Facial Fat Transfer
Facial Fat Transfer Overview
Autologous fat transfers involve taking fat from your body, purifying it, and then injecting the purified fat tissues into another area of your body. Facial fat transfer procedures are most commonly utilized to address age-related issues such as volume loss in the cheeks, temples as well as orbital hollowing. Fat-transfer can also be utilized to plump lips, volumize the dorsum of hands, crispen the jawline, and fill in cheek hollowing. An additional benefit of the procedure is the effect it has on skin, which thins with age. The purified fat injections increase blood circulation and introduce growth factors, giving the patient’s skin a glowing, rosy, more youthful appearance.
Patients often choose autologous fat transfers over other injectables because there is no danger of allergic reaction when the injectable material comes from your own body, and additionally, fat transfer tends to produce a permanent result.
- Preparation: To aid healing, cease smoking during the two weeks before and the two weeks after your procedure. Additionally, stop taking all blood-thinning medications and supplements, including NSAIDs, vitamin E, and Gingko biloba. Depending on their age, patients choosing IV sedation require medical clearance from their primary physician.
- Anesthesia: Patients commonly choose to undergo the procedure under local anesthesia, although intravenous sedation and a general anesthetic are also available options. Discuss these options with Dr. Vallecillos during your consultation. Patients choosing IV sedation or a general anesthetic may require medical clearance beforehand.
- Preoperative Consult: During your consultation, Dr. Vallecillos evaluates your area of complaint, discusses your desired results, and provides guidance on which area or areas to use as the fat donor site. Come prepared with any questions you have as well as your complete medical history. Take note of all of his pre- and post-operative instructions to ensure you follow them exactly.
Facial Fat Transfer
The first step is removing fat cells from the selected donor sites. Common locations include the abdomen, hips, thighs and flanks. Dr. Vallecillos employs a low-suction liposuction method using a thin cannula to ensure the harvested fat cells remain undamaged. The doctor then purifies the collected fat through a gravitational process, minimizing damage to the fat cells. This isolates the fat cells from surrounding liquids. Finally, he injects the purified cells into the treatment site.
Facial Fat Transfer FAQs
Who is a candidate for a facial fat transfer?
Adult patients interested in correcting age-related volume loss of the face as well as improving a youthful facial contour are candidates for facial fat transfer. Additionally, fat transfer can be used to correct soft-tissue deformities subsequent to liposuction, volumize the dorsum of hands, and fill in old acne scars.
What is the recovery time for a facial fat transfer?
Follow Dr. Vallecillos’ post-operative instructions exactly. Typically, normal activity may resume immediately following the procedure, although discomfort and swelling continue during the immediate post-operative period. The fat grafts develop blood vessels within three to five days, although it takes several days for these to mature. In the first week, you will be asked to sleep on your back, elevating your head. Make sure you do not rub your face for the first two weeks, although you may lightly wash it. Also, during this time, do not engage in exercise.
Are there risks or side effects with a facial fat transfer?
Risks and side effects are minor, although every cosmetic procedure comes with some side effects. These include swelling, hematoma, and scarring. Additionally, depending on a patients native metabolism, the amount of fat “take” will vary from person to person, with fat resorption ranging from 20-50 % on average.
How long do the results last?
Length of results varies, although a large percentage of the injected fat cells survive to remain in the treatment areapermanently. Two weeks following your procedure, you will have a very good idea how your final, permanent result looks.