Aging of the face, neck, and hands is not just skin deep. Volume loss or descent of cheek fat, uncovers a furrow between the lower eyelid and the cheek (referred to as the naso-jugal groove or tear trough). In the upper eyelid and eyebrow area, a hollowed appearance is a sign of aging. A person’s own fat can be harvested from areas of excess, such as the abdomen or love handles, and used as grafts to replace the fat lost from the eyebrows, cheeks, naso-labial folds, and hands. This technique is referred to as Microfat grafting or fat transfer.
Aging can result in skin wrinkles around the mouth and upper chest that can be injected with fat, much as the way Juvederm and Restylane are used. The advantage of SNIF (Sharp Needle Intradermal Fat) is that in many people, the results are permanent.
Sun exposure and the passage of time can result in dark circles under the eyes and the loss of the youthful texture of the skin of the face, neck, upper chest (décolletage), and back of the hands. Research done by Drs. Patrick Tonnard and Alexis Verpaele of Ghent, Belgium (PRS 132:4, 2013 pp. 1017-1026) has shown that stem cells and growth factors in fat can be used to rejuvenate the skin.
Fat contains the highest concentration of stem cells of any tissue in the body. The technique disrupts the fat cells leaving the stem cells intact. This minimally manipulated fat is called Nanofat. It is injected into the skin using a micro needling device. The Nanofat grafting can be done as a stand-alone procedure under local anesthesia in the office or combined with other operations, such as blepharoplasty and facelift. The changes in the quality of the skin take about 6 months to appear and are long-lasting.
64- year-old woman that spent many years in the sun resulting in aging of decolletage skin. Wrinkles were injected with intradermal fat (SNIF) while entire area was treated with NanoFat administered by microneedling. Results demonstrate filling of wrinkles and improvement in quality of skin at 6 months after a single in-office treatment.