
Dr. Rodman uses both techniques of fat grafting and malar implants. At the initial consult, both options are given to patients. Based on each patient’s individual anatomy, one option may be preferred over the other.