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Fat Grafting of the Face Bluffton

What Is Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or fat injections, is the process of transferring fat from one location of the body and injecting it into targeted areas of face to add volume and enhance contours. The procedure involves removing one’s own fat cells from locations of excess in order to restore volume to the face where it may be scarce or diminished. Tens of thousands of people have undergone fat grafting procedures due to the natural-looking and long-lasting results it yields.

Why Have Fat Grafting?

Facial rejuvenation through fat grafting can address situations where age has meant the loss of soft tissue volume in the cheeks, eyes or jawline. Individuals engage in this procedure for aesthetic and reconstructive considerations. The benefit of biocompatibility, using the patient’s own harvested fat, means no risk of rejection or allergic reaction, which can occur when introducing foreign entities.

A fat grafting procedure for facial rejuvenation adds volume while providing a more youthful appearance, and is used when repositioning existing facial fat cannot provide sufficient results. Benefits also include correcting facial imperfections and providing symmetry.

Fat Grafting Procedure

Local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia can be used depending on the extent of the procedure. The entire procedure often takes less than 2-hours, but this depends upon the specifics, the doctor’s technique and the area being treated.

The fat cells are extracted from the donor site via liposuction, of which there are several types. Facial fat grafting requires very small amounts of fat for injection. In this case, an aspiration cannula, a 1 mm small hollow tube, connected to a syringe, is inserted to harvest fat cells.

Once harvested, the fat cells need to go through a process of purification and concentration before they can be injected into the treatment site. This involves spinning or straining the fat cells. When 3 layers result, the bottom layer is drained, containing blood and a tumescent fluid. The middle layer is used for the grafting, while the top layer contains oil from ruptured fat cells.

Following processing of the harvested fat cells, the fat is then inserted through micro-droplets throughout the gaunt areas of the face that are targeted for rejuvenation. These are areas of the face where fat grafting can effectively fill-in.

Small tracks are created for the grafts to help maintain adherence to the treatment site. In addition, it is generally believed that the better vascularized the site area, the more likely the transferred cells will survive.

It can take 3 or 4 days for the capillaries to provide blood to the transplanted fat cells. In that time frame, as many as half the fat cells can die. However, the surgeon will overfill the area with excess fat cells, anticipating the loss.

Swelling at the treatment site should be expected and it will last at least several days to a few weeks. After 2 to 3 days the doctor will remove the bandages, at which point, rest, and calm are advised, but walking is promoted. The best outcomes occur when the doctor’s advice has been followed before and after procedures.

Are You A Candidate?

Exercise and diet cannot always facilitate an improved appearance, particularly when genetics and age are working against you. The aging process alone can leave uneven fat distribution across portions of the face. Even as young as 35 and 40 years of age volume diminishes in certain parts of the body, notably the face and hands.

Facial lines, frown lines, smile lines, marionette lines, furrows, hollows under the cheekbones and the eyes, all occur from age and the wear and tear of life. Individuals with any of these issues can benefit from facial fat grafting, so too can those with the loss of lip volume, scarring from acne and skin depressions caused by scarring.

The best fat grafting candidates range within a healthy weight and have good fat donor sites.

Fat Grafting FAQs

How Long Will The Procedure Last?

Although a portion of the injected fat is absorbed by the body, as part of the process, and as expected, much of the grafted fat remains, even after a full year has transpired. On average, although as much as 65 percent of the fat grafted is absorbed into the body, the remaining 35 percent will remain for years. These absorption rates are expected. Modifications and refinements are often employed 4 to 6 months later to compensate for the absorption. Fat grafting results are significantly longer lasting than Juvederm, collagen injection, and Restylane.

The best outcomes are often achieved by doctors using techniques that yield the least absorption of fat cells. In addition, patients that maintain strict compliance add to successes.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Post-operative soreness, tenderness, and swelling are expected and can last for several weeks, but not everyone experiences this. Lower eyelid swelling is most common. Many people reported about 2-6 weeks of bruising. If you don’t carry a lot of body fat it may be more difficult for the surgeon to harvest sufficient body fat.

Are there risks?

Fat grafting is safe because it does not require typical incisions, though every medical procedure has risks. Anytime there is the use of anesthesia, it brings its own set of risks. One benefit of using your own fat cells is the lack of allergic reaction. However, there can be an allergic response to the anesthesia.

Fat grafting results can be varied because the percentage of fat taken is unpredictable. There is the risk that the results do not match expectations. Discussing risks and expectations with the doctor, prior to the procedure, can serve to minimize erroneous preconceptions.

How soon can I return to work?

Generally, doctors have indicated that returning to work can vary from person to person but most return almost immediately. Individuals receiving fat transfer for breast augmentation returned to work after 1 week or less.

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