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Facial Fat Transfer - Filling The Void

Whatever your morning routine is, chances are it includes a mirror at some point. Everyone deserves the chance to feel good about the face they see looking back at them. Unfortunately, there are plenty of folks who don’t necessarily feel all that great about their reflection. Reasons vary, but often the loss of facial volume, resulting in saggy skin, sunken eyes and deep nasolabial folds, is the primary culprit. But whether you’ve lost some facial volume due to age or you’re just unhappy with the contours of your face and lips, a facial fat transfer (also called “fat grafting”) procedure represents a simple, safe solution.

Put simply, a fat transfer to the face is accomplished in two steps. First, fat is harvested from another area on your body typically your abdomen or thigh. Not enough fat is removed to make a notable difference in the harvest area. But often, if there is a specific area of your body that you want to address anyway, the necessary fat can be set aside during the course of a standard liposuction procedure. Second, via tiny injection sites, the harvested fat is re-injected into the face resulting in a rejuvenated, fuller looking face. Of course, both steps involve much more than simply doing it.

The fat harvesting from elsewhere on your body is done using gentle liposuction. Once the fat has been harvested, it is processed and cleaned. Our GLOW Surgical Arts cosmetic surgeons purify the harvested fat to ensure that whatever fat is transferred to the face has the best possible chance of being accepted and becoming a living part of the surrounding tissue. The actual transfer is done in with very small injections, using small cannula (less than 1mm in diameter) and tiny access points that are essentially invisible within a day or so of the treatment. In fact, the entire procedure involves less than 40 mLs of fat (several tablespoons) of fat. This allows your GLOW cosmetic surgeon to take exacting measures to ensure smooth, pleasing, and enhanced contours and remove almost all risk of any sort of “dimpling” visual defect.

Fat transfer procedures are performed at the GLOW Surgical Arts surgery clinic in Redwood City and the patient does not have to “go under.” Instead, only local anesthesia is needed. Consequently, we’re able to monitor the procedure as it is ongoing and make adjustments as needed and ensure the best possible results for you and your face.

There are always risks with any sort of cosmetic procedure, and a fat transfer is no exception. Swelling and bruising are the most common side-effects, but they typically resolve after a couple of days. Other rare complications include infection, asymmetry, fatty cysts, hematoma, fat embolisms, seroma, and permanent discoloration. However, fat transfers to the face actually feature an extremely high success rate and minimal risk. Because the filler in this case is your own fat, the immune response that occurs when other types of implants are used is eliminated. The results will also last longer because, again, the filler is your own fat and the goal is to have the injected fat become a living part of the tissue in your face.

Not only is a fat transfer to the face likely to have better over all results for your facial rejuvenation, it’ll also the better economic choice. The cost of an equal volume of dermal fillers, along with the frequency of use of them, is substantially more than a fat transfer procedure. Not to mention the side-benefit of a gentle liposuction of another part of your body that could very well improve your self-image there simultaneously!

For years, cosmetic surgeons and patients alike lamented the waste of discarding all the excess fat from liposuction procedures. Fat transfers represent an avenue for repurposing some of that fat, and the procedures are only getting safer and more efficient as time goes by. Still, it’s important to understand that not all of the fat transferred to your face will remain there long enough to replenish some of the lost volume you’re hoping to improve. And, as mentioned, there are risks, although minimal. In the end, though, facial fat transfer procedures are likely to leave you with more volume where needed, smooth contours, and a more youthful appearance. You’ll also experience an improvement in the overall appearance of your skin, as it’s possible the fat transfer will also stimulate collagen formation, leading to thicker, tighter skin that simply looks better.

We all deserve to feel good about the way our face looks when we look into the mirror. A fat transfer procedure is, assuming you’re in relatively good overall health otherwise, absolutely a viable option, and one that will improve the way you feel about your face’s appearance. To learn more about what the procedure might mean for you, schedule a free, no obligationconsultation with one of our cosmetic surgeons today.

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