lipofilling (lipostructure, fat transfer)
The most durable method to restore or to increase volume is transplantation of the patient's own fat. This is usually called lipofilling, lipostructure or fat transfer.
Through 2 to 3 mm stab incisions subcutaneous fat is aspirated as softly as possible over the hips, the waist, the thighs or the abdomen. Fat loss is so limited at the donor site that the change of volume remains invisible. The fat is centrifuged for three minutes or filtered to be separated from serum and oil.
The purified fat is injected at its destination site through stab incisions of 1 to 2 mm. This technique is appropriate to enhance the contour of the cheeks and the eyelids, to fill certain wrinkles and folds, to treat disadvantageous effects of weight loss on the face, to enlarge lips, but also to treat irregularities in other areas of the body.
General anaesthesia and day admission are usually required. Swelling may be considerable for three weeks. Limited imperfections such as light swelling and irregularities may take many months to disappear. Overcorrection or irregularities due to scar formation around the transplanted fat are difficult to treat. Therefore the injection of fillers (such as hyaluronic acid gel) has taken much of the place of lipofilling. When more extensive surgery, such as a facelift, is planned, lipofilling in the same operative time can still be considered.
There is a photo series on lip augmentation in the corresponding chapter (facial treatments > lip augmentation).