Fat transfers can correct facial volume loss. As we age, naturally we lose the rounded, full contours of the face we took for granted when we were younger. Fat transfers involve the removal of autologous (your own) fat tissue, often from the abdomen or flanks, through a suction cannula, preparing it clinically, then injecting it into the hollow areas under the eyes and cheekbones, laugh lines, smile lines, crow’s feet, jowl lines, temples and other facial creases and wrinkles. Fat injections can also be used to fill in some types of scarring and to plump the lips.
When to Consider a Fat Transfer
- If your face appears sunken in areas that were once full.
- If you are interested in general facial rejuvenation.
- If you are looking to correct scarring.
Dr. Kay’s Approach
Although the procedure can be done on its own, Dr. Kay frequently performs fat transfers in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation surgery. It can be performed under twilight sedation or local anesthesia. The result is softening of scars and wrinkles, an improved complexion, and tighter, firmer skin.
- Using your own fat greatly reduces the risk of infection or rejection of the tissue.
- Results have a very natural appearance.
- In addition to replacing lost volume in the face, the stem cells in fat improve the overall condition of the skin.
- Recovery from fat transfers is typically quick with only a few days’ downtime.
- The long-term retention of fat in the injected areas is somewhat unpredictable. If the fat is not retained for more than a couple of months, you may be a better candidate for dermal fillers.
- The fat transfer procedure is more costly than using dermal fillers.
- May take multiple treatments to achieve, in full, your desired results.
Fat transfers are frequently done simultaneously with facial rejuvenation procedures such as face lift, cheek lift, and blepharoplasty. Depending on your budget, an alternative option may be the use of dermal fillers, either to be done as maintenance or to further enhance your surgical results.
When fat is removed for fat transfers, is it the same as liposuction?
Only small amounts of fat are removed for fat transfers alone, so there is not a measurable difference in the fat at the donor site. However, if you schedule liposuction, that fat that is removed from the desired area can be processed and used to inject into your face.
What can I do if I like the initial result of the fat transfer, but the fat dissolves over time?
Dr. Kay’s philosophy is that if about half of the fat or more remains over time, you would potentially benefit from a secondary fat transfer procedure. If not, you might be a better candidate for volume replacement through the use of dermal fillers.