We all want instant gratification, and in our current society, it’s pretty easy to get everything we want with the click of a button. However, patience is still a necessary skill to have, especially when it comes to something like plastic surgery. Following most procedures, patients will look worse before they look better, a concept that is easy to process before the day of surgery or treatment, but harder to come to grips with when the reality arrives. Fat transfer is a fairly gentle procedure that does not require a lengthy healing process, but the recovery does involve some patience when it comes to seeing final results.
Fat Transfer: Goals and Procedures
In the last few decades, plastic surgeons have come to realize that there is more to aging than just wrinkling and sagging skin. Facial volume loss is a huge part of what makes someone look older, and in order to effectively rejuvenate the face, it is necessary to add some volume back in, typically with fat or synthetic fillers.
Fat transfer is a procedure that takes fat from one area of the body (such as the stomach or thighs) for the purpose of injecting the fat into the face to restore volume and fill in facial wrinkles. Because this natural procedure uses the patient’s own fat, some of the cells that are injected will live on, resulting in long-term results.
Unlike facial fillers, fat transfer is not considered a temporary treatment, and more volume can be added than with synthetic products. Fat injections can add volume to the face anywhere it is needed, whether that means addressing sunken cheeks or eyes, or filling in wrinkles.
Overfilling the Face
While many of the grafted fat cells will survive in the face following the procedure, there are a certain amount that will not. To compensate for this loss, plastic surgeons will typically overfill the area to be treated, anticipating that not all the cells will survive. The volume introduced by the fat injections will slowly settle and stabilize over the next few months following surgery.
Gentle liposuction techniques are used to harvest the fat for use in the face, and the injections themselves don’t cause much trauma, so the physical recovery period from fat transfer surgery is fairly mild. Most patients take a week or two away from normal activities while the swelling, bruising, and redness improve.
Final Results & “Permanent” Results
The final results of fat transfer can be seen several months following the procedure. Any fat cells that remain at six months after the procedure are considered permanent, as they have established a blood supply in the face and are living cells. However, aging is an ongoing process, and there is no guarantee that a patient will never experience facial volume loss in the future.
If there are issues such as asymmetry or over/under correction, patients will need to address these with their plastic surgeon and see what can be done to fix them. It can be difficult to wait several months to deal with problems, but the face does experience changes for up to six months, and cannot be accurately assessed during this time.
Instant Gratification Options
Fat transfer is a great option for people who want lasting, natural facial volume and rejuvenation, but it is not the best choice for people who want a short-term fix for a special event, or those who aren’t interested in the price tag or downtime for fat transfer. Fortunately, there are so many options for facial rejuvenation these days that you aren’t out of luck if you’re looking for a quick, easy, and effective treatment.
Injectable fillers are a good option for no downtime rejuvenation. Using formulas made of synthetic products like hyaluronic acid, these products are injected into the face to fill in wrinkles and add subtle volume. They are non-invasive and accessible for nearly all healthy adults. Today, there are many different formulas available to suit a variety of needs.
Your Fat Transfer Procedure
If you think fat transfer might be a good option for you, then it’s time to schedule your consultations with prospective surgeons and discuss your needs for surgery. Fat transfer is not an easy procedure to perform correctly and attain consistent, natural-looking results, so you should always seek the help of a board certified, experienced facial plastic surgeon who can assess your facial structure and add volume where it is most needed.
Looking for a highly skilled and experienced surgeon in the Dearborn, or Birmingham, MI area? Come to Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and meet with our team of expert surgeons. Combined, our team has over 75 years of experience, and all are board certified physicians. For more information and to schedule your complimentary consultation, call (866-487-3223) today.