Plastic surgeons have pioneered the development of this field in aesthetic medicine with the introduction of novel methods of harvesting fat and using it to replace and restore the lost volume to the face which occurs with aging. As we age the fat which was abundant during youth gradually disappears creating a sunken appearance to the temples,cheeks, and mouth region. In addition, the skin tone and complexion of the face also show signs of aging including fine lines,wrinkles, irregular complexion, and a rough texture to the skin.
Plastic surgeons have invented simple methods to remove unwanted fat in the stomach and side regions done as office procedures with local anesthesia. The fat is processed into a liquid like natural filler which can be injected like off the shelf fillers like Juvederm and Restylane. It is used to fill the hollows in the temples, sagging of the cheeks, and restore volume to the mouth and chin region. It can also be injected to soften facial and lip lines and wrinkles. Unlike artificial, off the shelf fillers, microfat is a natural filler of ones own unwanted fat which is processed and “recycled” as a long term and often permanent filler for the face. The same fat can also be used to augment small breasts in many patients who want a modest increase in cup size and avoid a breast implant. Patients who desire a larger and fuller buttocks can use their fat as a natural implant also called a Brazilian Butt Lift or BBL.
The harvested fat can also be processed into “nanofat” and injected in the face like off the shelf fillers to improve hyperpigmentation of the eyelids, complexion, and skin tone. Numerous anti-aging factors are in abundant supply in the harvested fat including stem cells, growth factors, and other cells which are involved in the reparative process and can aid in restoring the skin to its more youthful appearance and glow.
Off the shelf fillers like Juvederm and Restylane come in small volumes of 1 cc or less limiting how much volume can be restored to the face cost effectively. These fillers, unlike microfat, last 6 months or less and have no regenerative properties. Some physicians believe that such artificial fillers may cause some tissue reaction or inflammation as well.
Microfat injections can be done as stand alone procedures in an office setting under local much like off the shelf fillers. They act as a “liquid face lift” to rejuvenate the central part of the face and correct areas often not improved by traditional facelift procedures. Therefore, micro fat injections are often combined with facial rejuvenation surgery like eyelid and facelift procedures to enhance the final surgical outcome.