Just because aging is a natural part of life doesn’t mean you need to advertise its affects on your face. Today it is becoming easier to combat the signs of aging, while our lifestyles continue to work against us. So while aging can take its toll on our faces, sun exposure, smoking, stress and dehydration do their fair share of damage as well.
Fat transfer, also known as autologous fat transplantation or micro-lipoinjection, is an effective solution to treat deep lines and wrinkles, hallowed cheeks or facial features, and thin, drawn lips. Fat Transfer actually uses fat from your own body — removing it from one area and transplanting it to another. It’s safe, it’s effective, and there are few side effects.
What is a fat transfer?
Fat transfers have been used for years to help contour the face and help define features. It can be used on those who simply would like to combat the signs of aging as well as those who were born with deformities or who need reconstructive surgery.
Because a fat transfer is made of the patient’s own natural cells, there is no allergic reaction (often associated with collagen or other fillers). It can be used all over the face and body, except in the breasts (where it can hinder detecting breast cancer in mammograms).
A fat transfer works effectively on its own but can also be a nice compliment to other procedures you may be considering. A fat transfer can be combined with laser peels and chemicals peels to help revitalize healthy looking skin. A fat transfer can be combined with face, neck, or eyebrow lifts to help fill in deep creases such as the nasolabial folds that run from your nose to your mouth. A fat transfer is also a nice combination with Botox® — while the Botox® smooths out the wrinkles around your eyes or forehead, the fat transfer can be used to fill in deeper, non-dynamic lines unreachable by Botox®.
What is the fat transfer procedure?
The procedure takes about 90 minutes and is performed on an out-patient basis. First, fat cells will be harvested from a donor site, normally from the abdomen or hip area. The amount of fat that is needed is very minimal and will not change the shape of the donor area. The extracted cells are then be spun in a centrifuge — this is to separate the cells so that only the fat is being used.
Once the cells have been purified, the next step can begin. The fat will be implanted in a series of injections along the treatment area using a very small needle. Your body will slowly metabolize the fat, so the initial injections will “over correct,” creating more filler than you actually need. This will smooth out in the days to come.
What can I expect after a fat transfer procedure?
Afterwards, sutures in your donor site will be removed in about a week’s time. The area that received the fat transfer may be a little swollen or bruised. The swelling will greatly dissipate in about a day and a half and the bruising will be easily covered by make up. You will need a couple of days off from work, but most patients are back to work by the third or fourth day.
Certain parts of the face seem to retain the fat transfer results longer than others — lasting up to two or three years. Because the filler is made up of fat cells, the body will metabolize it. Results will also depend on the individual. Areas that move a lot — such as the lips, mouth and chin — tend to metabolize faster than areas that don’t move as much such as the cheeks and eyes. Dr. Volshteyn can answer any questions you have regarding the area you want to treat and the length of time results should last.
Call us today to schedule your consultation for a fat transfer procedure with Dr. Boris Volshteyn, our board certified plastic surgeon 732-641-3350