Lipotransfer, or transfer of fat from one area of the body to another, is a newer treatment used in the young Asian patient mainly to enhance facial contours. While easy to perform, the results after full healing do not always match the hyperbole used in marketing.
Common areas treated with micro-fat grafting on the Asian face include the cheeks, temples, and even the forehead (while reduction is more common, some patients desire augmentation).
The temples can appear quite depressed in some Asians due to prominently arched bone just below. Providing extra fat may create a more balanced facial contour.
A flattened or sloping forehead can be treated by lipotransfer, although implant placement yields a more even and permanent result.
Fat injections are also now employed in newer forms of buttocks augmentation (butt lift) and breast augmentation, although such use is controversial and may be dangerous.
In essense, fat transfer can be used to approach almost any depressed or under-developed area on the face or body, each of which is discussed in its own section of the Knowledge Base accessed from the top of this page.
Fat to be injected is obtained by liposuction on the body or from the area under the chin or jaw. The fat is introduced into the recipient area through a small needle or cannula in multiple layers to build up volume.
Unless the procedure is undertaken with skill, most of the transferred fat can disappear quickly or turn lumpy. Statements implying that injected fat can survive almost fully with exceptional surgeon handling are misleading. The brunt of tissue trauma occurs while harvesting fat under suction, which irreversably converts structurally-intact tissue into a semi-liquid suspension of wounded cells.
Multiple treatments are the norm. Sometimes unused fat can be stored by quick freezing in liquid nitrogen to allow for later injections without needing to harvest new donor fat.
While newer techniques purport to increase fat survival by isolating, concentrating, and then mixing fat-derived stem cells into the regular liposuctioned fat prior to injection, data validating such claims remains inconclusive if not suspect.