I started doing fat grafting in 1987 and can claim to be one of the pioneers of this type of surgery in South Africa.
We are learning a great deal about fat grafting and we now believe that the fat cells themselves might not really survive but the result comes from the fat stem cells that are more resistant and do survive and then grow to develop more fat cells. These fat stem cells have great potential. They are not the same as foetal stem cells, which can develop into every tissue in the body, but fat stem cells still possess great powers that are being harnessed by modern research. Fat grafting has become one of the best ways to rejuvenate a face and when combined with a face-lift, gives excellent results.
I use fat grafts to
- enhance the cheek bones,
- treat the grooves from the lower eyelid onto the cheek (called the tear-troughs)
- Lip augmentation (and/or needling (see percutaneous CIT) of the skin to reduce lines and give fuller lips. I always use fat and will not do temporary fillers. If you are not certain of the volume that you want, then have a temporary filler injection to help you decide. A second injection of fat is almost always required to get the desired result. I have been doing fat grafts since 1987.
- Full face grafting to fill the “deflated” face that automatically accompanies ageing. This will not only restore volume but also give a more youthful appearance to the overlying skin. The temples and forehead as well as the face benefit from fat grafting.
- chin augmentations
With chin augmentations I never use prosthetic material, but prefer to do either dermo-fat grafts or fat injections.