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This is a procedure which removes surplus fat cells from one area of the body and then re-implants it where needed. Fat transfer is also called free fat grafting, autologous fat transfer/transplantation, liposculpture, volume restoration, micro-lipoinjection and fat injections.
Fat transfer fills facial features with your own fat instead of an injected filler or an implant.
The fat used for fat transfer is extracted from part of your body like the abdomen or thighs – generally during liposuction - and injected into another area that requires plumping.
The main advantage of fat transfer is that the fat comes from your own body, so you cannot develop an allergic reaction unlike other external implant substances that are introduced into the body. Your body naturally accepts the injected fat. When combined with liposuction, the transfer can be very cost effective, especially if used for larger volume replacements for sunken cheeks and gaunt facial areas.
The possibilities vary. If you have areas that you wish to augment, discuss this with Dr. Sikorski to find out what may or may not be a viable choice.
Transferred fat can been used for correcting or improving:
Fat transfer lasts longer in larger areas of non-movement, so while it is successful for the correction of grooves under the eyes and sunken cheeks, it may not be as long lasting for creating fuller lips. Fat transfers can also correct aging of the hands where the natural tissue is lost between the bones.
How is fat transfer performed?
Fat grafting is performed on an outpatient basis. There are basically 3 parts to the procedure. Procedure for fat grafting
1. Harvesting: A cannula connected to a syringe is inserted through a small incision and the fat is carefully sucked out. If the liposuction is being performed, the removed fat is used for the fat transfer
2. Purification and transfer: Fat is purified either by hand or mechanically to get fat cells for transfer.
3. Needle or Cannula: A needle or cannula is inserted into the site being augmented. Fat cells are carefully injected into area.
This is repeated until desired correction has been achieved.
After the procedure, avoid massage and excessive facial movement, as this will stop migration of the fat away from the desired areas of treatment. Ice compresses may be used for 24-48 hours to minimize inflammation. Dr. Sikorski will schedule to see you about a week after the procedure to check both the donor and recipient sites.
A follow-up appointment 6-8 weeks later should see most of the swelling resolved and early results assessed.
A repeat procedure may need to be performed if the desired outcome has not been achieved but this should not be within 3 months of the first procedure.
How much of the fat cells survive and for how long is currently unknown. Over the first few months your body will resorb about 65% of the fat. The remaining 35% will usually stay in place. It appears that the amount resorbed by the body and ultimately the longevity of the transfer is highly dependent on the technique used in the procedure. Newer techniques are being developed to increase the longevity. For longer lasting results, patients may receive 3 or 4 treatments over a period of 6 months to a year.
A moderate amount of swelling is expected after the fat graft. This is usually evident for 2 weeks after the procedure. Some bruising may also be apparent.
There are many injectable products that are simpler and less costly than fat transfer, unless a large amount of “fill” is required. Sculptra is a series based procedure that induces collagen growth in your skin and is an accepted treatment for facial volume loss caused by aging, weight loss or a consequence of disease.
JUVÉDERM® Injectable Gel and Silicone are both viable products for lip plumping.
Silicone is permanent and injected in microdroplets. JUVÉDERM® Injectable Gel is a hyaluronic acid which lasts around 6 months.
Restylane or Radiesse can be used to fill scars and work quite well, though neither are permanent.
Not sure where to start? Give us a call and chat with our patient coordinator Michelle. Call the office at (949) 448-0487 or Request a callback through this online form.