As we age, our face loses volume. This loss of volume can lead to a deflated, sunken appearance. Volume loss also intensifies the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles. Interestingly, this volume loss is associated with a decrease of both fat and bone. Lost volume can be replaced with several different materials, including hyaluronic acid gel filler, other synthetic fillers and fat.
When fat is used to replace volume in the face, the process is known as “fat transfer” or “fat grafting.” With this surgical technique, fat is removed from one area of a patient’s body and carefully injected into the face to restore youthful contours and a more refreshed, natural appearance.
Benefits of Fat Transfer
Fat transfer can:
Improve the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles.
Restore youthful volume and contour to the cheeks.
Restore a more harmonious and natural facial appearance.
Candidates for a Fat Transfer Procedure
Candidates for fat transfer:
Do not have a history of serious health problems.
Do not smoke.
Seek to restore youthful volume to their face.
About the Fat Transfer Procedure
At Visage Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, Dr. Berbos or Dr. Moore will thoroughly examine your unique facial anatomy to create a customized treatment plan. They will discuss your specific concerns, desired results and the surgical techniques that can best help you meet your aesthetic goals. Above all else, Dr. Berbos and Dr. Moore aspire to restore youthful facial contours and create natural-looking results for their patients.
Fat transfer is performed in the operating room. Most patients who undergo fat transfer are placed under general anesthesia or deep sedation (monitored anesthesia care). Next, fat is extracted via liposuction. The areas in which fat will be removed, or harvested, are identified at your preoperative appointment. Fat is usually harvested from the thighs, abdomen or buttocks.
After fat is removed, it is spun down in a centrifuge. The process helps separate the fat from debris and blood, ensuring that pure fat is injected. Shortly after the fat is removed from the centrifuge, it is injected into areas of facial volume loss. The fat is injected via blunt needle, known as a cannula. The use of a cannula helps to prevent the injection of fat into a blood vessel.
Results and Recovery After a Fat Transfer
Following fat transfer, patients usually experience noticeable bruising and swelling. This bruising and swelling slowly improve over a period of two to three weeks. Depending on where fat is removed, patients may need to wear a compression garment after surgery to prevent fluid accumulation (prolonged swelling). In the areas of the face where fat has been injected, patients will also notice post-operative swelling. This swelling improves over a two week period.
Post-surgery recommendations following fat transfer include:
Apply an ice pack to the surgical areas during the first week after surgery to control swelling.
Wear compression garments as instructed.
Do not smoke.
Avoid strenuous exercise or lifting weights over 8 pounds for 1 week after surgery.
Schedule a Fat Transfer Consultation
If you would like to learn more about how a fat transfer can restore a more harmonious facial appearance, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to meeting with you and discussing your unique aesthetic goals.