WHAT IS FAT TRANSFER?
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR FAT TRANSFER?
HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?
A review of photographs from younger days allows one to see the changes, not only in terms of descent, but also the loss of fullness. Depending you’re your concerns and the procedures being contemplated, attention will be paid to give you the lifting, tightening and filling that many faces benefit from. It is impossible to accurately impart exactly the results one is hoping for, but an overall improvement can be aimed for and predicted based upon experience. Assessment of particular areas or the whole face allows one to predict where and how much fat may be needed.
HOW IS A FAT GRAFTING PERFORMED?
It may safely be stated that almost everyone has an area (or two) where the loss of some fat would not be a great inconvenience. To that end, and also depending upon some other factors, a site or sites may be chosen from where fat is harvested.
The very basics of fat grfting involve:
- Small incisions at the donor site (around the umbilicus, for example) to allow infusion of tumescent fluid (this fluid reduces bruising and also provides anesthesia).
- Fat is obtained and prepared by removing blood products.
- Transfer of fat is performed with small cannulae and small incisions.
- The incisions are closed with dissolving sutures.
WILL THE BODY NOT ABSORB THE TRANSFERRED FAT?
Some patients may need further fat grafting in certain areas, although this is usually combined with any other surgical procedures that the patient may undergo.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I PUT ON WEIGHT AFTER MY FAT GRAFTS?
When small quantities are used to create filling and fullness, this does not, usually, create problems. But with the large volume fat grafts, we see “full, round faces” after weight gain, which may not have many wrinkles or hollows, but are not exactly pleasing.
WHAT OTHER PROCEDURES MAY BE PERFORMED WITH FAT GRAFTS?
It is more the other way round. “Which procedures benefit from concurrent fat grafting?” Fat grafting may be conserned with a wide range of reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. Most cosmetic procedures now have some component of fat or tissue transfer to achieve a balanced appearance.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF FAT GRAFTS?
Using one’s own fat allows for better and longer-lasting survival. Also, it reduces the need for fillers in the futures and this can reduce the cost of fillers. It is not uncommon to get a safe level of filling with fat and then augment the depressions and volume loss with fillers which can be used without surgery and done safely in the clinic. Fat grafts also improve the texture and appearance of the skin overlying the fat grafts. There is much debate and discussion about why this might be the case. Finally, it is your own material, so risks of rejection and infection are minimal.
WHAT KIND OF RESULTS CAN I EXPECT AFTER FAT GRAFTING?
BEFORE & AFTER
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With a 3-D procedure, there are several layer of sutures, accurately placed to give the lifting, tightening and filling, without leaving any tell-tale pull-lines. Some are slow dissolving sutures, others are more permanent. The skin sutures are generally removed between 7 and 14 days.
Bleeding is not common as we pay close attention to proper hemostasis. On rare occasions, a small hematoma may collect.
Everyone will experience some numbness in the face: this resolves over weeks to months. This occurs because of the dissection of the face. This is not a complication.
Because of the dissection and repositioning of the tissues, it is common for there to be small differences in the smile between the right and left sides: this is usually only noticeable to the patient and to Dr. Patel! It recovers over a few weeks.
All faces have asymmetry and there will be some degree of asymmetry. This is to be expected.
Permanent weakness of nerves and muscles is rare.
The scars are usually very well hidden. However, some patients may have a tendency to cause hypertrophic scarring: in such cases, certain lasers and treatments will help. By-and-large, scars are rarely a problem. With Caucasian skin, pinkness of scars is to be expected for several weeks. With darker skin, some hyperpigmentation may occur.
In the first few days, everyone will experience some degree of dryness and blurry vision. You will also feel that your lids look a little tight on the outer corner where you will also feel some of the deeper sutures if you put your finger there: this is of no concern. The tightness and the bumps under the skin settle over a few weeks.
More serious complications which are very rare include excessive bleeding, hemorrhage and loss of vision.
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CONTACT DR. PATEL
Do you have questions or need more answers?
Dr. BCK Patel MD, FRCS
Salt Lake City, Utah 84106, USA
(801) 413-3599 (phone/text)
Dr. BCK Patel MD, FRCS
617 E Riverside Dr Suite 101
Saint George, UT 84790, USA