"Fat and dermal grafting restores lost volume using your own living tissue."
"Fat is used for broad areas, such as your cheekbone or thinned lips."
"Dermal grafts fill localized defects, such as the lipstick line or acne scars."
Technique: Fat Injection
Fat can be collected from almost any body area, but the “best” is under your chin. Your abdomen, flanks, and hips are also common donor sites.
Fat collection is liposuction. A mixture of IV fluids and local anesthetic is injected into your donor site. Fat is then removed and processed to remove damaged fat cells and fluids.
Using special blunt needles and tiny puncture incisions, your fat is placed in multiple thin strands, taking a new blood supply from the
Technique: Dermal Grafts
Dermal grafting uses a segment of your own skin as a “filler.” Similar to removing a mole, the graft donor site is closed with sutures. The graft surface is treated with a laser, removing the layer of cells that creates calluses. Using small incisions, the graft is placed under your defect.
When treating depressed scars (like acne), the scar itself is used as the filler graft. The scar is treated with the laser, and the adjacent normal tissue is sutured closed over the scar.
Since they are complementary, both techniques can be used simultaneously.
Dermal grafts give a more localized correction, such as the border of the lip, depressed scars, or the deep hollow beneath your eyes.
Fat grafting can be tailored over a larger area, restoring a more natural contour over the cheekbone area than can be accomplished with cheek implants. Fat grafts help to restore normal proportions to your lips, both in the red and white portions of your lips.
Both techniques cause swelling, though fat
injection usually swells more than dermal grafts. The greatest swelling develops during the first 24 hours, and may continue to increase up to 72 hours.
Cool compresses help limit swelling & bruising. The majority of swelling improves over the first 7-10 days.
Your result at 1 year should be permanent, though there is usually only minimal change after the first 3-6 months.
Risks and Side Effects of Treatment
Risks are the same as any other surgery. These include bleeding, infection, scarring, altered sensation, and possible need for more surgery.