Fat transfer procedures have been gaining in popularity in recent years, with more and more patients opting to use their own fat to smooth lines on the face, enhance their buttocks, or refine breast augmentation results.
But did you know that fat grafting has been around since the late 1800s? While the early days of fat transfer focused on reconstructive procedures and came with a number of risks, surgeons have had many years to improve techniques, the safety of the procedure, and longevity of results. Dr. Henry Garazo has specialized in nano fat grafting for the face since the mid-90s and is known for his expertise in this nuanced area of plastic surgery.
What is nano fat grafting?
Nano fat grafting, or microfat grafting, is a fat transfer procedure that uses a very thin injection cannula to smooth out wrinkles, restore youthful contours, and improve skin quality on the face.
First, a small volume of fat is harvested from your own body—typically areas that naturally have a little extra “cushion,” such as the hips, thighs, or lower tummy. The collected fat is then processed in a centrifuge to separate the fat from other fluids. The result is a smooth liquid concentration of tiny fat particles.
This concentration is then reinjected to your areas of concern using an ultra-fine, hollow needle (cannula). Because the needle is so small and the fat concentration so smooth, small areas can be targeted directly to create detailed changes and natural-looking results.
Is nano fat grafting safe?
When performed by a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in this technique, nano fat grafting is very safe. In fact, it’s becoming an increasingly popular alternative to dermal fillers because treatment is 100% biocompatible with your body, which eliminates the risk of your body rejecting the injected material or having an allergic reaction.
That being said, there are some risks with any procedure that involves breaking the skin—and it’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions to avoid infection at the injection site.
How can nano fat grafting help me?
Nano fat grafting can be used similarly to fillers to treat a variety of age-related concerns, such as:
- Add volume to the cheeks and midface for a more youthful look
- Smooth the appearance of wrinkles and creases
- Help skin look and feel firmer & tighter
- Improve the appearance of crepey skin on the face and neck
- Rejuvenate the appearance of the hands
- Lessen the appearance of scars
In fact, nano fat grafting can often provide greater results than fillers, with patients reporting additional benefits including improved overall skin quality and lightening of skin discolorations.
Am I a good candidate for nano fat grafting?
Because nano fat grafting requires such a small amount of fat, we’ve found that most of our patients have enough to harvest—even naturally thin patients. During your consultation with Dr. Garazo, he will listen to your concerns and examine potential harvest areas to determine if nano fat grafting is suitable for you.
Barring that, those interested in this procedure need to be in general good health and a non-smoker (or willing to abstain before and after your procedure).
How long do results last after nano fat grafting?
While it is normal for some of the grafted fat to be metabolized by your body, you should notice an immediate improvement that can last for years. We’ve found that patients who have a series of two to three treatments can often wait two to three years for maintenance treatment.
Dr. Garazo strongly recommends planning on multiple treatments to ensure optimal results, as up to 40% of the injected fat may not “take.”
Nano fat grafting vs. dermal fillers: Finding what works for you
We’ve already covered a few of the similarities and differences between nano fat grafting and fillers, but ultimately, what works for one patient may be totally different than what works for another. We have found that nano fat grafting can be a wonderful option for many patients, but it may not be for everyone.
At Plastic Surgery Services, Dr. Garazo and his talented team of medical professionals offer a variety of both surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation options—and the best treatment plan for you may include a variety of both. The first step to determining the best solutions for you is to schedule a private consultation. We look forward to working with you!