What Can Fat Transfer Achieve?
Restored Facial Volume and Skin QualityAging, gravity, genetics, sun damage, and weight fluctuations cause the facial fat around the cheeks, mouth, temples, or beneath the eye to sag toward the jawline and create jowls. Fat transfer to the face restores volume and recreates youthful facial contours.
Rejuvenated Facial ContoursFine lines and wrinkles develop across the face as collagen and elastin diminish. The thinning of the skin causes lines to gather around the mouth, nose, and eyes. Fat transfer to these areas fill the crevices and restores smooth skin. For some patients, fat transfer provides a less invasive alternative to a facelift.
Enhanced Breast VolumeSome women experience changes in breast appearance with age, pregnancy, weight, and hormone fluctuations. Fat transfer to the breasts allow patients who want larger breasts but do not feel comfortable using implants to achieve that desire.
Fat Transfer Procedure
RecoveryYour liposuction incisions will be wrapped in dressings that help reduce swelling by promoting circulation. The harvesting and transfer sites will experience bruising and swelling that may take days or weeks to dissipate entirely. While you should take it easy for the first few days, getting on your feet is the best way to increase circulation and speed the recovery period. You want to be sure that you do not overexert yourself; all strenuous activity should be limited for at least four weeks.
Scarring may develop from the liposuction incisions. These incisions are small, and the scars are often inconspicuous once they have healed. There is usually no scarring at the transfer sites because the fat is injected with a thin needle.
Fat transfer patients can reduce their post-operative scarring by keeping their healing incisions out of the sun and applying silicone strips and gel. All scars will fade with time.
CostThe cost of your fat transfer varies depending on the areas of enhancement and the amount of fat being transferred to that area. Additional cost factors include anesthesia fees, facility room fees, surgical fees, and post-surgical dressings and medications.
PainLiposuction is performed under anesthesia, and the fat injection sites are numbed for comfort and safety. You may experience discomfort once this anesthesia wears off at both the harvesting and transfer areas. Any discomfort can be relieved by oral pain medication, over-the-counter medication like TYLENOL®, cold compresses, and rest. The bruising and swelling will begin to lessen within a few days.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is fat transfer permanent?
Not all of the harvested and transferred fat will survive. Occasionally, repeated treatments are necessary to obtain optimal results.
The fat that does survive will be long lasting as the body does not absorb it or break it down as other injectable treatments, such as dermal fillers.
It can take up to six months for your fat transfer results to fully develop.
Are there any risks with fat transfer?
Fat is beneficial over other injections/implants because there is almost no chance of rejection or allergic reaction. As fat transfer requires liposuction, however, there are rare side effects that can occur. These include:
- Complications from anesthesia
- Prolonged swelling
- Poor scarring at liposuction sites
- Asymmetry or uneven quality to harvesting areas
Is everyone a candidate for fat transfer?
Candidates for fat transfer must have an adequate amount of fat elsewhere on their body that can be harvested through liposuction. This fat can come from any region of the body, but it must come from their own body.
What are the alternatives to fat transfer?
Fat transfer is an organic way to restore volume to areas that have lost it or never had it. Unfortunately, not every potential patient has enough fat on their body to harvest. These patients will need to seek out alternative treatments to restore or create volume.
- Dermal fillers like JUVÉDERM®, Restylane®, and RADIESSE® restore temporarily restore facial volume and does not require surgery.
- Breast augmentation with implants enhances the volume and shape of the breasts. Implants are available in a wide variety of styles.