5 Things to Know About Fat Transfer

Although fat often gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits. A layer of fat helps to keep your skin looking smooth and youthful. Fat plays a role in adding shape and volume to your face and other areas of the body, such as the buttocks.

Whether you have lost fat from your face or naturally have a thin face, transferring fat from one area of the body to the facial area can help you feel more confident and youthful. Fat transfer adds volume to sunken areas and can even help smooth out wrinkles and folds in certain areas. If you're considering a fat transfer, there are a few things you should know about the procedure.

Where Does the Fat Come from?

The fat used during a fat transfer procedure comes from another area of the patient's body. Depending on an individual's fat distribution, that area can be the thighs, hips, buttocks or abdomen. The first part of the procedure involves liposuction to harvest the fat from the chosen area.

Before the liposuction procedure begins, your plastic surgeon will either give you a local anesthetic and IV sedation or general anesthesia. The anesthesia option that is right for you depends on the amount of fat you are having harvested and your own preference. Some people prefer to be fully under while others would rather avoid general anesthesia.

During the liposuction surgery, your surgeon will make small incisions in the donor area, and then use a special tool to break up and suction out the desired amount of fat. After the fat is removed, the surgeon will close the incisions. Usually, you can expect to wear a compression garment around the donor area for several weeks after the surgery. The compression garment will help to smooth the area and improve the contour. This helps to prevent sagging or drooping and helps the skin retract.

Where Does the Fat Go?

Once the surgeon removes the fat from the donor site, it isn't immediately injected into the target area. Instead, it's first cleaned and sterilized.

The fat harvested for a fat transfer can be injected into several areas of your face to help refresh and rejuvenate your appearance. If lines on your forehead or between your eyebrows are a concern, your surgeon can transfer fat to reduce wrinkling. Other parts of the face that can be injected with fat include the cheeks, area around the mouth and the lips.

In some cases, fat transfer is performed to enhance or augment an area of the body.  Fat transfer can be a part of a breast augmentation or buttocks augmentation procedure. Some patients decide on fat transfer to rejuvenate the appearance of their hands.

How Long Do Results Last?

The good news about fat transfer is that the results are typically very long-lasting. Although some of the fat does get reabsorbed by the body, the rest of it remains in the injection area permanently. If you do have significant reabsorption of fat in the target area, your surgeon can perform a second injection procedure to provide the results you're seeking.

Can You Use Someone Else's Fat for Fat Transfer?

Autologous fat transfer means that the fat comes from your own body. Using your own fat means there's no risk of an allergic reaction or rejection of the fat. Using another person's fat increases the risk that your body will reject it, meaning you'd either need to take immunosuppressing drugs for the rest of your life or run the risk of the transfer failing. No reputable plastic surgeon will suggest using someone else's fat for the procedure.

Can You Bank Your Fat?

Since there is a chance that your body will absorb some or much of the fat that is injected into the treatment area, repeat injections are occasionally needed. The good news is that should you need a second fat transfer procedure, you most likely won't need to undergo liposuction a second time. It's possible to freeze some of the harvested fat so that it's ready for you if you need it in the future.

Learn More About Fat Transfer Today

Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. They offer a range of facial and body procedures. They can help you prepare for fat transfer so that you fully understand what’s involved with the treatment. To schedule your free patient consultation at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call (866) 487-3223 today.

Although people often think of wrinkles and skin sagging as the primary signs of aging, your appearance changes in other ways as you get older, too. For example, plenty of people notice volume loss in their face and in other areas of the body. The lips might become thinner and the cheeks might seem to drop or fall, as fat is lost from the area. Some people develop hollows under their eyes, making them look worn out or tired.

Fortunately, a loss of volume in the face is relatively easy to fix and treat. One option is fat transfer, which involves injecting purified fat harvested from one area of the body into the face. Not everyone with volume loss is a good candidate for fat transfer, though. Are you? Read on to find out.

You Are in Overall Good Health

As with any elective cosmetic surgery or non-surgical treatment, being in overall good health is important for candidacy. Being in good health means not having any medical conditions that are not under control, or that you're not currently treating. It can also mean not taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, on a regular basis.

Your lifestyle choices and habits can play a role in determining your overall health, too. For example, it's usually recommended that people who smoke avoid plastic surgery. Smoking slows down healing and can increase your risk for complications during or after surgery. If you do smoke, your surgeon will most likely ask you to quit before the fat transfer procedure.

You Have Extra Fat

The fat used during a fat transfer comes from your own body. You can't use a donor's fat or fat from a non-human source, as it's very likely your body will reject the donated fat. Some people are just too slender for fat transfer and don't have enough extra fat on any part of their body to use during the treatment.

If you don't have enough fat, your surgeon will let you know what other options are available for adding volume to your face.

You Have Some Signs of Volume Loss

Along with having some fat to spare, it's important to have some signs of volume loss, either in your lips, under the eyes, or in the cheek area. Fat transfer isn't something you necessarily need to have performed preemptively. You'll get the most benefit from it if you've already noticed a reduction in volume on your face.

You Have Realistic Expectations

Having realistic expectations is a must before any type of cosmetic procedure, surgical or not. In the case of fat transfer, having realistic expectations can mean understanding how much of a difference in volume you're likely to notice, as well as understanding that your body might reabsorb more of the injected fat than expected. It also means understanding that the procedure will make you look more youthful, but that it won't permanently stop the aging process.

Other Options

If you're not a good candidate for fat transfer, there are other options available. For example, you  might be a good candidate for a filler such as Juvederm if you're hoping to add volume to your lips. Other fillers can help to restore volume to the cheeks and under the eyes. Several different types of injectable fillers are available. They are made from a variety of materials and can last anywhere from several months to a couple of years.

Schedule Your Fat Transfer Consultation Today

Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures, including fat transfer and injectable fillers. They can help you decide whether fat transfer or another treatment option will help you meet your goals and reduce the signs of aging. To schedule your free patient consultation at the The Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call (866) 487-3223 today.

How Fat Transfer WorksFor many people, the loss of facial volume is one of the most obvious signs of aging, resulting in sagging skin, a hollow appearance, and telling folds and wrinkles. Facial volume loss was only fairly recently recognized as a major concern in facial aging, but the procedures are quickly developing to help people deal with the problem and make the face look more youthful—naturally. One of the most popular procedures for restoring lost facial volume is fat transfer—a minimally-invasive surgery that takes fat from one or more areas of the body and uses it to rejuvenate the face. Fat transfer a win-win for many patients: they get the dual benefits of anti-aging and spot fat reduction. Some prospective patients do not understand the candidacy requirements, however, and believe that fat transfer can be used for weight loss. On the contrary, prospective patients need to be at a stable weight before undergoing the procedure. But why?

How The Surgery Works

Fat transfer is a multi-step process that is fairly simple, but takes a skilled surgeon to produce good outcomes. First, the fat is removed from an area of the body where it is plentiful (such as the hips, thighs, or buttocks). This is done using gentle liposuction techniques that leave only small, discreet scars. The fat is then purified and washed so only the best cells remain for the transfer process. Finally, the fat is injected into the face to fill in hollows and wrinkles. Fat that survives this process is considered to be permanent, and patients can see final results about 6 months after the procedure.

The Liposuction Process: For Isolated Pockets

The liposuction portion of fat transfer is something many patients are excited about, and no wonder. The procedure is great for improving “problem areas” of stubborn fat that are unresponsive to diet and exercise. Unfortunately, the procedure is not so good for weight loss, as only small amounts of fat will be removed, and liposuction does not prevent future weight gain. For this reason, candidates for fat transfer should be at or near their goal weight to get the best results from the treatment.

Weight Stability: Important for Maintenance & Good Long-Term Results

Fat cells removed with liposuction do not grow back, but remaining cells can continue to expand, causing weight gain. This is why maintaining a stable weight following the procedure is necessary for long-term results. Fat transfer is technically permanent, but the cells transferred to the face will live and establish a blood supply, which means they can behave like other fat cells—expanding or collapsing depending on lifestyle changes. Weight stability is important for fat transfer results—and it’s much easier to maintain those results if you’re used to keeping yourself at a stable weight before the procedure.

Are You a Candidate?

Only you and a board certified plastic surgeon can determine your individual candidacy for fat transfer. Your consultation will be a valuable experience for you, and help you assess your readiness for the procedure. Remember, even if you’re not quite at the point where you are considered a good candidate for fat transfer, that doesn’t mean you won’t be in the future.

Choosing the Right Surgeon

There are many reasons to choose a board certified plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. Fat transfer is a straightforward but tricky procedure, as some of the fat will not survive the process. Because of this, doctors must be able to predict outcomes and sculpt beautiful new contours of the face.

If you’d like to discuss the possibility of fat transfer at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call our offices in Birmingham or Dearborn, MI (866-487-3223) to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Haitham Masri.

Post-Op Recovery from Fat Transfer ProceduresWe 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.

Post-Op Recovery

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.

All You Need to Know About Fat TransfersWhen 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.

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