Fat transfer, also called autologous fat transplantation, is regaining popularity as a more natural and long-lasting way to add significant volume to the face utilizing unwanted fat taken from another area of your body. Fat transfers are a safe, non-allergenic way to recontour the face and add definition to the cheeks, lower eyelids and chin that gives a very natural result. You can also use fat transfers to correct atrophic aging of hands, post-surgical scars and post-traumatic defects as well as correcting facial deformities. Since the fat that is injected comes from your own body (typically the abdomen, thighs, or hips) there is no chance of an allergic reaction or “rejection” that can occur from using synthetic fillers.
Here’s the breakdown:
Fat is harvested via a small cannula (a dull instrument shaped like a needle) using local anesthetic. Common areas for harvesting are the thighs and abdomen or hips. The fat is then separated from the anesthetic solution and prepared in single syringes that are immediately injected into the face and/or hands to replace volume in the most natural way.
The most common areas treated are:
Cheek enhancement, dark circles under eyes, hand rejuvenation, laugh lines or marionette lines, forehead lines, near the eyebrows to create an eyebrow lift and glabella or “11s” between the eyebrows.
How to prep:
Patients are to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory medications and alcohol for one week prior to the procedure, along with supplements and herbal remedy’s such as vitamin C, E, fish oil and coQ10. For a full list of all supplements and medications, please view our Pre-Operative and Post-Operative Blog or contact our concierge Registered Nurse for exact instructions.
What to expect:
Patients report mild swelling and slight tenderness for about one week. Fat transferred to the face can last as long as 5-10 years and is very cost effective when dealing with significant volume loss.
Since the fat we are reinjecting is your own, there’s no chance of an allergic reaction. When the fat is harvested during liposuction, it is often possible to harvest a larger amount of fat, then freeze and store the fat for injections when they become necessary. Fat grafts can be frozen and saved from twelve to eighteen months before they are disposed. Most patients will require a touch-up at the 6-12 month mark.
Read additional information on Pre-Operative and Post-Operative Instructions and Tumescent Liposcution.