Fat injections can be used to fill in wrinkles and lines, to create contours in the face, and to fill in scars. Fat injections are a safe and versatile option; because they use fat from one area of a patient’s body to fill in another, there is little chance of allergy or incompatibility. Although fat injections are impermanent, they can be repeated as necessary.
Fat injections are usually done on an outpatient basis with local anesthetic. The donor site (often the buttocks or abdomen) is first numbed and injected with fluid to make extracting the fat easier. The donor fat is collected through a needle and syringe. After the fluid is removed, another needle is used to reinsert the fat into the treatment area. Dr. Chin will at first slightly overfill the treatment area because some of the injected fat will be reabsorbed by the body.
Most patients can resume normal activities soon after undergoing fat injection. Some minor swelling and bruising can occur during the first few days following fat injection. Fat injections are not usually permanent. How long the results last varies among individuals.
In more areas, fat injections are considered to be very safe. The breasts, however, are inappropriate for this procedure. Injected fat may reduce the efficacy of mammograms, making breast cancer diagnosis more difficult. To limit the risk of complications, patients should follow Dr. Chin’s directions carefully.