Fat Transfer to the Face for Volume Restoration
As you age, the fat volume in your face starts decreasing and this often leads to the cheeks appearing sunken as well as a tired look under the eyes. As the volume of facial fat decreases further, bags under the eyes, fine lines besides the mouth and laugh lines become more prominent. In addition to appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin, drastic volume loss to the face is one of the biggest unwanted effects of natural aging.
Pulling or lifting the loose skin is not the best way to get rid of these aging signs. However, it is possible to replace the natural fat you lose as a result of aging and restore a youthful glow to the face with fat transfer to the face with Dr. Gallo in Miami.
What it Fat Transfer to the Face?
Fat transfer or autologous fat transfer or fat grafting refers to the process of taking fat from one (donor) area or areas of the body and re-injecting it into another area to restore volume. The ultimate goal of the minimally invasive fat transfer process is to restore volume and add natural looking fullness to the area that receives the fat graft or transfer.
How does the Fat Transfer work?
Autologous fat transfer can commonly be made to the face, lips, buttocks and hands. Facial fat grafting or transfer involves transferring fat to the cheeks, lower eye area, brow, temples and laugh lines as well as the jawline.
The results of facial fat transfer can be quite dramatic. When performed by Dr. Gallo, the fat transfer procedure can reverse the obvious signs of aging and restore a youthful and plumped appearance to the face that looks very natural.
This procedure uses a patient’s own fat, often harvested from the inner thighs, waist or the abdomen using a small syringe. The extracted fat is then purified and re-injected into the predetermined facial areas to restore a naturally refreshing and youthful appearance.
About the Face’s Shape
To understand the effects of fat grafting, it is important that we evaluate the general shape of the face as it matures. It is simple to immediately perceive the age of the person even without seeing wrinkles or gravity. This is because the age of the person has a lot to do with overall facial volume and shape.
A young child tends to have a round face and this is mainly due to the abundance of baby fat that tends to stay until the 20’s. Most women prefer the shape of their face in the early 30’s. However as they continue to age, there is significant loss of fat in the jawline, cheeks and the eye area. Adding fat back to the facial structures can make the skin look radiant. More importantly, it can also help improve skin texture and tone.
What Problems can a Facial Fat Transfer Address?
Fat grafting or fat transfer not only will give a natural lift to the facial structures but it can also improve the overall look of your skin. Most patients seeking facial fat transfer for volume restoration present the following symptoms:
• Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Crow’s feet
• Dark circles
• Prominent bags under the eye
• Frown lines
• Sunken cheeks
• Tired or fatigued look
The natural aging process results in fat loss which can leave the facial structure looking thin and saggy. A facial fat transfer has the instant effect of filling out the sunken cheeks and other facial structures to restore a more youthful state.
Who is a Candidate?
A fat transfer process, as the name suggests transfers fat from body areas that have excess fat such as abdomen and inner thighs into areas that are lacking volume. Candidates may consider fat transfer if:
• They have facial areas that appear sunken
• They desire permanent correction unlike temporary fillers
• They want to improve facial areas that appear creased and depressed such as frown lines, laugh lines and Crow’s feet
• They want to fill in acne scars and other visible scarring on the face
Sometimes candidates decide to go for fat transfer to improve the overall skin tone.
Fat can be transferred to any area of the face but the best areas are those that show obvious signs of age related volume loss and wrinkling. Some of the most commonly treated areas include:
• Loss of cheek fullness
• Hollowing in the temples
• Filling forehead lines
• Plumping thinning lips
• Filling in cheek folds beside the mouth
• Filling in scarring that results due to acne or facial surgery
• Adding volume along the jawline
There are three main components of fat transfer:
• Extraction of fat from donor site
• Processing and purification of fat
• Re-injection of fat at recipient site
Fat is extracted from one part of the body, and is then washed and purified. The processed fat is then re-injected into the desired area. Sometimes the fat transfer process is done several times to achieve the desired result.
• 1. Extraction of Fat or Harvesting
The plastic surgeon will select a donor site for fat removal and will inject it with a local anesthetic. The surgeon will then create small incisions in the area for removing fat. Usually a sterile cannula attached to the syringe is used to carefully extract fat.
• 2. Fat Purification and Centrifugation
Once enough fat is obtained from the donor site, the surgeon (Dr. Gallo) will prepare (process) the fat cells and transfer them to small syringes that will be used for fat injection. The purification and centrifugation process is done to remove impurities.
• 3. Placement of Fat
The area designated to receive fat graft will then be prepared. The surgeon will insert a fine needle into the site being treated. This needle is usually passed in and out of the skin several times as the fatty tissue is carefully deposited at the target site. Once satisfactory contour is created, the surgeon may place a bandage or dressing over the grafted area.
The ultimate goal of the fat transfer process is to help patients achieve the most beautiful and natural looking results.
What Will Fat Transfer Incisions and Scars Be Like?
Because incisions made at the donor site are small and are usually placed in hidden areas, they are not a huge problem. The amount of swelling or bruising at the recipient site would depend on the surgeon’s technique and the patient’s genetic tendencies. Dr. Gallo uses minimally invasive techniques to help reduce swelling or bruising.
Fat grafting is typically performed using local anesthesia or general anesthesia depending on the patient’s medical condition. Both harvesting fat and re-injecting purified fat utilize micro syringes so there is only mild pain associated with fat grafting.
Complete post surgery recovery instructions are provided to the patients prior to the procedure. Even though pain, soreness and discomfort experienced from minor incisions made using the surgery is mild, pain medication will be prescribed to reduce swelling and bruising. Some surgeons prescribe prophylactic antibiotics to reduce the risk of infections. Following
Dr. Gallo’s post surgery care instructions can help avoid complications and speed up recovery.
Each person’s recovery will be different. Mild swelling and bruising usually subsides around 7 to 10 days post surgery. Patients with fat injections closer to the eye experience more bruising.
Also, the deeper the injections, the more bruising and swelling patients would notice.
It is normal to experience slight tingling, numbness or other unfamiliar sensations in the treated area. These symptoms usually resolve as swelling and bruising get better.
Here is some general recovery information related to facial fat injections:
• Swelling, bruising and slight pain are common during the first week.
• During the second week, the bruising resolves, but swelling might be present
• During the third and fourth week, there is significant improvement.
• At the end of four weeks, patients begin to look like a younger version of themselves. Because swelling and bruising will no longer be present, patients are able to appreciate the changes in facial structure and of course, the youthful skin appearance.
The Results to Expect with Fat Transfer to the Face
The results from facial fat transfer are natural and remarkable. The procedure takes about 30 minutes but it can take years off your face. It is possible that the surgeon performs fat transfer along with other facial rejuvenation surgeries such as a facelift.
Patients can expect the areas to which the purified fat was transferred to appear fuller and softer. The longevity of results however depends on the skills and knowledge of the plastic surgeon, how the fat was extracted from the donor site and most importantly, where it was injected.
For best results, fat grafting requires a surgeon like Dr. Gallo, with highly developed skills and extensive knowledge of the process.
When done successfully, the newly injected fat establishes blood supply and receives the oxygen and nutrition it needs for survival. For safety as well as more successful outcome, it is important that patients follow up with Dr. Gallo at the prescribed times.
Are you interested in the cost of fat transfer to the face? 305-783-6780.with Dr. Julio Gallo, or call