Fat transfer offers an alternative approach for patients who want a more natural cosmetic procedure. Using tumescent liposuction techniques, fat is gently taken from the abdomen or hips and injected with a specialized instrument into the lips, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines. Advantages include the use of your own body fat as a graft – so there isn’t any foreign material that you could have a reaction to. Another advantage is the soft natural effect of the lips, and the possibility of combining this procedure with more extensive liposuction procedures for body contouring purposes.
Fat transfer tends to be more permanent when injected around the eyes, and less permanent when injected for lip augmentation or around the chin or mouth. Disadvantages include the need for at least one, and maybe two additional fat injections in order to achieve permanent enhancement.
Fat transfer surgery is performed on an out-patient basis with IV sedation and usually takes about one hour. Sutures are removed in about five days or are dissolvable. Patients can usually return to work within a few days, although swelling may take longer to subside.