It’s not just wrinkles that age you. A loss of volume and fat from the face can also make you look years older. There are several options when it comes to restoring lost volume to the face. Fillers such as Sculptra and Juvederm Voluma plump up the cheek area, taking years off of your appearance. Fat transfer, which uses your own fat, can also restore volume to the cheeks and face. Although fillers can be a quick way to get results, fat transfer has a number of benefits.
One of the benefits of fat transfer or fat grafting is that it typically lasts much longer than fillers, if not forever. Juvederm Voluma provides results that are instantly visible and that last for as long as two years. The results from Sculptra also last for up to two years, but take several months to appear. Sculptra works gradually by restoring lost collagen in the area. Most patients need a series of treatments spaced a few months apart.
Although the results from fat transfer do last longer than the results provided by dermal fillers, there are a few things it’s important to understand about them. For one thing, it’s possible for your body to reabsorb some of the injected fat. To compensate for possible absorption, your surgeon might over inject you slightly. That means you might look overly full in the face for some time. Reabsorption can also mean that you need to repeat the treatment to get the look you are after.
Takes Fat from Other Areas
Another major benefit of fat grafting is that it takes fat from one area of the body and transfers it to your face. That means if you have a bit of extra fat in your hips, thighs, or buttocks, you can lose some of that fat and move it to your face, where you want it. Keep in mind that the amount of fat removed for the purpose of fat transfer usually isn’t that much and might not make much of a difference, depending on the amount of fat you have.
Using your own fat has other advantages, aside from leading to a reduction in unwanted body fat. Some people are allergic to the ingredients found in dermal fillers, whether those ingredients are naturally occurring or man-made. Since the fat being transferred comes from your own body, there’s little chance of your system rejecting it or of you experiencing an allergic reaction to it.
Admittedly, fat transfer is a more involved procedure than injectable fillers. After a filler treatment, you can pretty much bounce back to your regular life right away. There is a bit of recovery involved with fat transfer, but the procedure itself is less invasive than a facelift. There won’t be any incisions made on your face and you’ll have no scarring in the facial area afterwards.
That said, the procedure does involve some liposuction, which does mean you’ll be under anesthesia for at least part of the process. But, the amount of fat removed during the process is very small, so you won’t be under for long.
Since there is some swelling and bruising associated with fat transfer, you will want to take about a week or two off from work. You might be swollen in the facial area, as well as in the area from which the fat was taken.
Works with Other Procedures
Fat transfer is an ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. You might consider combining it with Botox injections, which can help reduce the appearance of lines created by repeated muscle movements over the years.
Although combining procedures can mean a longer initial recovery time, doing so can save you time and money in the long run. You won’t have to schedule separate procedures with a surgeon, for example. You can also enjoy a more youthful appearance sooner if you have Botox and fat transfer performed at the same time.
At Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, TX, Dr. Edward Buckingham, a board certified plastic surgeon, offers patients fat transfer and a variety of other facial rejuvenation procedures. To learn more about facial fat transfer and whether it’s the right choice for you, call 512-401-2500 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Buckingham today.