Call Us Now!

PHONE: (828) 526-3783 | TOLL-FREE: (877) 526-3784

209 Hospital Dr #202
Highlands, NC 28741

Facebook IconGoogle Plus IconTwitter IconRealSelf IconYoutube Icon


Is the Liquid Facelift Right for You?

Is the Liquid Facelift Right for You?

Youthful volumized face obtainable with a liquid faceliftThe signs of aging are a frustrating concern for many adults. We know certain changes will occur, and we know why. Still, we’d prefer to sidestep them if we can. As facial structure transforms over time, we need more profound correction. Is it possible to achieve this without surgery? It may be! To help patients address their cosmetic concerns, Dr. Buchanan has developed Today’s Liquid Lift™. We’ll discuss how this process works and why it is popular among our patients.

What Is A Liquid Facelift?

Just by the name alone, you can probably guess that a Liquid Facelift utilizes various injectables to correct the signs of aging. Fillers, either off the shelf or your own fat, are injected to improve volume. Botox is used in certain areas to relax muscle contractions that pull on the skin. Today’s Liquid Lift addresses the signs of aging using Botox, hyaluronic acid fillers and fat injections. This technique, developed by Dr. Buchanan to address the aging that naturally occurs after facial plastic surgery, corrects the natural deflation of the face that occurs over time.

Facial aging continues regardless of surgery or fillers and Botox. As it does, the loose skin that results from volume loss droops downward. The opposing actions of sagging skin and supportive ligaments deep beneath the skin result in cosmetic problems like undereye bags and the loss of youthful cheek contour. Nasolabial folds and marionette lines also deepen around the nose and mouth as tissue descends further. Fillers may soften the appearance of these lines but they do not correct the original problem, the loss of volume.

The purpose of Today’s Liquid Lift is to artistically restore the triangular shape of the youthful face. This technique increases the width at the top areas of the face, tapering incrementally to narrow at the jawline and chin. Treatment focuses on restoring volume in the mid-face, across the cheeks. Filling out this area naturally elevates the skin and tissue that have descended downward toward the jawline. Targeting the upper malar area near the tear trough, Dr. Buchanan can also smooth the transition from the cheek to the lower eyelid, camouflaging puffiness.

Experience the benefits of a Liquid Facelift. Contact our Highlands, NC office at Cal(828) 526-3783 to schedule your consultation.

Microneedling, An Excellent Way To Rejuvenate Skin And Reduce Wrinkling

Microneedling is one of several technologies that markedly rejuvenates the skin and reduces wrinkling.  Here we will discuss those technologies and other things that you can do to improve the quality and appearance of your skin.

Retinol/Retin-A

The cornerstone of skin care to prevent wrinkles has been, for many years, the use of a retinol or tretinoin (Retin-A) after the age of 30.  This is because the skin stops continually making collagen, the substance that thickens the skin, at around 30 years of age.  If the skin is not stimulated to continue the process of collagen production, the dermis, the support layer of the skin, thins and multiple crinkles and wrinkles result.  If you have failed to use these in the past and have developed significant crinkles and wrinkles, then use of the more potent tretinoin is still the mainstay of skin rejuvenation.

Peels & Laser Resurfacing

Once you had developed aged appearing skin, the only treatment that could correct the wrinkling/crinkling was a leveling peel or laser resurfacing that removed the surface of the skin between the wrinkles to the level of the bottom of the wrinkles and allowed the skin to grow a new surface epithelium over a smoother dermal base.  The problem with this is that, because of limitation of the body’s ability to resurface the skin, they became the procedures with the longest downtime of any of the modern plastic surgical procedures.  Although we could push the body some, the minimum downtime where the skin is somewhat raw and oozing with either of these technologies is about 1 ½ to 2 weeks.

Intradermal Filling

Although fillers have been called “dermal fillers” for many years, until recently no one actually injected the filler into the dermis, the support layer of the skin.  If they did, frequently a greenish or bluish line would appear when light reflected off the injected filler.  Only in the last 10 years have we had fillers that did not cause this blue line, the Tindal effect.  Belotero Balance® introduced in 2011 was the 1stJuvederm Volbella®, equally as good if not better, was approved in 2016.  These allowed us to actually inject fillers into the dermis elevating the surface of the wrinkle to reduce or eliminate it.  We have also discovered that if the product is placed just at the bottom or under the dermis perpendicular to the wrinkles, it can prevent further wrinkling of the skin and allow the tretinoin to use some of the product to thicken and stiffen the skin.  Other than some mild swelling and occasionally minimal bruising that could be covered with camouflage makeup, there is essentially no down time with this technique.

Microneedling/Fraxel Laser

The one thing that leveling peels and laser did was markedly stimulate the dermis to build significant new collagen at a faster rate than it did with just the use of tretinoin.  The 1st improvement to markedly improve the rate of the skin’s collagen production was development of the Fraxel Laser, a laser that, instead of removing the surface of the skin, simply poked holes in it.  Since injury to the dermis is the one thing that causes the skin to markedly produce collagen, this significantly turned on the body’s healing processes.  This laser, however, is quite expensive and uncomfortable.  Microneedling was developed to answer these problems.  It does the same thing by using small needles that create holes in the dermis and also turns on the body’s healing processes, markedly stimulating collagen production.

The procedure, done in a physician’s office, uses a device that pushes the needles absolutely perpendicular so that there is only a very minute entry point.  Because of the marked success of this process, “Microneedling” rollers are now being sold for home use.  The problem is that they do not produce uniform holes to the proper depth in the dermis and, instead of entering and leaving absolutely perpendicular, they enter and exit at an angle actually tearing the skin.

No Downtime Skin Rejuvenation

These latter two developments have allowed us to now achieve skin rejuvenation comparable to leveling peels and laser but without the significant downtime.  Our present protocol for rejuvenation of sun damaged, wrinkled, crinkled skin is beginning tretinoin, injection of the wrinkles to reduce as much as we can using Volbella®, and then doing a series of Microneedling procedures, all with minimal to no downtime.

If you are interested in rejuvenating your skin, schedule a consultation with Dr. Buchanan at our Highlands, NC office. Call (828) 526-3783 today.

What to Expect at Your First Botox Appointment

Botox has been used for around 30 years for cosmetic purposes. After the FDA approved this drug for cosmetic rejuvenation, the first of its kind, in 2002, adults interested in looking younger have relied on Botox to achieve anti-aging goals of reduced wrinkles. While Botox is not magic, it does accomplish amazing results when treating dynamic wrinkles. We consider it a valuable adjunct to good skin care and maintaining a youthful appearance. If you have been on the sidelines and are ready to give Botox a try, you may be wondering what it will be like to get this injectable treatment. Here, we walk you through the process.

Your Botox Consultation

Because Botox has been around for so long, new patients tend to schedule visits with this treatment in mind. Regardless, an experienced provider will begin the appointment with a brief consultation. To know if Botox is right for you, we have to know what concerns you have and what you would like to achieve. Botox is a great treatment for crow’s feet, forehead lines, frown lines, and a droopy brow line. If you have concerns beyond these, such as depressed mouth corners or creases around your nose and mouth, we can discuss how to address those, as well.

Treatment

If you so choose, we can perform your Botox treatment right after your consultation. We usually use a topical anesthetic to make the injection as painless as possible. Also the injections are administered with a very small needle. You may feel tiny pinching sensations with each injection, though this is not painful. Each sensation lasts only a moment. Depending on the purpose of treatment, several injections may be given.

Recovery and Results

Botox is well-known for its convenience and safety. After treatment, most people experience nothing more than slight swelling and redness where injections have been given. Adverse side effects are rare. The most common is a slight bruising. A rare patient may develop a slight headache that may last a few hours or body aches that feel like the flu that generally disappear within 24 hours.

Full effects from the injections usually occur form about 6 hours to 6-7 days. Improvement typically lasts from 3 to 6 months. Touch-ups can be scheduled as needed.

If you’re new to Botox, you will appreciate our conservative, gentle approach. To schedule a consultation at our Highlands, NC office, call(828) 526-3783.

What is a Non Surgical Liquid Facelift?

Liquid Facelift Highlands, NCWe cannot avoid aging but, fortunately, we have options, like a non surgical liquid facelift, to slow the process. It used to be that major plastic surgical procedures was the only option to stay looking younger. Over time, however, we developed non surgical procedures that can now correct the problems from aging found in younger people and those who have already had a facelift. A facelift is still the only thing that can restore contouring to the jawline and correct loose neck skin, but, short of that, non surgical procedures can now actually achieve better correction than surgery previously did. This has now become so common that we now call it a nonsurgical facelift. At the Center for Plastic Surgery, we specifically refer to it as Today’s Liquid Lift.

The Non-Surgical Facelift Approach

Dr. Buchanan has been treating the signs of aging for many years. His training and experience have led to innovative techniques using injectable solutions such as Botox, fillers, and fat transfer along with skin rejuvenation. Additionally, a nonsurgical facelift sometimes also includes laser or IPL to further address the signs of aging. Dr. Buchanan developed Today’s Liquid Lift to achieve a more relaxed, vibrant, refreshed look that maintains the natural structure and appearance of a person’s face. This approach to aging is customized to each individual, addressing the specific changes that are making the face look older than desired.

State-of-the-Art Technique for Beautiful Results

The liquid facelift technique that our patients receive is especially effective at addressing the early signs of aging, such as undereye ‘bags’, facial folds, tissue descent, creases, and more. It is also often sought by people who have already had a facelift and are experiencing new signs of aging. Rather than tightening the skin, a liquid facelift restores volume where deflation has occurred. With unique experience and knowledge of facial anatomy, Dr. Buchanan traces some of the common signs of aging to their root cause, resulting in better, more natural patient outcomes.

As an example, we’ll look at the lines that develop between the nose and mouth. When fillers were first developed, the approach to nasolabial folds was to inject the line itself, raising the fold to the surface. This could help but it did not address the original reason for these increased creases. Nasolabial folds occur when the midface loses volume and the tissues descend by gravity. When volume can be restored with fillers or fat, lines are naturally smoothed by elevating the structures to their natural position.

Facelift surgery used to be the only way to refresh the face. Now we have options that can either act as a substitute or an enhancement of that technique and, in some cases, are better. To learn more about Today’s Liquid Facelift, call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

Photoaging: What It Is and What to Do About It

Skin aging, including that from the sun (photoaging), is inevitable. However, we do have some degree of control over how the skin changes over time and it is treatable. One of the fastest ways to age healthy, firm, youthful-looking skin is to spend too much time in the sun. Sunlight is made up of a spectrum of different rays. Some of these, the UVA rays, can even penetrate through a thick layer of clouds, penetrate into shade and buildings and cars, and are present all the time. These rays also get absorbed into the skin, causing cellular changes that result in what is called photoaging.

Photoaging is simply aging that is caused by exposure to UV light. This may come from sunlight and also from tanning beds. Signs of photoaging and their cause include:

  • Spots and hyperpigmentation. These may look like freckles, flat moles, large spots, or general blotchiness from injury of the melanocyte (the pigment producing cell).
  • Fine lines and wrinkles from loss of collagen thinning the support layer of the skin and from loss of elastin. This is increased past 30 years of age since the body normally stops making collagen and elastin about then.
  • Telangiectasia or increased red vascularity from the body constantly turning in its healing, which dilates blood vessels near the injury to bring in the immune/healing system. After continually doing this, the vessels just stay.
  • Precancerous lesions that look red and rough or scaly from more severe injury of the cells. These are referred to as actinic keratoses.

Photoaging affects any area where the UVA rays can reach, and they can penetrate most clothing. It is, therefore, also commonly seen on the hands, arms, shoulders, legs, back, chest, ears, nose, lips, and other parts of the face.

What to Do About Photoaging

Our best advice for our patients is to try and prevent photoaging by avoiding as much sun exposure as possible. Even on a cloudy day, it is wise to wear broad-spectrum zinc oxide sunscreen on all exposed areas and wear sun protective clothing. Zinc is the only practical sunblock as it need to be reapplied only if you wash or wipe it off. All the others last at most 2 hours, and only an hour if outdoors. You can make normal clothing sun protective by washing them in Rit Sun-Guard. See our Info Sheet.

Once you have photoaging damage, there are several ways to correct it, including:

  • Using quality skincare. Basic skin care includes an exfoliant to remove the excess cells caused by sun damage and time. It also includes a good sunblock to prevent further damage. To this, you can add ingredients like antioxidants like Vitamins-C to combat the breakdown of collagen caused by free-radicals. At 30, or if you have wrinkles,you add a retinol or tretinoin (Vitamin-A) and Obagi’s ELASTIderm to stimulate collagen and elastin production. If you have spots, we add hydroquinone. If you need all, the best option is Obagi’s Nu-Derm System.
  • Antioxidants are also consumable and are found in citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.
  • Light chemical peels. Regardless of how pricy your skincare products are, they are of little value if there is a layer of dead skin cells blocking their absorption. Chemical peel treatment gently sloughs off this layer of cellular debris to reveal healthier, more uniform skin.
  • Microdermabrasion does the same thing as a light chemical peel, it removes the uppermost layer of nonvital skin cells. This procedure works through gentle ablation using microparticles that dislodge cellular debris so it can be suctioned away from the epidermis.
  • Microneedling can also help produce collagen and reduce light wrinkling.
  • Significant wrinkles can be treated by filler injection using a hyaluronic acid filler that will stimulate collagen production.
  • Leveling peels and laser smooth the skin and increase the collagen production. They are useful for severely wrinkled skin.
  • Ellipse IPL® treatment is a form of light therapy that breaks up red or brown discoloration in or beneath the skin. It can treat both brown pigmentation and red telangiectasia. IPL, intense pulsed light, is a popular treatment for photodamage due to its effectiveness with little to no downtime.

We can help you address photoaging with a treatment program tailored to your needs. Call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783 to schedule your consultation.

What to Expect After Fat Transfer Facial Rejuvenation

Facial Aging with Volume LossMany people associate the signs of aging with the skin, but that is only part of the story. Facial aging is a matter of degradation of not only the skin but the structures that support it. Sure, the skin becomes thin and loose over time, but there are also changes happening beneath the  surface. One of them is the loss of fatty tissue. This happens generally but is significantly noticeable in the midface. Previously, the solution was to tighten the skin via a facelift. Today, one of the primary strategies is to refill the mid-face with fillers. Even more progressive, though, is the use of fat from your own body to smooth wrinkles and restore volume and normal contours. Even with facelifts, the procedure is no longer simply to remove the excess skin but is also to replace fat to its normal position and fill.

Fat transfer has become one of the most popular approaches to nonsurgical facial rejuvenation. There are several reasons why. Fat injections are conservative, do not require general anesthesia, and they achieve results that outlast almost all off the shelf fillers. They also transfer stem cells that can further rejuvenate the overlying skin and surrounding tissues. They essentially replace exactly what has been lost.

The Procedure:

The two-step process is simple: Dr. Buchanan performs a minor liposuction procedure on an area of the body where there is extra fat. The fat is washed, removing the anesthetic fluid, tissue, and blood, leaving only viable, live fat  and stem cells. These are then injected into the areas of the face that need more volume. There is much skepticism about fat grafting, mainly because most physicians who have tried it have approached it like regular liposuction and injecting fillers, neither of which you can do and obtain good results. All three of the above steps are very important in keeping the fat cells alive and obtaining a good result. The removal of the fat has to be done with fine, very smooth canulas at a reduced pressure to keep from injuring the cells. Injection is the most important, as the live cells have to be placed in very thin rows next to tissue with excellent blood supply to keep them from dying. If placed like a filler, the cells in the center of the masses just die and produce lumps. When done correctly, greater than 75% of the fat injected survives and there are no lumps.

What you can expect after Fat Transfer:

During the first week after fat injections, you can expect some bruising and swelling. This happens both where fat has been removed and where fat cells have been injected, though bruising is usually minimal on the face. Cold compresses may be used to soothe mild discomfort and also reduce swelling. In spite of this, most people can return to normal light activities by the next day and vigorous activities by a week. Swelling often resolves more quickly than bruising but the latter can be covered with camouflage make-up.

We slightly overfill the area if the tissues will allow it to try and reduce the need for a second procedure. However, if your tissues do not allow this, a second lesser graft almost always provides excellent cosmetic contours.

Facial rejuvenation is something that helps a lot of people feel like themselves again. You may not need surgery to accomplish that. For more information about fat injections, contact our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

What to Expect from Juvéderm Voluma

Liquid Facelift Highlands, NCRecently, we’ve seen the meteoric rise in filler use among adults of all ages. Soft tissue fillers like those in the Juvéderm family are known for achieving consistent results whether the goal is to smooth wrinkles and folds or plump areas of the face that have lost their volume and normal contour. The cheeks and area below the eyes are prime areas where this happens, and treatment using Juvéderm Voluma XC is one of the best ways to correct these problems.

What is Juvéderm Voluma?

Several products make up the Juvéderm family of fillers. All of them are made of varying compilations and consistencies of hyaluronic acid (HA). This chemical is a naturally-occurring sugar compound that the body uses to keep the skin, joints, and eyes lubricated and to produce new collagen, which thickens the skin and supports the surrounding tissues. The Juvéderm products also contain lidocaine, an anesthetic that reduces discomfort during injections. Juvéderm Voluma has been developed with a heavier consistency to achieve specific results. There is, in fact, only one other filler nearly as thick as Voluma.

Having a denser consistency, Voluma XC can build more structure beneath the skin. The name of the product, Voluma, indicates its purpose, to restore structural volume of the tissues. This filler was the first to be FDA-approved for cheek enhancement. As we age, this part of the face loses its shape. The fat pads that overlay the cheekbones and make them look more pronounced decrease in volume over time. As the face loses volume, the tissues descended as far as the next ligament and folds resultat teh ligament and depressions occur above. By midlife, the mid-face looks rather flat and, as a result, the lower face looks wider, fuller and saggy. Occasionally a similar appearance occurs from congenital anatomic variations and younger individuals look older than their actual age. When Voluma XC is placed on the bony of the cheek, it elevates, rounds, and firms the overlying tissues.

What to Expect During and After Voluma Treatment

Filler treatments are very popular but that does not make them right for everyone. We conduct a consultation and brief assessment of the skin, underlying muscle and bone structure, and facial volume to make sure that an injectable can achieve the desired outcome. The treatment itself takes only a few minutes. Injection is done using a very thin cannula through the absolute minimum of skin punctures. The Voluma is carefully placed on the underlying bone under where extra volume is needed. This technique not only is safer than use of a sharp needle, it is more controlled and gives superior results. Thanks to the lidocaine and tiny cannula, there is minimal discomfort.

Results are visible as soon as the Voluma treatment is complete,. You may experience short-lived firmness and swelling for a day or so. Except occasionally at the point of entry through the skin, there is almost never any bruising. To reduce the risk of bruising further you should avoid strenuous exercise for the first 8 hours after injections.

We can help if you have a congenital volume deficit or believe you are aging. Call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783 to explore what Juvéderm Voluma can do for you.

Exploring Nonsurgical Fat Reduction

Anyone who has ever tried to lose body fat knows how difficult it can be to do without a lot of help. Eating the proper foods and exercising regularly are good and necessary for optimal health. They aren’t always the ticket to the slim body contours a person wants, though. At some point, many people hit a plateau that they can’t seem to overcome. Furthermore, fat loss does not happen uniformly, frequently from inherited tendencies so some areas of the body may reduce better than others. This is why there has been such a strong interest in surgical liposuction and nonsurgical fat reduction in recent years.

Examples of Nonsurgical Fat Reduction Body Contouring

Historically, body contouring has been achieved with liposuction and other shaping procedures like abdominoplasty. Now, we have several ways to reduce areas of excess fat without surgery. Common examples of nonsurgical fat reduction include:

  • Injectable lipolysis. This is better known as Kybella, the injectable treatment that breaks down fat cells under the chin with deoxycholic acid. Though we have used Kybella, we find it more uncomfortable, more unpredictable, and slower to achieve results than liposuction and have abandoned it.
  • Many people know cryolipolysis as CoolSculpting. This method of reducing fat works by freezing fat cells, causing crystals to destroy them. The body flushes these cells over several weeks. This, however, is quite uncomfortable and has a tendency for the removed fat to rebound
  • Laser lipolysis destroys fat cells by heating them, leading to destruction. This, however, is more of a surgical procedure than regular liposuction.
  • Radiofrequency lipolysis also heats fat cells through the skin. We have found it minimally reliable.
  • Unlike other forms of fat reduction, Zerona disrupts fat cells using low-levels of cold-laser technology. This energy causes the fat cells to release the stored fat, is totally painless and somewhat more reliable than the other non-surgical modalities. This is what we use for our patients.

As you can see, each of these treatments works through unique technologies and techniques. Individual results can vary within any one of these modalities. Most forms of nonsurgical fat reduction offer some degree of gradual improvement over a few months. While none are intended for weight loss, each can result in a slimmer physique and better-fitting clothes. Also, none require downtime.

The Real Question to Ask

Many people procrastinate in getting treatment that can achieve their desired result because, with so many options, it’s difficult to know which one is right. This isn’t the real question. All you need to do is decide that you have done all you can with dietary and lifestyle modifications and that you still have some areas you would like to change. You then discuss with Dr. Buchanan how to achieve your desired outcome. Zerona nonsurgical treatment is ideal for larger to medium sized areas of excess fat. For small areas, minimally-invasive liposuction is frequently the best path to a better body.

We are here to help you find your way to your best self. To learn more about body contouring in our Highlands, NC office, call (828) 526-3783.

One and Done Beauty: Is it Possible?

Non Surgical Procedures Highlands, NCWe hear this question quite often. “Will one treatment be enough to achieve results?” Unless your cosmetic objectives can be met with a surgical procedure alone, this is an unlikely accomplishment. Even in the case of injectables and soft tissue fillers, which do achieve immediate results, improvements require maintenance every year or so.

To understand the role of professional treatments in ongoing beauty at every age, it can help to think of the skin the same way you do the body. Your skin needs to be “fed” quality products every day to rebuild itself just like your body relies on healthy foods to maintain vitality. Similarly, as much as we would like it to be true, we cannot work out one time and develop six-pack abs. Just like we won’t slim down after one healthy meal or strenuous workout, our skin will not look many years younger after one nonsurgical treatment.

One Way to Feed the Skin

In reality, there are several ways to feed the skin, but there is one objective that may trump all others: collagen and elastin production. By age 30, fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen and elastin, begin to slow down. Not just a little, but a lot. Some studies suggest that fibroblasts go dormant, into a state of sweet slumber that allows the signs of aging to creep in. With the body wearing out its existing supply of collagen and elastin at a rate of about 1 to 2% a year, we typically see noticeable changes in the skin by age 40 and continually for the rest of our life. The key to managing aging skin, then, is to encourage the fibroblast cells to continually produce more collagen and elastin.

Professional treatments like fillers correct the signs of aging, which is certainly advantageous. However, injectables alone are not enough to effectively manage the signs of aging. By that, we mean to keep them from worsening. To do this, we recommend adding retinol or Retin-A and ELASTIderm to basic skin care starting around age 30.  The retinol or Retin-A (tretinoin) stimulates new collagen. The ELASTIderm by Obagi is the only product on the market that stimulates conversion of some of that collagen to elastic tissue. Other periodic collagen-inducing treatments like micro needling, actual dermal or just sub-dermal injection of the proper hyaluronic acid filler, peels or laser skin resurfacing can also help. Depending on where you are on the spectrum of collagen degradation, you may need one treatment a year, several treatments a year, or one treatment every few years.

If you are interested in reversing and managing the signs of aging, come talk with us. We may not be able to promise a one and done treatment for every concern, but we can promise that we are committed to long-term results and personal care for each of our patients.

Call (828) 526-3783 to schedule your visit to our Highlands, NC medical spa and plastic surgery office.

Why Consider Facial Fat Transfer To Rejuvenate the Face & Add Volume This Year

Part of the aging process, we have learned, is the loss of volume across the mid-face. Volume loss also occurs at the temples and on the lips. This is one of the reasons why the lower face starts to look wider and saggy as we get older. In recent years, research has discovered that the best way to rejuvenate the face may not be to perform facelift surgery (at least not on its own) but to restore volume using some type of biocompatible substance. Off the shelf fillers do this with temporary ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Facial fat transfer is the technique patients choose when they want permanent results or need significant volume added.

What is facial fat transfer?

Facial fat transfer is the minimally-invasive procedure in which cosmetic concerns are corrected using fat from your own body. Skilled surgeons now also use fat transfer techniques to add or restore volume to areas of the body such as the buttocks and the breasts. More commonly, fat cells are used to give the face a better contour, to fill deflated or thin lips, and to smooth deep creases around the nose and mouth and under the eyes

The treatment is performed in the office using local anesthetic and mild sedation, when needed. There are three parts to the technique:

  • Harvesting fat from a part of the body where you have an excess using liposuction. Common areas include the abdomen and the thighs. If desired, donor area can also be contoured.
  • Purifying fat cells. To add volume to the face, we want pure fat cells. To get them, we wash what is obtained via liposuction. The fat cells are then transferred to a syringe.
  • Transferring fat. The face is treated with local anesthesia before we begin injections. Then, a tiny cannula is inserted under the skin and moved back and forth. With each pass, a line of fat cells is deposited. This technique layers fat cells in a way that achieves natural-looking results.

The visit may last approximately two hours, after which you may return home to recuperate. Most people can return to normal activities by the next day.

What can you expect after increasing facial volume with fat?

After fat transfer, you may experience some swelling and bruising. Discomfort is typically minimal, although both the liposuctioned area and the facial areas treated may feel sore and somewhat tender. This is usually mild enough to manage with over-the-counter medication.

What is important to know about facial fat grafting is that 75 to 80% of the new fat cells introduced to the face are expected to survive. What is present at 4 months is permanent. Because of the loss of some of the fat cells we generally overfill the areas about 10%. Because the transferred fat cells contain stem cells, over time the overlying skin and surrounding tissue may actually improve in quality.

Dr. Buchanan performs facial fat transfer in a way that maximizes success. To learn more about this procedure, call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.

Call Now Button