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.
When it comes to fat, we’ve been taught to see it as our enemy. However, when it comes to treating the signs of aging, your own body fat can be your very best friend. with a Facial fat transfer, 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 cheekbones, giving you a natural, youthful look. Fat transfer is ideal because it results in 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.
Benefits of Facial Fat Transfer
Facial Fat Transfers have the ability to:
- Smooth and fill wrinkles and lines in the face, including nasolabial folds and marionette lines.
- Restore volume to the temple, chin, or area under patient’s eyes, as well as address jowls.
- Fill in depressions in the skin caused by acne or other scars.
- Add or restore volume to the lips
- Rejuvenate the glow and overall fullness in a patient’s face.
- Provide a patient with an hourglass figure. The liposuction performed to collect the fat for the transfer often smooths and diminishes that area of the body, so the patient can enjoy their slimmer stomach or thighs, in addition to the skin rejuvenation benefits of the facial fat transfer procedure.
- Deliver results, safely. Due to the fact that your injections contain fat transferred from your body, and prepared for reinjection, your skin accepts the changes without risk of allergic reaction, which is a small possibility with other injectables and fillers.
- Create natural-feeling results. The transfer restores the fat that diminished with age in the face, so the changes don’t feel simulated: they feel like the real thing, because they are!
- Give patients results that can last for up to two years. In some patient’s cases, the transfer provides a permanent improvement.
- Require minimal healing. In fact, the fat collected often contains stem cells, which stimulate the growth factors in the skin, to encourage healthy healing and better rejuvenation.
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 mini lift 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.
A facial fat transfer may be the right skin rejuvenation option for you if:
- You want to diminish and smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles in your face.
- You want to fill the volume lost in your face, as well as fill depressions caused by scarring.
- You are within thirty pounds or less of your goal weight. A fat transfer, while capable of slimming the liposuctioned area, is not intended as a weight loss solution. Ideal patients are those who maintain a healthy lifestyle: major weight loss or gain after a facial fat transfer may interfere with the results achieved in the procedure.
- Your medical history is free of conditions which could interfere with your healthy, successful recovery.
- You do not smoke. Patients are advised to discontinue smoking for at least one month before they undergo a fat transfer, as smoking can interfere with a patient’s blood vessel health. This can make it harder for the body to accept the transferred fat.
- You are open to and have realistic expectations of the results achievable with a body and facial modification surgery.
- The restorative benefits of stem cells are of interest to you. The stem cells in the transferred fat will promote both healing and better skin health.
Your consultation with Dr. Hamawy will be your opportunity to learn more about your candidacy for a facial fat transfer, as well as to learn about what other body and facial rejuvenation options might deliver your best results.
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
No two patients’ bodies are the same. With this in mind, Dr. Hamawy performs facial fat transfers with the level of care and artistry required to deliver the patient’s ideal, natural-looking skin rejuvenation and body contouring results. After undergoing a facial fat transfer, and their swelling abates, patients will immediately observe the smoothing and volumizing the transfer has achieved in their face. Over the next six months, some of the fat may be absorbed into the body, but this is normal, and surgeons tailor their transfers to accommodate for this. A significant portion of the transferred fat will be accepted and provide natural-looking and natural-feeling improvement in the desired areas of the face. After the injected fat settles, the results can last as long as two years, if not indefinitely for some patients.
If patients opted to have their fat sourced from their abdomen or thighs, they can also enjoy a smoother, hourglass figure after their liposuction in preparation for the fat transfer.
The price of a patient’s facial fat transfer procedure will depend on the number of facial areas to be treated. Because a facial fat transfer often entails both the liposuction and contouring of another part of the patient’s body, in addition to the injections in the face, the price usually encompasses both of these services. After your free, private consultation with Dr. Hamawy, the team at Princeton Plastic Surgeons will be able to provide you with your cost breakdown.