Despite being something which we usually want to get rid of, fat plays a very important role within our bodies and is surprisingly very important in the processes of how we heal from injury or disease.
Facial fat grafting is a surgical rejuvenation procedure where liposuction is performed on a section of your body with available fatty tissue. The harvested fat is then processed and placed into small syringes for transfer into areas of the face that require volume repletion. Common areas of volume depletion due to aging include the cheeks, paranasal (around the nostrils), nasolabial folds, forehead, lips, undereye bags, and hollows of the eyes.
Facial fat grafting is a form of permanent filler. However, retention of the injected fat is approximately 60%. Simultaneous injection of platelet rich plasma or PRP, harvested and processed from your blood, improves fat survival. But this will be an added cost.
Medical science has been studying this for many decades, with the first understanding on the healing properties of fat discovered when treating soldiers during World War One.
Fat and small accumulations of fat within the body are essential for a healthy body. It provides us with many benefits, including energy to function, particularly when there is a call for more energy than provided by the food we ingest. It also cushions joints from daily movement and helps to repair damaged tissue.
Lipogems is an innovative technology solution which allows the transfer of small fragments (gems) of your body’s own fat cells, called adipose tissue, into areas where healing and support is required due to injury, disease or ageing, thus harnessing the natural healing power of the body and fat.
The Lipogems system has U.S. FDA clearance for a micro-fragmented adipose tissue processing system utilising the body’s own fat to support tissue repair. Lipogems has multiple applications and can be used alongside surgery or as a minimally invasive procedure on its own as an alternative to surgery. It is ideal as an aid to the natural healing process in the repair, support, and reconstruction of damaged or injured tissue.
The procedure consists of several phases. Harvesting is performed under anaesthesia to avoid discomfort and involves the infiltration of a solution of saline, adrenalin, and lidocaine to the area before the fat can be extracted using blunt cannula connected to a syringe. The harvested fat is then introduced into the Lipogems system where it is filtered and processed into micro-fragments. The purpose of this phase is to separate the bulky adipose tissue, collecting the gems or individual fat cells whilst discarding the impurities, such as blood, cell membranes, plus liquid fats, and oils. Once the Lipogems have been harvested, this optimal collection of fat cells can be reinjected immediately into the area being treated.
The unique and scientifically important part of Lipogems treatment is that the process preserves the structure of the fat cells, including all the growth factors, stem cells, and vascular architecture, as well as a collagen matrix which is required to make them flourish and function normally in their new location. Fat cells are used because they have incredible reparative properties, and offer cushioning to other tissue within the body, so are ideal for supporting healing where there is damaged tissue. They are simple and easy to harvest from an area of the stomach, thighs, or buttocks where they are usually in abundance.
At Dr SW Clinics, we use Lipogems for fat grafting procedures, including facial fat grafting. It involves a minimally invasive procedure to harvest and process a patient’s own fat cells for transplantation.
Treatment costPrice From
* After consultation the doctor will confirm the cost.
Treatment Summary at a glance
Tenderness, pain, bruising, fluid leakage from fat harvesting points.
Increased healing and repair in the tissue treated.
Varies, repeat treatments are recommended to avoid reoccurrence of concern.
Return home same day.
Back to normal activities after a few days. Full improvement within 4-6 months of treatment.
How does it work?
Your practitioner will use a single-use complete Lipogems kit for your procedure. This is known as a closed-loop system whereby the adipose tissue is harvested and redelivered to the body, whilst staying inside the single-use medical system at all times. This contains everything required to carefully harvest the adipose tissue, including thin cannulas, tubing, collecting containers and filters to micro-fragment the fat cells. Being a closed-loop system, it maintains sterility, with minimal trauma to the fat cells to retain their cellular microarchitecture, allowing the practitioner to deliver the Lipogem treatment to the areas requiring repair or restoration using very fine needles. When stem cells, adipocytes and pericytes are reintroduced into the tissues of the vagina they release their growth factors. This encourages healthy new cells and hydrating properties to regenerate, replenishing the internal structure. The whole procedure takes place in one single surgical session.
The Lipogems facial fat grafting process includes:
- Harvesting: The procedure begins with a small incision in an area of the body with excess fat, typically the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. A small cannula (thin tube) is inserted through the incision to gently suction out fat cells.
- Processing: The harvested fat tissue is then processed using the Lipogems system. The system cleans, filters, and separates the fat cells from other fluids, debris, and connective tissues. This process aims to preserve the viability and regenerative potential of the fat cells.
- Injection: Once the fat is processed, it is ready for transplantation. Tiny injections are made in specific areas of the face where volume restoration or contour improvement is desired. The processed fat is carefully injected to create a more youthful and natural appearance.
Benefits of Lipogems facial fat grafting:
- Natural and long-lasting results: Using a patient’s own fat cells for grafting can provide natural-looking results. The transplanted fat cells can integrate into the surrounding tissues and potentially provide long-lasting volume enhancement.
- Minimally invasive: Lipogems facial fat grafting is a minimally invasive procedure compared to more extensive surgical options. It typically involves small incisions and minimal scarring.
- Reduced risk of adverse reactions: Since the procedure uses a patient’s own fat cells, there is a lower risk of allergic reactions or rejection.
- Additional benefits: In addition to restoring volume to the face, Lipogems fat grafting may have other potential benefits. The processed fat contains regenerative cells and growth factors that may promote tissue repair and rejuvenation.
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- The facial changes that occur with aging can be described as volume loss, downward migration of the once tightly suspended structures such as the fat pads under your eyes and cheeks, and thinning of your skin and bones. Wrinkles develop across your neck, your nasolabial folds (smile lines) deepen, the fat pads in your cheeks descend and shrink creating eye bags, your lips lose volume, and your eye brows droop. Typically, the beginning of this aging journey becomes visibly apparent in your mid to late twenties. Facial fat grafting effectively addresses the issue of volume loss with aging.
- If you are young but are unsatisfied with the 3D contour, projection, and shape of certain facial structures such as your cheeks, forehead, and chin, facial fat grafting may benefit you.
Your suitability for Lipogems treatment will be determined during a consultation with our doctors. A full medical history will be taken, including discussion of your area of concern, any medication you are currently taken and any allergies which may affect your suitability for treatment.
As we are using your own fat cells to treat another area of your body, this is a natural treatment and there are very few reasons why you would not be suitable for treatment.
If you are allergic to any of the products used for anaesthesia, have a medical condition which precludes the use of anaesthesia or are pregnant or breast feeding, you will not be suitable for a Lipogems procedure.
The harvesting of the fat cells is performed under either local anaesthetic with sedation or general anaesthetic depending on the extent of the procedure being performed. It is performed using a blunt cannula inserted through a small incision in the skin. There will be no pain or discomfort during the fat harvesting process.
The harvesting of fat, processing and reimplantation of the Lipogems is performed in a single procedure. The fat harvesting takes approximately 30 minutes depending on the amount of available fat within an area. After a short period of time for the processing of the Lipogems, they can be reinjected into the area needing treatment, which is likely to take approximately another 30 minutes.
Any post-treatment sensitivity may mean you’ll need to take it easy for a few days, while the body heals.
Clinical trials have shown that Lipogems increase the healing and repair within tissue by increasing vascularisation, stimulating stem cell production and growth factors within an area.
Dr SW Clinics