Fat transfer is a permanent option for volume replacement to the midface or temples. As we age fat pads that were fully developed during your youth began to atrophy. Particularly in the cheeks, nasolabial fold and temples. Temporary options include injectable fillers which require repeated injections to achieve results as the fillers break down with time.
Fat transfer allows us to transfer your own fat from your thigh or abdomen and artistically place it in particular areas that have lost fat in the face. Loss of fat in the temples and midface is associated with an aged appearance. As fat is lost in desirable places in the face, the skin also loses its fullness and begins to sag. By replacing fat where you have lost fat, it helps restore a more youthful appearance.
The procedure is usually done with IV sedation or general anesthesia. Recovery is generally straightforward. Most commonly bruising of the harvest site and occasionally in the facial regions where is has been transferred. Swelling in the face is expected and resolves within 1-2 weeks. During this period the face may appear as if too much fat was transferred but this is from swelling and as the swelling comes down you will begin to see your desired results. Not all the fat we transfer will live but the fat that lives is permanent. The amount of fat that lives with transfer is dependent on the technique used as well as the patients overall health. Generally we plan about 35% fat loss with a transfer.
This is a great procedure for those desiring a predictable facial rejuvenation and is commonly done along with facial laser resurfacing. The combination of these two things gives a very predictable facial rejuvenation without having to have more advanced procedures like facelifts. Fat transfer as well as laser resurfacing can be used to get very desirable results that help delay the need for more advanced facial cosmetic surgery procedures. In some cases the combination of these two procedures may eliminate the need for a facelift procedure.