One of the hottest things on the non-invasive cosmetic surgery front is adding fat to certain parts of the body to plump it out, especially the face, which loses volume as it ages.

The cheeks and lips are the most popular areas for treatment but no one wants to have a drawn and hollow appearance anywhere on their face, so the use of fat is recommended for the whole face

Injecting fat reduces degeneration of the skin’s elastic fibre network, or “elastosis” – normally the cause of aging skin.

The procedure leads to the re-absorption of the elastosis, and reorganises the elastic fibres in the papillary dermis, making the skin look much younger and plumper and making the patient look more youthful.

There are two types of fat grafting (also known as volumetric restoration): either injecting fat-derived stem cells or injecting the patient’s own fat cells.

In the latter procedure a small amount of the patient’s own fat is obtained from another part of the body, such as the abdomen or buttocks, using liposuction.

The injection of fat cells includes a rich mix of cell types, including stem cells, known as the stromal vascular fraction (SVF).

Without getting too technical SVF tissue contains all sorts of goodies such as different kinds of fibroblasts, T and B cells, mast cells as well as adipose tissue macrophages.

In the “stem cell only” treatment stem cells are Isolated and grown from the patients’ fat.

These specialised cells have the potential to grow into several different types of tissue and the use of stem cells alone has more or less the same effect as the injection of fat cells complete with SVF.

The only difference between the two is that the fat processing step is less expensive and faster.

The required fat can be accessed by very familiar liposuction techniques; it is easy to process and inject, and can be injected just about anywhere on the body.

Anyone who thinks that they can do a “one-stop shop” at their plastic surgery and use the same fat harvested from their liposuction treatment for aesthetic body contouring is wrong though

Different fat needs to be harvested for these procedures and a qualified practitioner needs to be consulted.

Candidates for both fat injectable treatments can try a “patch test” beforehand, undergoing a small fat graft in an unseen area, such as behind the ear, to see the effect before going ahead.

Fat grafting procedures can be used for other purposes besides counteracting the signs of aging. For example, fat grafting helps improves breast augmentation, helps with scarring and is used in facelift surgery, among other things.

In a huge plus, injectable fat grafting has a history of very low complications and a very high safety level.