Fat transfer is an exciting procedure that uses the patient’s own fat to fill in areas of the face that require additional volume and rejuvenation. As we age, skin begins to sag, facial fat and collagen that help provide definition and youth to the face start to disappear, and wrinkles emerge. There are many ways to help slow this process down or restore some youth to the face. Fat transfer is a great way to rejuvenate–naturally. Many patients are interested in learning more about this process. Here are some common questions and concerns prospective patients have about fat transfer.
What Is Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer is a facial rejuvenation procedure that helps improve the appearance of the face and the quality of the facial skin. Unlike dermal fillers, fat transfer uses natural material from the patient’s own body for rejuvenation. Fat is removed from donor sites, then purified and refined before being injected into the face to restore volume. This results in a beautiful, natural restoration.
Who Is a Candidate?
As with any plastic surgery procedure, patients should be in general good health and have realistic expectations for the treatment. Ideally, candidates should have enough fat in desirable donor areas as well. Only a plastic surgeon can assess individual candidacy, however.
How Invasive Is the Procedure?
Facial fat transfer is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, involving gentle liposuction and injection of harvested fat into the face. Only light IV sedation is necessary, and no incisions are made in the face.
Where Is the Fat Taken From? Can I Choose the Donor Area?
Fat is taken from the site where the cells are most likely to survive transplant. The preferred site is the stomach, unless the patient does not have enough fat in this area. Liposuction for fat transfer does not emphasize aesthetic results in the donor area.
Do I Have Enough Fat for a Fat Transfer?
Though the stomach is the preferred donor site for fat transfer, it is possible to harvest fat from the thighs in a person without excess belly fat. Most people have enough fat to work with, but in rare cases, people with little body fat may need to seek other means of rejuvenation.
What Areas Are Best for Fat Transfer? Is It Good for Wrinkles?
Fat transfer works best in areas of the face such as the cheeks and lower eyelids. It is less effective in high movement areas such as the lips or deep dynamic wrinkles. Sometimes, dermal fillers are a better choice for treating lines and wrinkles.
How Long do Results Last?
When your surgeon performs fat transfer surgery, he will typically “overfill” the area to be treated. This is because the body naturally reabsorbs some of the fat that is injected into the face. Aside from this natural absorption, results of fat transfer are usually very long-lasting, if not permanent. The aging process will still continue, of course, but the fat transfer should make the patient look young for some time following surgery.
What Is Involved with Fat Transfer Recovery?
Fat grafting, though minimally invasive, does require some recovery. Patients should expect to be feeling up to going to work within 7-10 days following surgery. Some swelling and bruising will likely persist for a little while after this, however. Final results can take several weeks to become apparent.
Should I Combine Fat Transfer With Another Procedure?
Sometimes, it is a good idea to combine surgeries. The benefits include lower cost, combined recovery processes, and more comprehensive results. If you are interested in combining fat transfer with another procedure, you will want to get advice from your qualified surgeon.
What Should I Look for in a Surgeon?
Fat transfer is a fairly straightforward procedure, but it takes a lot of skill to administer the treatment properly. Choosing the right surgeon for you is very important. You should only speak qualified surgeons, like Dr. Edward Buckingham of Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, TX.Certified by American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.Dr. Buckingham offers patients great anti-aging results from fat transfer and other facial surgeries. To discuss your goals for anti-aging, call Buckingham Center at 512-401-2500 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Buckingham today.