The aging process of the face is a duel process, consisting of facial skin laxity with drooping skin, compounded by loss of fat in the face, creating a deflated appearance. A facelift corrects much of this process, but facial deflation can start before skin laxity occurs, especially in the younger patient. Facial Fat Grafting surgery corrects this deflation, rejuvenating the face naturally.
The practice of harvesting fat from one part of the body and using it in other parts of the same person has been performed by plastic surgeons for decades. Over the past 10 years this procedure has been refined, and is used effectively to fill the lines and wrinkles of the face and augment the lips. This procedure involves the harvest of fat from one region of the body utilizing a form of liposuction, washing the fatty product, and then injecting it into the face.
This procedure is more involved than augmenting the face with Fillers, like Hyaluronic Acid (Juvederm), but carries the advantage of injecting the patient’s own biologic material into the body. Rejection is not an issue. I have been performing Facial Fat Grafting surgery in NYC for over 20 years, and I have refined the technique to offer my patients the ability to rejuvenate their face by replacing lost facial volume that looks natural and appealing.
Facial Fat Grafting Consultation
The consultation process, (plan to spend at least one hour) includes an in-depth discussion about your desires with regard to volume replacement and recovery from Facial Fat Grafting surgery. Sometimes Fat Grafting is combined with cosmetic Facelift Surgery to achieve facial balance, especially when skin laxity is also present. It is the surgeon’s task to explain all aspects of the operation, the pros and cons, and most importantly, the concept of realistic expectations with regard to your postoperative result.
Candidates for Facial Fat Grafting
If you have concerns about lines, wrinkles or lack of fullness or shape of your face, then Facial Fat Grafting surgery may be for you. This type of surgery can enhance your appearance and improve overall self-confidence and self-esteem. The best candidates for Facial Fat Grafting surgery are healthy individuals who are realistic about what the surgery can afford after a complete consultation.
The Fat Grafting Procedure
Scarring is usually not an issue because of the minute scar size and location and I close the skin with great care and offer advice and support regarding scar care after surgery. Facial Fat Grafting surgery must be done in a sterile environment, but can be performed under local anesthesia with or without mild sedation. The patient must avoid using aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, St. John’s Wort, or high doses of vitamin E supplements prior to treatment, to decrease bruising and bleeding. Clinical trials have shown that at least 20% to 30% of the injected fat remains permanently. To maintain extremely full facial features however, two to three procedures over time may be necessary.
After this procedure you will experience soreness at the site of harvest, but this is easily controlled with anti-inflammatories or mild pain medications. The region that is augmented, especially the lips, must be slightly overcorrected to obtain optimal results and this overcorrection and swelling usually subsides within one to two weeks. Intense physical activity should be avoided for two to four weeks after the procedure. Facial Fat Grafting Surgery offers a more permanent, natural option for the face, but the recovery is slightly longer than fillers like Hyaluronic Acid.
The Facial Fat Grafting surgery is performed in my state of the art, fully certified operative suite in my office located on the Upper East Side in NYC. Sedation Anesthesia, if requested, is administered by board certified anesthesiologists. You will be given a follow-up appointment with me in 5-7 days.
Recovering from Facial Fat Transfer
After Facial Fat Grafting, you will be discharged with explicit wound care and subsequent scar care instructions. You will be quite swollen for 2-4 days after surgery, and we will counsel you about caring for that aspect of your recovery. Most of my patients return to work in 2-3 days, and pain after surgery is well controlled with mild pain medication or Tylenol. Sutures are removed 7 days after surgery.
I have a great deal of experience with all aspects of Facial Fat Grafting Surgery, and comfortably possess the required expertise to allow me to achieve the best possible results for you. If you have lost facial volume or have deep wrinkles that make you feel uncomfortable, then Facial Fat Grafting surgery may be something for you.
Facial Fat Transfer FAQs
Why will I be so swollen after Facial Fat Grafting surgery?
The face has a vigorous blood supply, and for that reason you will swell from the trauma of any type of surgery. The good news is that extra blood supply allows the wounds to heal faster and with better scarring. The worst of the swelling after Facial Fat Grafting surgery goes away in 2-4 days.
When can I return to work after Facial Fat Grafting surgery?
While there is little pain and discomfort after Facial Fat Grafting Surgery, there is significant swelling. For that reason, many of my patients plan on taking 2 or 3 days off from work, or schedule it on a Friday, and then are able to return to work by Monday.
When will I be able to exercise after Facial Fat Grafting surgery?
I advise my Facial Fat Grafting patients to avoid vigorous exercise for at least 2 weeks, then begin light exercise for 2 weeks and then there are no restrictions.
How long will my results last after Facial Fat Grafting surgery?
Clinical trials have shown that at least 20% to 30% of the injected fat remains permanently after Facial Fat Grafting surgery. To maintain extremely full lips however, two to three procedures over time may be necessary.
Why do you say that you take a conservative approach to Facial Fat Grafting surgery?
Years of experience have taught me to be conservative regarding Facial Fat Grafting surgery because I have seen too many patients operated on by other doctors who were too aggressive, causing their patients to look silly and unattractive, with bloated faces.