The anti-aging industry has made major leaps and bounds in recent years. A variety of synthetic injectable substances have been developed to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, folds, and volume loss in the face. However, one substance that has a particularly potent ability to rejuvenate the face is already natural to your body: your own fat. Through a procedure called fat transfer, excess fat from another area of your body can be extracted and reinjected to your face to enhance volume, improve definition, soften contours, and rejuvenate your appearance.
What Are the Benefits?
Natural Biological Treatment
Many health-conscious individuals today are concerned with putting only natural products into their bodies. Even though synthetic injectables are FDA approved to safely reduce signs of aging, not everyone is comfortable with using them. Some people may also have an allergy or intolerance to these products. Fat transfer is completely natural because it uses your own body fat. Your fat is simply redistributed from one area to another to improve your appearance and rejuvenate your face. Facial fat sculpting is safe, and your body will not have an allergic reaction to its own fat.
Fat redistribution is one of the major benefits of the fat transfer procedure. The purpose of this procedure is to rejuvenate areas that have lost volume due to fat displacement. To do so requires the harvesting of fat cells from areas that have a surplus of fatty tissue. Thus, the fat is redistributed from a particularly fatty area, such as the abdomen or hips, to a fat-deprived area like the aging face. This process improves the appearance of both areas for a dual benefit effect.
Facial volume loss is a natural result of aging. As the facial tissues sag and fat pockets shift, areas such as the cheeks, temples, lips, around the mouth, and under the eyes develop an increasingly thin, small, and hollow appearance. Fat transfer fills in these areas to reverse volume loss and fill in wrinkles and folds. This procedure restores more attractive contours and youthful facial definition.
What Do You Desire?
Fat transfer to the face produces natural-looking results. The fat naturally grafts into the existing tissue and contributes to a fuller appearance in that area. The strategic injection of fat where it is needed helps the face to look more naturally youthful and refreshed.
Smooth, Wrinkle-Free Skin
Facial fat injections can eliminate many wrinkles that appear with age. Examples include smile lines, frown lines, marionette lines (from the sides of the mouth down to the chin), nasolabial folds (from the nose to the corners of the mouth), and other wrinkles and furrows.
Defined Facial Contours
Part of the age-related wear and tear that occurs in the face is the loss of volume. Hollows form under the eyes, in the cheeks, and at the temples. Lips become thinner and smaller. Scars and depressions in the skin such as those left by acne can mar your complexion. Fat transfer can fill in these areas and restore smoother, softer, and more defined facial contours.
When fat is injected into an area of volume loss, the fat cells graft into the existing fat. In doing so, they become a permanent part of the tissue, which means that the effects of the procedure tend to be long lasting. Facial fat injections last significantly longer than cosmetic injectables and dermal fillers.
Reduced Body Fat
Fat transfer to the face benefits both the face and body. The face receives much-needed volume and the harvest site loses excess fat. Facial fat injections can help you to trim down fatty areas to give you slimmer body contours.
Addressing Your Concerns
Recovery After surgery, you will wear a compression garment around the fat harvest site to control swelling and support skin contraction. Patients are encouraged to walk as soon as possible to aid in circulation and speed up their recovery. Some swelling and bruising may occur in the face and the harvest site for a few days to a few weeks. Most patients can return to work and normal activities within just a few days. Exercise should be avoided for two to four weeks. Most swelling and bruising will subside within three weeks, but minor swelling can continue for up to six months.
Scars Retrieving the donor fat from the harvest site is accomplished with liposuction, which requires small incisions that may leave scars. These scars will be small and inconspicuously placed in natural body contours. Any visible scarring will fade over time. There will be no scarring in the face, as the fat will be injected via a needle.
Cost The cost of fat transfer to the face will vary based on factors such as surgical technique, amount of fat removal, facility costs, anesthesia, and medications. Your cost may reflect the expertise of your surgeon, who will exercise great care and dedication to produce the best possible results. A detailed explanation of the expected cost will be given to you at your initial consultation.
Pain After fat transfer to the face, you may experience some discomfort or pain in the face and harvest site. Prescribed pain medications will alleviate any discomfort, and antibiotics will help prevent infection so that your body heals quickly and smoothly.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
Fat transfer to the face is a three-step process. First, the excess fat is gently removed from the body via liposuction. Typical harvest sites include the abdomen, hips, and thighs. Second, the fat cells are isolated and prepared for reinjection. Third, the fat cells are transplanted into the previously appointed areas of the face.
WHAT TYPE OF LIPOSUCTION WILL BE USED TO HARVEST THE FAT CELLS?
Dr. Messa usually uses internal and external ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) and tumescent liposuction for liposuction. These techniques are preferred over traditional liposuction because they have a faster recovery time and better results.
WHAT SIGNS OF FACIAL AGING CAN FAT TRANSFER MINIMIZE?
Fat transfer can be used to minimize scars, depressions, wrinkles, folds, thinning lips, and facial hollows such as those found in the cheeks and under the eyes.
CAN FAT TRANSFER BE COMBINED WITH OTHER PROCEDURES?
Fat transfer is an excellent complement to facial resurfacing procedures such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels. It can also be used in combination with BOTOX® Cosmetic injections.
WHEN WILL I SEE MY RESULTS?
Initial results will be immediately visible, but the final results will take a few months to become noticeable due to lingering swelling.