The Natural Filler: Fat Transfer
February 6, 2015
When it comes to anti-aging, many prospective plastic surgery patients would love to take the “plastic” out of the equation. While there are many different procedures available for facial rejuvenation, many of them involve synthetic products, such as Botox, or invasive surgeries. Because of this, patients looking for a more natural, subtle option may have trouble making the choice to move forward with facial rejuvenation.
There is, however, a more natural, long-lasting solution that is suitable for some patients: fat transfer, a natural facial rejuvenation method. But how does it work, and is it a viable option for fighting aging?
How It Works
Fat transfer is a revolutionary method of facial rejuvenation that uses the body’s own fat to fill in wrinkles, replace lost facial volume, and lend the face a more youthful, glowing appearance. First, the fat must be harvested from an area of the body where it is plentiful, such as the hips, stomach, and/or thighs. The fat is removed using modern liposuction techniques, and the cells are then refined for use in the facial rejuvenation process.
Once the fat has been prepared for transfer, it is carefully injected into various areas of the face where it is needed, in much the same way as a dermal filler is injected. Fat transfer can be used in any area of the face requiring additional volume, such as the tear troughs, forehead, cheeks, and chin.
The procedure itself is typically quite short, with the average treatment time of about an hour. Because the treatment is gentle, only local anesthesia and sedation is required, though some patients prefer to have general anesthesia for their own preferences. Initial recovery takes about a week or two, with most patients seeing the final results in about a month following the procedure.
Is It Permanent?
One of the reasons many patients elect to undergo fat transfer over dermal fillers is the potential for greater longevity of results. The goal of fat transfer is to place living fat cells into aging areas of the face, with the hope that they will continue tolive, thrive and produce long-lasting results. No matter what, not all the fat cells will survive more than a few months, however, so surgeons typically overfill the treated area somewhat to allow for this loss. While nothing can stop aging entirely, fat that survives long-term from fat transfers will provide permanent rejuvenation. Because the fat cells are living, they can fluctuate in size with weight gain or loss, so patients are advised to maintain a stable weight after treatment for best results.
The Benefits and Risks
Naturally, the greatest benefit of fat transfer is the potential for great, natural-looking anti-aging results using the body’s own tissues. Deep wrinkles and significant volume loss can be improve for a younger, healthier appearance. A side benefit to the procedure is that the donor site receives liposuction and may exhibit improved contour after the procedure. Though fat transfer is partially a surgical procedure, it is fairly minimally invasive.
There are few risks involved with fat transfer, but they do exist, and usually surround the aesthetic outcome of the procedure. Sometimes, it is difficult to predict how well the fat will survive in certain areas, which can cause over or under filling, or asymmetry. Other potential risks are extremely rare, and should be discussed with potential surgeons.
Who Is a Candidate?
As with most plastic surgery procedures, not everyone is a good candidate for fat transfer. Some of the basic requirements demand that prospective patients:
- Are adults with signs of facial aging
- Are in general good health
- Have enough fat to harvest
- Do not smoke
- Are at a long-term stable weight
- Have realistic expectations
Only a qualified plastic surgeon can assess individual candidacy for fat transfer, and you will discuss your eligibility when meeting with potential surgeons.
Choosing a Specialist
Because fat transfer involves the use of two different techniques (liposuction and injection), and requires an artistic hand, only a board certified plastic surgeon has the skill and knowledge to create successful outcomes for patients. If you are considering beginning your consultations with plastic surgeons, be sure to bring specific questions about the procedure to each meeting, do your research beforehand, and never choose a surgeon with whom you do not feel completely comfortable.
If you are seeking expert help in Dearborn or Birmingham, Michigan, come to Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and meet with our renowned team of board certified surgeons. Our experts have decades of experience and offer patients a wide range of procedures. Call 866-487-3223 today to schedule your free consultation.