Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or fat injections, is becoming an increasingly popular procedure for facial rejuvenation. This treatment is a more natural alternative to the use of dermal fillers, which use synthetic material to create volume and restore youthfulness. For those who desire a more youthful facial appearance through the use of natural methods, fat grafting at Bajaj Plastic Surgery in Oklahoma City may be an ideal option. Please contact our office today to learn more!
What is Facial Fat Transfer?
The face is often the focus of many cosmetic surgeries or other procedures designed to rejuvenate one’s appearance or “roll back the years” to appear more youthful. Whether due to genetics, exposure to harsh elements, lifestyle choices, or simply the aging process, both men and women seek ways to eliminate signs of wear and tear on their faces.
The common concerns that facial fat transfer can treat include:
- Deepening lines and wrinkles
- Sunken eyes
- Hollow cheeks
- Frown lines
- Marionette lines
- Nasolabial folds
- Wrinkles around the neck
For some, these physical changes can cause them to appear much older than they truly are and can even negatively impact their overall self-esteem.
As we age, we tend to lose volume in our faces which can make us appear older. One procedure that specifically addresses this concern is facial fat transfer, also known as facial fat grafting. This procedure uses fatty tissues taken from other areas of the body and transfers them to certain areas of the face where aging has impacted the most. With any fat transfer procedure, patients can enhance one area of the body naturally, while also slimming down a region that was otherwise problematic. This procedure is less invasive and requires minimal preparation and significantly less recovery time than with another form of facial rejuvenation, such as a facelift.
As we age, not only do tissues lose their elasticity and start to sag, but we also lose volume in our faces. For this reason, many of us may seek out facial fat grafting. The advantage of using your own fat rather than a filler is that it is permanent and is your own tissue.
Fat Reduction – Because fat transfer procedures remove fat from one region of the body and repurpose these cells in another area of the body, places such as the thighs, buttocks, or abdomen can become redefined and contoured by having excess fatty tissue removed, causing these problem areas to look leaner and healthier.
Improved Contours – As we age, collagen and elastin within the facial skin tend to break down, leading to wrinkles and lines that hinder one’s true appearance. With fat transfer, the cells are used to add volume to the cheeks, around the mouth, and eyes. Fat grafting is also beneficial for filling-out and reducing scars or defects.
Restored Youth – Facial balance can be restored through facial fat transfers, creating a more youthful and symmetrical appearance that has been impacted by the aging process. Lines and wrinkles can be reduced, the skin will appear more firm and lifted, and can take years off your appearance by restoring tissue volume.
Fat Transfer vs. Injectable Fillers
To help reverse the signs of aging and provide you with more fullness, there are two different options –dermal fillers, and facial fat transfer. Both of these techniques can be used to replenish volume loss within the skin and subcutaneous tissues.
With facial fat transfer, Dr. Bajaj utilizes the your own fat to fill areas of the face that have lost volume. The use of natural, original fat tissue circumvents any potential risks or rejections of foreign tissue or materials.
In comparison, injectable fillers introduce foreign materials into the body, which can cause allergic reactions or other complications. Although dermal fillers provide instant results, they are not long-lasting. Dermal fillers can last from 6 months to two years, depending on the type of filler used and location where it is injected; in contrast, fat that is injected into the skin will establish its own blood supply within the face, making it a permanent new home for lasting results. Typically 50-70% of the fat that is injected will take as a permanent graft.
Ideal patients for facial fat transfer are men and women who want to reduce the effects of facial aging without the use of asynthetic materials. These patients should have an adequate amount of fat on the body which can be safely removed for the injection process. The men and women who are considering facial fat transfer should be in overall good health and have no underlying conditions that can pose a risk to optimal recovery and results.
In case you do not have enough excess fat to suffice for treatment or the effects of aging are too progressed, Dr. Bajaj will recommend alternative treatments, such as one of our dermal fillers or a facelift, to help achieve their desired results. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for facial fat transfer, please contact Bajaj Plastic Surgery in Oklahoma City today and schedule a private consultation with Dr. Bajaj.
During your initial consultation with Dr. Bajaj, you will meet privately with her to discuss your aesthetic goals and expectations. Dr. Bajaj will then perform an in-depth evaluation assessing your medical history, routine medications, and current health, to help determine if facial fat transfer is a safe and viable treatment option for you.
If you are a good candidate for facial fat transfer, Dr. Bajaj will work personally with you to devise a custom treatment plan to meet your aesthetic needs.
To ensure an optimal facial fat transfer experience, Dr. Bajaj will provide you with a detailed instructions, including:
- Maintain a healthy diet and moderate physical activity
- Arrange for a ride home the day of the procedure, since you will be unable to drive yourself home following the procedure
- Quit smoking at least four weeks before treatment and for eight weeks following the treatment to ensure survival of as much grafted fat as possible
- Avoid any anti-inflammatory medications for at least two weeks before treatment
The Facial Fat Transfer Process
Dr. Bajaj will begin the facial fat transfer procedure by marking the specific facial areas where fat will be extracted from (the donor site) and where the cells will be transferred to. The fat transfer procedure itself involves a three-step process. First the cells are removed from the body through the use of liposuction, they are then washed and cleaned, and lastly, the cells will be placed into a syringe and injected into the areas of the face that have been most affected by aging or volume loss. The fat cells can also be injected into the lips and cheeks to achieve a more natural form of augmentation.
After the facial fat transfer is complete, Dr. Bajaj will close any incisions using sutures.
Recovery from a facial fat transfer procedure is typically short. It is not uncommon for patients to exhibit swelling, bruising, and sensitivity, both in the areas of injection and the donor site (the area from which the fat is taken). These symptoms will dissipate naturally, typically within a few days.
Sometimes fat injections can dissipate over time as the body can re-absorb certain amounts of fat. Occasionally, patients may require an additional treatment
Immediately after the procedure, there will be some swelling and bruising that will resolve.
While there will be an immediate increase in volume, it may be several weeks before the definitive result I achieved. Lines and wrinkles will appear less distinct or will have diminished completely, creating a more youthful look overall.
As with many cosmetic procedures, the actual cost of a facial fat will vary based on the amount treatment needed and how much fat will be removed. Dr. Bajaj will be able to provide each patient with an accurate facial fat transfer quote after an initial consultation. Interested in receiving a custom quote? Plastic surgeon, Dr. Anu Bajaj, and her staff in Oklahoma City are eager to speak with patients about the details of a facial fat transfer procedure. Please contact our office today and schedule a consultation!