Monday, April 15th, 2019
The idea of using fat from one part of the body to enhance another used to be tossed around in a humorous way. Through innovation in medicine, we can now look at this concept much more seriously. Fat injections, or fat graft or transfer, is now commonly used to restore youthful contours to the aging face, since, other than the results of gravity, loss of volume is the major contributor to facial aging. Fat cells can be injected into the lips to make them fuller, into deep creases around the nose and mouth or into the cheeks and areas around the eyes.
Fat injections require two different processes. First, the skin in the donor and recipient sites is cleansed and treated with local anesthesia. Then, a small cannula (a hollow tube used during liposuction) attached to a syringe is used to remove a predetermined amount of fat from a place where you have extra. This process is slightly different than traditional liposuction and does not typically result in a major change in the appearance of the donor area. After removing the fatty tissue, cells are processed to separate out the purest fat for injection into the face. The recipient site may be slightly overfilled at the time of treatment to account for natural fat absorption. The entire process can take a few hours.
There is very little downtime needed to recover from fat injections. Many patients feel well enough to immediately resume normal activities. However, we do suggest no vigorous activity or straining for 6-8 hours and care to not put pressure on the grafted areas for one to two weeks. The intensity of effects like redness, swelling, and bruising typically relates to the location and size of the treatment area. Usually, these effects fade over the course of several days. If a larger volume of fat is extracted, the donor site may be slightly swollen for a few weeks. At about four months post-op, we expect the final results of treatment to be apparent and long-lasting. The renewed facial contouring after fat injections can last a lifetime or as long as normal fat would last.
Get the full details on fat injections and how they can correct the signs of aging on your face. Call our Highlands, NC office at (828) 526-3783.