As we age, much of the youthful fullness in the face is lost. Plastic surgeons now realize facial sagging is not only due to gravity, but also due to volume loss. Current rejuvenating procedures focus on both skin tightening and youthful facial shape restoration. With midface aging, the cheek fat pad sags from its location underneath the lower eyelid and accumulates along the skin fold separating the mouth from the cheek. This change in cheek fat position contributes to a hollowed appearance beneath the eyes and deepening of the smile lines (nasolabial fold).
Facial fat transfer is an effective minimally-invasive procedure for filling hollowing under the eyes and around the cheeks. Tiny parcels of your own fat are harvested from areas of excess such as the hips or abdomen using a small syringe. It is then feathered into areas of the face to restore volume loss using small blunt cannulas without visible incisions. The transplanted fat is integrated into the areas as your own tissue and will not move. The effect may last for years. Facial fat transfer can be performed on part of or the entire face and can be combined with other procedures such as blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, and neck lift.
In addition to the benefits of facial fat transfer for volume enhancement, cosmetic physicians are now intrigued by the potential benefits of transferred fat on the appearance of skin. Physicians and patients have noticed improvements in skin quality, softening of wrinkles, improved pore size and improved complexion following facial fat transfer. While the reasons for these skin surface benefits remain unclear, it is believed to be related to the abundant presence of stem cells in adipose tissue.
Dr. Harris also performs facial fat transfer on patients who have had a previous facelift and desire a little freshening up without undergoing another major procedure.