Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer, is an elective procedure wherein fat is removed via liposuction from an area or areas of your body where you don’t want it (think tummy, thighs, and/or back), to a place where you do want it, such as your breasts, buttocks or face. Some of our South Bay plastic surgery patients prefer fat transfer to implants or fillers because it’s “natural,” i.e., a substances from their own body rather than a manufactured product that could, potentially, be rejected.
While you may be familiar with fat transfer for buttock or breast augmentation, you may not know the many ways that fat grafting can benefit your facial appearance. As we age, facial fat content decreases, causing a flat appearance to the face; jowling around the jawline; wrinkling in the forehead; and shrinking of the temples. The loss of this fat makes us look older. Replacing this lost volume with filler or fat can create a healthy glow and take years off one’s appearance.
How Fat Grafting is Performed
Through liposuction, fat is removed, processed, and then injected into the areas to be treated. Common areas for injection include the temples, lips, cheeks and This minimally invasive procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.
Does Fat Grafting Replace a Facelift?
The answer to this question depends upon the resiliency of the patient’s facial skin and the amount of facial muscle sagging. If the patient’s skin is resilient and there is minimal muscle sagging, the injection of fat will result in a younger appearance. However, if the patient’s facial muscles and/or facial skin has significant laxity, fat grafting may be included in a facelift, rather than a substitute for one. As with injection of fillers and facelift surgery, fat transfer to the face will “reset the clock” but not stop the aging process. Ultimately, fat grafting will need to be repeated, with or without a surgical face lift, if the patient wishes to continue to look as youthful as possible.
How Soon are Results Evident in Fat Grafting?
Similar to injection of dermal fillers, the results of fat transfer are immediately evident.
Recovery from Fat Transfer
Most patients have minimal swelling and/or bruising following the injection of fat, similar to the experience following dermal filler injection. Cold compresses can minimize swelling, and sleeping with the head elevated for several nights after injection can assist in resolving swelling.
If you or someone you know has an interest in facial rejuvenation, call our office at 310-784-0644 to schedule a consultation with one of our three RN Injectors. If you think fat grafting may be an option for you, ask us to schedule a cosmetic consultation with one of the board certified plastic surgeons in our Torrance office either immediately before or after your appointment with the nurse injector.