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The Effects of Fat Loss on Facial Aging

Some of the telltale signs of an aging face often include sagging skin and loss of volume around the eyes, cheeks, nose, mouth, and chin. For years, the popular theory chalked attributed it up to the toll of gravity on the soft facial tissues of the aging face. – that facial soft tissues would simply just yield to the effects of gravity over time. And while there is still some merit to this theory, more recent studies point to the loss of fat – both near the surface of the skin and in deeper areas – as the real culprit behind an aging face that finds itself going south.

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A Study on Facial Volume Loss

In a new study featured in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, Aaron Morgan, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and his colleagues studied 19 patients who underwent CT scans of the head on two occasions at least a decade apart. The scans proved useful for measuring changes in fat deposits in the midface – the area between the eyes and mouth – over time in patients averaging 46 years old at the time of the first scan, and 57 years old at the time of the follow-up scan.

While the findings varied among patients, the results showed “definite and measurable loss of midface fat volume,” supporting the “volume loss” theory of facial aging. The total volume of facial fat decreased approximately 12.2 percent between the two scans spaced 10 years apart. However, the amount of reduction wasn’t the same at all levels. Fat volume located just under the skin decreased by an average of 11.3 percent, compared to an average 18.4 percent reduction in the deep facial fat compartment.

Study findings showed that deep facial fat loss removes support from the overlying fat, which causes deepening of the nasolabial fold (runs from the nose to the mouth), while fat loss closer to the surface makes the cheeks appear deflated. Variations in fat volume loss can also explain aging-related hollowing around the eyes and heaviness of the jowls, as the upper face has less fat to begin with, so fat loss is more apparent. In contrast, the cheek or buccal area has relatively little fat loss, so that area appears fuller as changes occur in other areas of the midface.

Fat Transfer to Replenish Lost Facial Fat

For years, many patients have relied on annual or bi-annual synthetic dermal fillers to restore facial volume. However, a more natural approach to facial rejuvenation is now available at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz, coming much closer to re-creating the facial fat distribution of youth. Fat transfers to the face – using autologous fat (or your OWN body fat) are quickly becoming the chosen procedure to restore the volume and fullness that is lost during the aging process. Using the BeautiFill™ fat transfer system, laser, suction, and fat processing are combined into one simple step, allowing Dr. Craig Schwartz to quickly harvest high-quality fat from areas where you don’t want it, and immediately re-inject it to address facial volume loss.

Consultations Available Now

To learn more, schedule your consultation with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the form on this page or by calling his practice at 913-451-8346. Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz serves patients throughout the Kansas City metro.

Benefits of Autologous Facial Fat Filler vs Dermal Filler

Autologous facial fat transfers have many advantages over synthetic dermal filler when replenishing facial volume, including the most significant advantage — that we are not limited to the volume of filler available to be injected, as we are when the patient is purchasing pre-filled syringes of dermal filler. We are able to use as much fat as we want to inject volume in as many locations, depths, and layers as we need. In addition, we have the capability of using sizers to adapt the size of the fat particles to better fit into the deeper or more superficial locations. The deep pockets that experience the most significant fat loss during the aging process require a significant amount of dermal filler, and often, for optimal results, different types of filler (generally would need to use different products in different locations and depths, as one or another will be denser or finer, firmer or more delicate, and so on…) would be required. However, most filler patients, due to the expense, do not want to purchase unit upon unit of dermal filler, or different syringes of various filler. So, the injector more frequently than not only accomplishes replenishing volume in the more superficial layers or just in isolated areas and does not acquire full volume replenishment on all levels.

The second advantage of autologous fat facial filler over synthetic dermal filler is the degree of longevity that it offers as compared to dermal fillers, which often last just several months to a year, for an ongoing expense of repeated syringes of filler for years and years! Although we are unable to guarantee a specific amount of years patients can expect fat filler to last due to the constant aging process of the face, studies do show that patients should expect to see voluminous, natural-looking results for 5-10 years, or more!

The third advantage of using facial fat filler over synthetic dermal fillers is that since autologous fat is that because it is your own body tissue, which contains stem cells so that the facial fat filler patient receives a rejuvenation effect in addition to the volume replacement, such that resulting in their skin appears brighter, fresher, younger and healthier, than ever before! looking skin!

LastFinally, the process of harvesting fat to use as facial filler means that each patient is in, reality, receiving a two-for-one procedure – as Dr. Schwartz gently removes excess volume from areas where the patient desires don’t want it, along with the prior to replenishing volume in the face!

State-of-the-Art Fat Transfer Procedure

The BeautiFill™ laser system allows for the rapid and gentle removal of unwanted fat from your abdomen, flanks, thighs, buttocks, and more, using just local anesthesia right in the comfort and convenience of our Kansas City cosmetic laser practice. The purified fat is then injected into your face, or any other area needing volume replenishment, including the breasts, hands, and buttocks. Downtime is minimal, but the results are outstanding!


*Individual Results May Vary


Read from real patients about their experiences with Dr. Schwartz and his team at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz.

What to Expect During a BeautiFill Fat Transfer Treatment

BeautiFill’s laser energy gently heats the tissue that surrounds fat cells in the treated area, allowing more fat to be gently removed from the tissue. This revolutionary process allows for fat removal with a very low liposuction pressure, thus preserving the integrity of the fat cells, and producing very little trauma and bleeding. The process also removes any blood, oil or fibrous tissue from the harvested fat, dramatically improving the quality, and greatly increasing the viability, of the harvested fat to be transferred. Nothing like this has ever been achieved through any other liposuction/fat transfer system.

Take the Next Step

If you have facial volume loss due to aging and are interested in learning more about a BeautiFill Facial Fat Transfer, schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz by calling (913) 451-8346, or complete our online consultation form. We look forward to meeting you and showing how Kansas City’s premier laser facial rejuvenation center can help!

Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz is located in Kansas City, MO and proudly also serves Leawood, Overland Park, Johnson County, and the entire Kansas City metro area.

** This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects.  The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

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