Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is a procedure that is growing in popularity especially within the United States. The idea is very simple: a patient’s own fat is used as filler in areas where they have had volume loss. This can be very appealing to patients who are uneasy about using anything artificial to achieve their cosmetic goals. I see many patients in my practice who have heard of the fat grafting process, but know very little about how the procedure actually works.
Fat grafting is a technique in which excess fat from other areas of the body is transferred to areas that may be lacking in volume. These areas most commonly include the face, hands, and in some cases, the breasts and buttocks. The fat is removed from areas of the body with excess volume such as the inner or outer thighs, stomach, and flanks using a technique that is similar to liposuction.
The procedure is a complex process. The technique involves aspiration of small amounts of fat through a liposuction canula into a syringe. The fat must be removed from the body and harvested in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the cells and prevent damage. Once these fat cells have been collected and harvested, they can then be used like dermal fillers in areas of volume loss.
Benefits of Fat Grafting Procedure
- Results can be longer-lasting than dermal fillers, but should not be considered permanent. As you age and lose volume in your face, the fat grafting procedure may need to be repeated.
- Results are safe and more natural in appearance
- Can be combined with a facelift for a more natural, youthful result
- A relatively non-invasive procedure for achieving facial rejuvenation
- Can help reduce the signs of aging in the hands, fill hollows around the eyes, provide natural cheek augmentation, and even reduce the appearance of acne scars.
What to Expect After Your Procedure
- As with any surgery recovery varies person to person. Here is some general recovery information related to facial fat injections:
- There will be significant swelling and bruising during the first week post procedure. This is temporary and will resolve with time. Most bruising and swelling will resolve within the first couple weeks post procedure.
- By the third week most swelling a bruising will have subsided. Makeup application will be helpful in camouflaging any residual signs of swelling or bruising.
This procedure is complex and nuanced with great results when performed precisely. It is extremely important to do your research and fined a skilled, highly trained, board certified plastic surgeon. For more information on fat grafting, please visit our dedicated webpage or schedule a complimentary consultation with our office to discuss your particular needs.