In one of the ironies of aging, we begin to lose fat where we need it most – around the eyes and midface, where it keeps the skin looking plump and youthful – and gain it in areas where we don’t need it at all, such as the abdomen and flanks.
Eyelid fat grafting is a rejuvenating technique that harvests fat from places you’d like to lose it and injects it into tear troughs and under the brows to give you a younger, fresher look. In many cases, this simple procedure even allows you to avoid more extensive eyelid surgery. In other cases, fat grafting (aka lipo transfer) can be used as an adjunct to upper and lower blepharoplasty and other eye-rejuvenation techniques. And, unlike hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers, fat transfer is permanent.
The Most Natural “Filler” There Is
Fat grafting is the most biocompatible dermal filler available because it is derived from your own fat. This makes it appropriate even for those with sensitive or allergy-prone skin.
For fat transfer around the eyes, just 10 to 100 ccs of fat are harvested from small incisions in fatty areas, such as muffin tops, love handles, and flanks. The living fat cells and rejuvenating stems cells are then carefully processed and injected around the eye area.
Because only 60% to 70% of the injected fat cells survive the first few months, we usually insert more than is needed. Sometimes, patients opt for touch-ups after the fat graft has settled. These touch-ups can be done with newly harvested fat or with hyaluronic acid-based fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. Learn more about dermal fillers at WebMD.com.
Here are three ways Los Angeles eyelid fat grafting can perk up your look:
Fill In Dark Circles and Hollows
Hollow, sunken, and darkened under-eye areas are not only aging but often give the impression that you’re tired or even ill. Under-eye circles often become more prominent as we age, but even young people can be genetically predisposed to them.
These “dark circles” are more a result of a shadow than of color. Filling out the tear troughs with harvested fat grafts plumps up the skin, thereby eliminating the shadow. In many cases, this is sufficient to rejuvenate the eyes, obviating the need for lower blepharoplasty. In other cases, it can be used as an adjunct to surgery. Either way, the dark circles are gone, and the lower eye area looks filled out and youthful.
Lift and Plump Up Droopy Eyelids
Nothing can make you look sleepier and unenergized than drooping eyelids. While older patients or those with significantly sagging skin may benefit from upper blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), those whose skin is still elastic and who have minimal sagging can take advantage of fat grafting alone.
In this procedure, the fat graft is injected into the area between the upper lid crease and the eyebrow, to plump up the skin and give it a lift. The result is a more alert and youthful look without the pain and expense of double eyelid surgery. A bonus is that the rejuvenated lid holds eye-makeup better as it no longer “bunch” up in the skin creases.
Nonsurgical Eyebag Removal
Even more of a dead giveaway of age than sagging or hollow eyes is the presence of unsightly eye bags. Depending on the size of the bags, eye bag surgery may not be necessary. A quick and permanent fix to camouflage the bags is to fill in the hollow area below them through fat grafting. The plumper skin smooths out the transition to the eye bags, making the entire area look rejuvenated and fresh.
Simple Procedure, Long-Lasting Results
Fat grafting can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. There will be about seven to 10 days of bruising and swelling. Owing to its biocompatible nature, lumps or bumps – common with other dermal fillers – are rare in fat grafting with proper injection technique.
After two or three months, only about 60% to 70% of the injected fat will still be present. If you feel you would like more volume, you may opt at that time for re-harvesting fat for another fat grafting or fill in with hyaluronic acid fillers at your Los Angeles oculoplastic surgeon’s office.
It All Starts With a Consultation
A face-to-face consultation is essential for determining if you are a good candidate for rejuvenating your eyes with an eyelid fat transfer. Please contact Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS, at my offices in Beverly Hills (310-499-2565) or Santa Barbara (805-556-7099), California. You may also reach me at877-958-9277 or contact my office via online contact form. If you plan to travel from out of town or out of state, please see some tips here: https://tabanmd.com/out-of-town-patients/.
Next, read 5 Signs You Need Revision Eyelid Surgery
Dr. Mehryar (Ray) Taban is one of the few board certified surgeons who is a member of the American Society of Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS), diplomat of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS), and the American Board of Ophthalmology (AAO or ABO). Dr. Taban specializes in eyelid and facial plastic (cosmetic and reconstructive) surgery. He uses the latest technology in surgery, including minimal incision techniques, to provide quicker recovery times and natural outcomes. Learn more about Dr. Taban here.