Non-Invasive Fat Transfer Treatment at PROFILES Beverly Hills
Fat transfer has quickly become one of the most sought after non-invasive treatments available for facial rejuvenation and the treatment of dark circles and hollows under the eyes. Fat is plentiful, easy to harvest, and because it’s your own tissue, there is no need to worry about having a reaction or excessive swelling.
In the early days of fat transplantation, several factors prevented fat transfer from being accepted as the ideal facial volume replacement:
1. Fat survival was unpredictable, making it hard to know how much would last for any given patient
2. Occasional areas of lumpiness could occur because of early injection techniques
In an effort to improve the predictability of results and to remove the chances of lumpiness, expert Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Surgeons Dr. Solieman and Dr. Litner of PROFILES Beverly Hills have researched and refined the latest techniques in enhancing the extraction, handling, processing, and reinjection of the harvested fat. We use a state of the art system known as “water-assisted liposuction” (WAL) that allows us to harvest fat with far less trauma to the fat cells, thus providing for a far better and more permanent result.
Fat Transfer for Treatment of Sunken, Hollow Eyes, Dark Circles and Fine Lines
Fat grafting (‘fat transfer’) offers an innovative solution for treating eyelid hollowness that may have always been present or that was caused by fat loss from prior cosmetic eye surgery, aging, or significant weight loss.
The presence of under-eye shadows is a frequent complaint that is commonly seen with aging. This happens from a combination of fat loss around the eye and a sagging of the upper cheek. Sometimes, it is an inherited trait that we see in relatively young patients. By filling in the shadow within the tear trough (under the eyes), fat grafting can make an extraordinary difference in rejuvenating the look around the eye.
Fat grafting (‘transfer’) can also be combined with treatment for other common causes of dark under-eye circles, including excessive skin pigment in this area, caused by an excess of melanin. Drs. Solieman and Litner of PROFILES Beverly Hills will often prescribe bleaching creams and skin care solutions in a variety of formulations and strengths (some over-the-counter and some only by prescription) which can then be combined with the fat grafting to allow for even greater improvement. The lightening of the under-eye skin color is gradual and occurs over several months.
Fat Grafting Vs. Temporary Fillers Such as Juvederm, Restylane, or Radiesse
Many of you may be wondering when it makes sense to use temporary fillers as opposed to fat transfer. The answer is largely dependent on your particular goals and the areas you are seeking to improve. In general, if you are seeking a more long term result and more complete volume replacement, then fat transfer is usually cheaper over the long term and it provides a fantastic result. In other words, if you are looking to treat nasolabial folds (laugh lines), dark circles or hollows under the eyes and cheek area, or ‘marionette lines’ around the mouth (which make your smile appear downturned), fat transfer is an excellent option. Compared to injections, fat transfer is more cost effective, especially over the long term, since much of the fat remains. You would require many syringes of fillers to accomplish the same goal. The only drawback to fat transfer over filler injections is the slightly greater downtime due to swelling, and the need for some sedation during the procedure.
On the other hand, if you are interested in targeting just one area of the face, such as laugh lines that are just starting to show, or if you are looking to get lip augmentation- Drs. Litner and Solieman of PROFILES Beverly Hills highly recommend temporary fillers like Juvederm or Restylane. While the results are not permanent (for example, laugh line improvement will last about a year while the lips will last for 6 months), the correction is very natural and does not require any downtime.
PROFILES Beverly Hills Water-Assisted Liposuction (WAL)
PROFILES Beverly Hills’ “Water-Assisted Liposuction” (WAL) technique allows top cosmetic surgeons Drs. Litner and Solieman to gently dislodge fat clusters and rinse them out of the harvest site using a pressurized water system. Simultaneous low-pressure suction removes the fat, offering smoother results and minimal downtime. The system gently transfers the aspirated fat into a collector, which has a variety of filters to help separate viable fat cells from the surrounding thick, fibrous material that can be a source of lumpiness. What remains is pure, transferable autologous fat, including everything from stem cells to pre-adipocyte and mature adipocyte populations (mature fat cells).Transfer of these fat cells provides the best chance at long term results.
How is fat transfer by Drs. Litner and Solieman different than other laser assisted or ultrasound assisted fat transfer?
Fat cell clusters have been compared to grapes on a vine. The old technique of suctioning fat cells by hand and processing them by spinning them down in a centrifuge caused excessive trauma to the fat cells, often rupturing many of them and decreasing the number of viable fat cells harvested. Laser- or Ultrasound-assisted techniques use energy to rupture the fat cells, thereby releasing liquid fat for easy aspiration. But, there is often some leftover tissue debris that causes more swelling during the natural healing process. This is a bit like crushing the grapes to make wine. The wine might be sweet but, once used up, it is gone. What the new system allows Drs. Litner and Solieman to do is actually knock the ‘grapes’ off the vine while leaving the surrounding structures intact. A system of filters additionally washes and separates the extracted fat from connective tissue, allowing for smooth lump free injection of virtually pure transferable intact fat cells. These intact cells can gain new blood supply and survive permanently as part of your natural facial fat pads so that the grapes can continue to ‘bear fruit’.
What Happens to Injected Fat Cells if you Lose Weight?
Once you undergo PROFILES Beverly Hills’ Fat Transfer procedure, the absolute number of surviving transplanted fat cells should be stable for life. However, if you lose significant weight (more than 10 to 15% of body weight), or with many years of aging, you will probably find some normal volume loss in this area along with the rest of your face.
Are Fat Transfer Results Permanent?
Fat Transfer performed by Los Angeles and Beverly Hills surgeons Drs. Litner and Solieman of PROFILES Beverly Hills can result in a permanent change in the new area. When fat is transferred to facial areas such as the cheeks and nasolabial folds (laugh lines), long term rejuvenation can and does occur.
Even using the most advanced techniques such as Water-Assisted Liposuction, not all fat cells survive the transfer procedure. However, when careful technique is used, expert cosmetic surgeons Drs. Litner and Solieman have found that under the eyes, over 70% of the fat survives long term, while in the nasolabial folds, the results are closer to 50% because of more muscle activity in this area. The bottom line for our patients is a reliable successful volume enhancement that provides for a smooth and natural rejuvenation around the eyes.