Facial Fat Transfer & Grafting
Full cheeks and temple region define a youthful face. Unfortunately, as we age, we lose this volume in our face. This results in the soft tissue’s descent, which hollows out, appearing creased, sunken, and aged. A youthful heart-shaped face turns into a more triangular appearing face.
With facial fat transfers, also known as facial fat grafting, volume can be naturally restored into these hollow areas, giving a more youthful and permanent result.
Fat grafting refers to the surgical process of transferring fat from one area of the body to another. A facial fat transfer is simply when the location the fat is transferred to is on the face. For example, an under-eye fat transfer can minimize the appearance of eye bags and dark circles.
What is facial fat grafting?
For those who wish to address volume loss in their face, your own fat is harvested from your abdomen or thighs. It is then replaced into the facial regions requiring additional volume through very small, well-hidden incisions. Typical locations for fat transfer include around the eyes, temples, cheeks, nasolabial folds, lips, and chin.
Another common non-facial area for fat addition is in the hands. Volumes of fat required are variable and are determined by each patient’s individual needs and goals. Fat grafting can also safely be combined with other facial and non-facial procedures, such as breast augmentation. Houston and Lake Jackson patients will notice more youthful facial volumes that should be permanent after 4-6 weeks of healing.
Before & After
Facial Fat Grafting
Patient: Facelift, Necklift, Blepharoplasty (Upper), Direct Lip Lift, Fat Injections, Morpheus (Post-Op/ 2 Months)
Are there different types of fat transfers?
Yes, there are slightly different procedures involved depending on what area of the body the fat transfer will go.
- Macro fat transfer: this is used when larger fat particles are transferred to areas to create more volume, such as the buttocks or breasts.
- Micro fat transfer: processes harvested fat into smaller particles to be used in small areas. This procedure would typically be used for:
- Fat transfer to lips
- Fat transfer to face
- Under-eye fat transfer
- Nano fat transfer: this procedure essentially turns the fat into a liquid and is used to improve skin texture and tone, such as:
- Smoothing out lip lines
- Smoothing out crows feet
- Filling out the tear trough (the crease between the lower eyelid and the upper cheek).
What is the difference between dermal fillers and fat transfer to face?
Dermal fillers are substances such as hyaluronic acid (HA), calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), and poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) that are injected into the skin to improve the volume or reshape a particular area. The main difference is that dermal fillers aren’t natural such as fat transfer procedures.
Facial fillers don’t require a surgical procedure and can have an immediate result; however, they will need to be touched up every six to twelve months.
Fat grafting, on the other hand, uses your own fat cells to improve areas of your face that are showing signs of aging and lacking the natural look of facial fat. While the effects aren’t as immediate, with the final results taking between four to six weeks, a facial fat transfer is more permanent and should not require touch-ups.
Good Candidates for Facial Fat Grafting
To undergo a facial fat transfer, Houston and Lake Jackson candidates should be in overall good general health.
Patients of all ages can benefit from facial fat grafting as facial volume loss starts in our mid 30’s. It is also helpful for those who undergo regular use of facial fillers and are looking for more permanent options. At your consultation, we will discuss your individual goals and how they can be achieved.
What To Expect
You will either be given general or local anesthesia to ensure comfort during your procedure. Your plastic surgeon and medical team can recommend the best option for your particular case, depending on your goals and additional procedures requested.
Fat removal will be harvested from your chosen region, but typical sites include the abdomen or thighs through tiny incisions. The fat is purified and placed into the facial areas requiring volume through near-invisible incisions.
What is fat transfer to face recovery time?
Patient’s should expect mild soreness, swelling, and possibly slight bruising around the fat grafted areas. Additional facial procedures can be combined safely, if desired. Swelling should resolve over the next two weeks. During this time, it is essential to minimize pressure on your face to maximize fat graft take.
If you are interested in facial grafting and would like to know if you are an appropriate candidate, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Yarish or Dr. Bartlett.