What is the lipofilling?
Lipofilling (autologous lipo-transplation, additive lipoplasty, lipostructure) consists in the transplant of one’s own adipose tissue from one area to another of the body in order to restore the volumes. The loss of volume in some areas of the face, such as the cheek-bones, the cheeks or the jawline represents a classical sign of ageing, but can also be present structurally in young people or can occur after losing weight. These hollow areas can be restructured in a natural and safe way by using the transplant of one’s own fat (lipofilling or autologous lipo-transplantation). In fact, fat represents the best alternative to fillers or to implants of external materials. With regard to the face, the fat can be used in particular to model the volumes of the cheeks, to define the cheek-bones or the chin, to fill in the folds and hollows which become evident with ageing.
Why do you use the lipofilling?
Lipofilling is a natural method that is safe and free from allergic or immune risks, which is used to obtain the redefinition of some areas of the face, but even of the body. Moreover, lipofilling is even able to correct defects following traumas or surgery. It is a surgical procedure that does not require hospitalization in which the two areas to be treated, the donor and the receiver, are anaesthetized with a local anaesthetic. Thanks to a fine cannula for liposuction and a syringe, the fat is extracted from the donor area (usually the abdomen, buttocks, thighs). Once extracted, the fat is treated to remove the excess liquid and cellular detritus and is then injected into the area requiring volume with a very fine cannula. Generally we proceed with an overcorrection, because part of the fat injected (about 50-70%) is reabsorbed and only 30-50% takes hold in a lasting way. The procedure can therefore be repeated in time until the desired correction is achieved. Once the transplanted fat has taken hold, it is living tissue and results in a definitive restructuring, which is why it is called lipostructure. The operation can be carried out singularly or in conjunction with other operations such as blepharoplasty or lifting. The operation lasts between thirty minutes and two hours in the case of a lipostructure that is extended to the whole face. Therapy with antibiotics is necessary, whilst the post-operative pain is mild and contained orally using painkillers.
Normally for a complete correction two to three treatments need to be programmed, six months to a year from one another. As the fat is harvested from the patient herself, it is in fact an out-and-out autologous transplant. Often lipofilling is part of a strategy in which essentially liposuction is carried out to achieve reductive remodelling and part of the fat extracted is used to remodel other areas in an additive way. As well as for the face, lipofilling is frequently used to model the contours of the trunk and the limbs within the liposculpture procedure or in the correction of defects or hollows in the surface of the skin of a traumatic or iatrogenic nature.
Effects of lipofilling
In the days following the operation, there is generally some swelling in the area, often linked to bruising which may even last for about ten days. The swelling is secondary, not only to the trauma, but also to the need to re-inject a quantity of material which is about twice as much as that required, due to the partial reabsorption of the volume in the months to come. In any case, however, the result is stable after 3-6 months and only evaluation after this length of time allows us to consider further procedures.
Today we know that the adipose tissue is the adult organ that is richest in stem cells. These cells are important for their rejuvenating effect on the tissues since they have an ability to change into new connective cells (not only adipose cells but also other cells of the connective tissue). This allows the lipofilling to produce a real anti-ageing effect on the tissues and in particular on the skin. In the near future, by treating the fat beforehand in the laboratory, we shall probably be able to use the stem cells alone.