What is Fat Transfer?
A procedure that removes fat from the patient’s neck, abdomen or thighs and strategically places it on the face to enhance certain features or restore sunken areas.
Why Fat Transfer?
One of the most important advances in facial plastic surgery over the past 2 decades was the better understanding of the aging process of the face. One loses fullness to their face, resulting in a hollow and emaciated appearance. The full cheeks and soft contours of youth slowly fade and are replaced with a more bony appearance that draws attention to shadows and depressions. Thus, the face looks aged.
The physicians of Northwest Facial Aesthetic Center focus more on replacing the lost volume rather than on pulling tissues tighter, resulting in a more natural and youthful appearance. This can be performed with synthetic fillers, but oftentimes the best option is a fat transfer procedure. Fat is considered the ideal filler due to its biocompatible and non-toxic characteristics. It is also low-cost and has a very low chance of complication.
Procedure and Results
Fat transfer can be performed on its own or in conjunction with other procedures, such as face/neck lift or skin resurfacing. Fat is harvested through a very small incision in the neck, abdomen or thighs, and then cleansed and concentrated using a specialized technique that maximizes its longevity once injected.
Our physicians handle the tissue in a very delicate manner so only the finest fat cells are transferred to the face. Cannulas (small tubes) are used to allow the fat to be precisely placed in the desired areas. They are passed like needles so no incisions are made on the face.
Patients return home after the procedure with no bandages. However, they are instructed to apply iced over the injected areas. It’s preferable that the patient has someone at home for the first 24 hours after surgery until the swelling subsides, especially if fat was injected around the eyes.
- Return to Work 7-10 Days
- Suture Removal (abdomen or thigh) 1 Week
- Swelling Subsides 1-2 Weeks
- Return to Full Physical Activity 2-3 Weeks
- 75% Visible Result 6 Weeks
- 100% Visible Result 12 Months
When properly performed, fat transfer is a remarkable procedure that restores a youthful and healthy appearance – eliminating the sunken and fatigued look common to aging. The procedure usually takes 1 hour to complete and is performed at the Northwest ENT Surgery Center. General anesthesia or deep sedation is most often used for patient comfort. Most patients return to in 7-10 days and resume full physical activity in 2-3 weeks.