Your own fat from unwanted areas can be used as a natural filler that can restore a smooth, youthful appearance to the face by filling areas that have deflated over time.
Fat is collected from areas such as your abdomen, waist or thighs and is then purified. This can then be used to fill in areas like deep laugh lines, tear troughs under your eyes or over your cheek bones, giving you a fresh, natural look. Fat transfer is ideal because it requires minimal downtime, produces no scars and does not require the use of any artificial products.
Your own natural fat may be a good option for you depending on your lifestyle and goals. An understanding of the alternatives, risks, and the limitations of this technique is important in making a decision that is right for you.
The Facial Fat Transfer Procedure
Most people lose fat from the central part of their face as they age. This deflation leads to sagging in certain areas and a deepening of folds that gives one the trademark appearance of looking older and tired. However, fatty tissue can be collected using liposuction techniques and then carefully handled and prepared to maximize fat survival. In addition to the benefit of added volume, there is ongoing research looking at the preservation of stem cells and any other beneficial growth factors that may be present. This is then injected into the deflated areas of the face to restore the volume that was lost.
Recovery is quick and most people can return to their usual activities as early as the next day. There is minimal to no scarring and results often appear and feel very natural.
Your visit with Dr. Hamawy will determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. If you are in good physical health and you are seeking an alternative to a facelift and still appear rejuvenated and natural, then a fat transfer may be a good choice for you. Since healthy blood vessels are important for fat graft survival and adequate healing, fat transfer is not usually recommended if you smoke. Before you decide on what type of procedure you want, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Hamawy.
Dr. Hamawy is concerned about your health and safety and, depending on your medical status, may ask for additional evaluations before proceeding with surgery.
During your first visit, Dr. Hamawy will examine you and determine your general health. Be prepared to discuss your medical history, including any medical conditions, allergies, treatments you have received, prior surgeries, and any medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
You will learn about the procedure, its limitations and risks, and have an opportunity to discuss your needs and concerns. Dr. Hamawy will explain all of your options, including the use of alternative fillers, a minilift or facelift procedure, or the use of facial implants. He will also discuss the risks and benefits of each procedure. After the discussion, you should be able to decide together which technique is the most appropriate for you. He will examine your face and will consider such factors as the quality of your skin tone and the contour and fat distribution over your body. After your consultation, photographs will be taken for your medical record.
The Day Of Your Procedure
Before the procedure, you will be given medicine to lessen the anxiety and pain. Local with light sedation is typically used, which will speed recovery. The entire procedure usually takes about an hour and can depend on the amount of fat to be transferred.
You will have some mild discomfort following surgery. When you are discharged, you will be given prescriptions for pain medication in case you need it. Plan for some swelling and possibly some bruising. This should subside quickly and can be helped with icing and keeping your head elevated as much as possible.
Your follow-up visits will usually start one week following your surgery. During your postoperative visits, Dr. Hamawy will review activity limitations, incision care and any concerns you may have. Following this visit you will return three weeks to three months later, depending on your unique situation.
Be assured that your relationship with Dr. Hamawy does not end after your surgery. If you have any concerns during your recovery, or have more questions at a later time, you can always contact Dr. Hamawy.
LENGTH?: 1 hour
ANESTHESIA: Local with mild Sedation
IN/OUTPATIENT: Office Procedure or Ambulatory Surgery Center
SIDE EFFECTS: Bruising, swelling
RECOVERY: Return to work: 2-3 days