This month’s featured patient, Laurel, underwent fat injections to her aging nasolabial folds. As we age, our skin tone loosens, the underlying subcutaneous tissue layer atrophies and loosens as well, causing wrinkle lines.
“Fillers”—such as collagen, Restylane®, Juvéderm®, and Radiesse®—all have been used to plump up these wrinkle lines. The problem with these synthetic substances are that they are expensive, come in limited supply, and last a relatively short time. Recent interest in stem cell research and fat cell transfer have made the use of one’s own fat more predictable. In years past, fat transfer was associated with a low survival rate of the transferred body fat. More recently, however, the survival rate of the fat in the body has increased, making fat a viable alternative. Unlike synthetic fillers, use of your own fat costs nothing for the material, it comes in abundant supply, and it lasts many years once it becomes incorporated into the body. You’ll be reading more in upcoming months about the use of fat injections to the face and other parts of the body.