aka Fat Grafting, Fat Injection, Microlipotransfer
Fat Transfer Overview
|GOALS||Restore volume to deflated or volume-depleted facial areas, minimize lines, wrinkles, and shadows and restore softer appearance to the face|
|PROCEDURE||Fat transfer, Fat grafting, Microlipotransfer|
|ANESTHESIA||Local anesthesia with sedation|
|LENGTH||Under 90 minutes|
|AFTER PROCEDURE||Dressings removed after 1 day. No additional facial sutures.|
|RECOVERY||Most activities may be resumed after a couple of days. Swelling and bruising generally subside by 2 weeks. Return to work by 2 weeks.|
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In addition to skin changes and sagging, volume loss from the face has become increasingly recognized as an important component of the aging process. Fat transfer involves the use of your own fat cells to restore facial volume. Using fine cannulas, fat cells are typically taken from a donor site such as the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs. Using even finer cannulas, those fat cells are then transplanted to volume-depleted regions of the face. Volume restoration using your own fat may be permanent, although this is variable.
The Aging Process
As part of the normal aging process, the face undergoes multiple changes concurrently including the loss and redistribution of facial volume. Over time, facial volume depletion leads to a loss of the appearance of facial fullness and the gentle convex contour that accompanies youth. In regions of repetitive facial movement, this volume loss coupled with strong muscle activity contribute to the appearance of wrinkles and lines which may deepen over time. As fat is redistributed from the upper face (midface and cheeks) to the lower face (jowls and neck), the shape of the face gradually changes. A characteristically youthful face that is full, soft, smooth, and bears an inverted triangular-shape appears with age to become increasingly deflated and square-shaped. Volume loss is particularly pronounced around the eyes, cheeks and jaw line. In those locations, Fat Transfer may have the greatest impact.
Candidates for Fat Transfer
You may be a good candidate for Fat Transfer if you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your face, especially related to facial volume loss, and/or the diminishment of softness and/or the gentle convex contour which characterizes a youthful face. In addition, you may consider fat transfer if you are concerned about hollowing around the eyes which may include the development of apparent dark circles underneath the eyes.
Furthermore, individuals who have been treated successfully with temporary dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Perlane, Radiesse, or Restylane but who would like consider a potentially more permanent solution may be good candidates for Fat Transfer.
Procedures - Non Invasive
Temporary dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Perlane, Radiesse, or Restylane may be employed by Dr. Pearson to restore facial volume. However, the costs involved with using large volumes of dermal fillers limit their desirability for many patients.
Fat Transfer Surgery
Fat Transfer entails using your own fat cells to restore volume to the face. During your consultation, a donor site for fat harvest is selected. Depending on the individual, fat may be transferred from the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs. The fat is retrieved from the donor site fine cannulas. The fat is then gently purified prior to transfer to the face. The technique uses strategically placed tiny incision sites (less than 2 mm) to transfer fat cells to areas where volume has been lost. Fat transfer is typically performed at the same time and in conjunction with a facelift and/or necklift as part of a comprehensive rejuvenation strategy for the face.
As noted above, fat transfer is often undertaken in combination with a lifting procedure or other surgery. In addition, skin resurfacing procedures may be performed at the same time to improve skin surface changes.
Recovery after Fat Transfer
Following fat transfer, you can expect a few days of swelling and soreness which is well controlled with oral pain medications. Typically, no additional facial sutures are required. Makeup can be used to camouflage any bruising. Swelling and bruising generally subside by 2 weeks. You can resume most normal activities after a couple of days, except for intense exercise, which may be resumed at about 3 weeks. Most people are able to return to work by 2 weeks. The facial incision sites are usually not noticeable after a short time has passed.
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