If you desire more long-lasting rejuvenation than cosmetic dermal fillers can provide, fat transfer to the face may be the perfect treatment option to achieve your goals. Among its many applications, the fat grafting technique has been safely utilized for decades to restore the youthful properties of the face. Not only can facial fat transfer smooth creases and plump sunken areas, but the procedure can also be performed to revise scarring and acne scars. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, David Bottger, MD, conveniently offers fat transfer to the face at our Philadelphia and Newtown Square-area practice for natural and long-term results.
What is Fat Transfer to the Face?
Fat injections (also referred to as “fat transfer” or “fat grafts”) are designed to use your own natural tissue as a facial filler, often allowing a more natural means of rejuvenation when compared to other volumizing products. This is accomplished by taking excess tissue from a fat-rich area of the body, and repurposing the harvested fat cells for volume enhancement. Depending on which signs of aging you seek to improve, fat transfer can fill smile lines, marionette lines, lip lines, and flat facial contours. Due to the technique’s use of your natural tissue, facial fat transfer can offer results that last longer than other injectables.
What Can Facial Fat Transfer Do for Me?
When targeting areas of the face that lack fullness or youthful contours, facial fat transfer can offer volume-depleted features an array of rejuvenative benefits. On top of the ability to introduce your own autologous tissue into the selected regions, fat transfer to the face can:
- Reduce or erase nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and other deep facial creases
- Restore volume in the cheeks, temples, or other sunken areas
- Smooth grooves and surface irregularities
- Fill the areas between the eyes and cheeks
- Improve acne scars and facial depressions
- Plump the lips
The fat transfer process also requires a liposuction component to collect the excess fat for re-injection, allowing patients the additional contouring benefits of this popular fat removal procedure. In most cases, fat is gathered from the abdomen, flanks, or thighs—although the best harvesting site varies from patient to patient according to which areas are most amenable to fat transfer.
How is Fat Transfer to the Face Performed?
Facial fat transfer is considered a minor surgical procedure performed on an outpatient basis. The facial rejuvenation stage of the process, in which your fat is injected into designated areas of your face, is minimally invasive. Dr. Bottger will first perform liposuction to extract fat cells from the “donor” area through a small incision. After the fat is carefully removed, it will be processed, purified, and prepared for injection into the face via small syringes. Dr. Bottger will make multiple passes over the targeted regions with very small cannulas, meticulously augmenting the face until the desired correction is achieved. A bandage or dressing will then be placed over the grafted area.
What is Recovery From Facial Fat Transfer Like?
After fat transfer, bruising and swelling for the first week of recovery is normal and expected. Most bruising in the face should begin to subside within the second week, but swelling will likely still be noticeable. After the third week, swelling should improve significantly and makeup can usually be applied at this time to conceal any residual signs of surgery. While you should be able to perform light activities as soon as a few days after the procedure, exercise and anything strenuous should be avoided until Dr. Bottger instructs otherwise.
The natural facial rejuvenation achieved with fat transfer should become more and more noticeable as swelling continues to dissipate. Patients generally experience a fuller, softer look in the area(s) where fat was transferred, allowing a more refreshed and youthful appearance. The grafted fat that remains after the procedure should endure for a lifetime.
Dr. David Bottger can help you restore long-lasting volume in your facial features with techniques that create elegant and natural-looking results. Please contact our Philadelphia practice if you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation for this innovative method of facial rejuvenation.