The fat transfer procedure is a simple three-step process of removing fat from one area of the body and preparing it, then injecting the fat cells into the target site. Fat transfer results are usually noticeable immediately after the procedure and can last several months or years, or even permanently. The fat can be used for many facial imperfections, including scars and depressions in the skin. The effects of facial fat sculpting are very long-lasting — facial fat injections last significantly longer than cosmetic injectables such as collagen, Restylane®, and Juvéderm. Facial fat sculpting is safe, since there are no allergic reactions to worry about, because the fat transplantation is from your own body. The risks of fat transfer/fat injection are few and minimal. Soreness and swelling are possible, but they're not commonly experienced. One should consider all of the risks and benefits of fat transfer before undergoing treatment.
These terms do in fact refer to the same procedure. Fat transfer, fat grafting, and microlipoinjection are all names for the process of removing fat from one area of the body via needle and syringe, preparing the fat, and then injecting it back into another area of the body that needs a little smoothing or augmentation.
One of the benefits of fat transfer is that it can address two problems at once. The fat for the injections may be taken from any spot on the body that contains a concentration of excess fatty tissue. You and your doctor will work together to decide which areas of the body are eligible, and which you would most like to see reduced.
The pain from fat grafting should be minimal in almost all cases. Discomfort should be only short term and usually can be managed with oral pain medication. If you are concerned about the pain, you may discuss options for prescription medication to be taken after the fat injections.
Recovery after fat transfer is relatively fast and easy compared to other cosmetic surgery procedures. Incisions are usually avoided, and discomfort is minimal. Most patients can move about and engage in normal activities the same day of the injections.
There is no definite length to the amount of time that the benefits of a fat transfer will last. Over the course of a few months or a year, a portion of the injected fat will be reabsorbed and dispersed by the body.A larger fraction of the original volume, will remain in place. New fat grafting methods are always being developed, though, many of which offer longer lasting results.
Though it depends on the extent of change the patient desires, multiple fat transfer injections are very often recommended. Your doctor can go over the pros and cons of various treatment options with you in detail.