WHAT IS FAT TRANSFER TO THE FACE?
Fat transfer is where fat cells are removed from one area of the body, carefully prepared, then reinjected into areas of the face to add and restore volume. Fat is the ideal material for soft tissue augmentation since it is the most natural.
HOW DOES FAT TRANSFER WORK?
During fat transfer, fat is removed from your thighs, buttocks or abdomen by liposuction and reinjected to plump up facial features. Preparation of the fat is very important to avoid damaging the fat cells. Liposuction is performed with a syringe to atraumatically harvest viable fat cells. Fat cells are then seperated from body fluids by centrufuge and washed to remove blood cells. The cells may then be enriched by stem cells or platelet rich plasma before loading it into syringes for reinjection into volume deficient areas of the face.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO HEAL FROM FAT TRANSFER?
Patients are typically able to return to work within the next few days and are usually fully recovered in about a week. It is important to remember that not all of fat will remain so there may need to be more than one session to achieve the desired result. As the initial swelling resolves, the fat cells may regain size as they develop nourishment from the surrounding circulation. Though these changes are gradual, it may take several months to see the final result.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF FAT TRANSFER?
The risks of fat transfer are minimal. There may be some bruising and swelling but it is minimal compared to other implant procedures. Mild tenderness is to be expected in the harvested area. Although infection is possible with any surgical procedure, it is not common.
HOW LONG DOES FAT TRANSFER TO THE FACE LAST?
Fat grafting is a decades old procedure. Previous breakdown and resorption rates of grafted fat were dissappointing. When fat is injected in larger quantities it can add volume, but without nourishment, the results are temporary. A better understanding of how the tissues respond to various filler materials has led to a resurgence in fat grafting with newer techniques. Fats cells must be harvested and handled atraumatically and then placed where they can establish a blood supply if they are to thrive long term. Structural fat grafting is a newer technique where small amounts of fat are micro-injected into tissues with a threading technique. These discrete layers gradually build a new soft tissue structure around which new blood vessels can grow and support the fat cells. The results are a much higher survival rate with long term volumizing effects.