Facial Fat Transfer
YOU CAN’T HALT THE AGING PROCESS, BUT YOU CAN IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF YOUR SKIN.
Over time, the natural aging process causes a number of distinct changes to the face. The tissue descends, which can be is corrected with surgical procedures such as a facelift, neck lift or brow lift. The skin quality diminishes, which may require laser to remove spots and minimize wrinkles, or may require Botox or Dysport to prevent the lines that come with muscle contraction. However, the most common change to the face that occurs with the aging process, is the loss of facial volume.
For many people, with the aging process, the fat volume that gives us a youthful appearance diminishes, as does the actual bone. There are a couple of ways to replace this loss of facial volume. The most common treatment is with fillers such as hyaluronic acid. It can work really well and is safe. The challenge with fillers is that they do not last forever. Different fillers and different locations on the face have different durations of effect. For some patients, they may be looking for a more permanent solution, and this is where facial fat transfer comes in. Facial fat transfer is performed by liposuctioning fat from an area of the body that is in excess, processing the fat carefully, and then injecting the fat into the multiple fat pads of the face. The goal is to replace the facial volume that has been lost to time.
Not all the volume that is injected into the face survives. Anywhere from 50-70% of the fat may survive, which means that extra fat is often placed at the time of the procedure, with the recognition that the fat will dissipate over the first few months.
Perhaps the most important thing for the patient to consider prior to a facial fat transfer, is that they are at a stable weight which they can maintain for years to come. Fat that is transferred responds like fat anywhere – if you gain weight it will increase, and if you lose weight it will get smaller. The latter will take you back to your natural appearance. However, weight gain can look less than ideal if the fat in your face increases in size excessively.
Dr Shortt will go over your options, so you feel that your surgery is specifically planned for you.
When to consider having this procedure?
restore loss of facial volume due to the aging process
to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face
desire for something more permanent than facial injections
What is the recovery time?
Fat transfer to the face can cause a fair bit of swelling, so patients need to be prepared for that. Ice packs and elevation can help, but really it is a matter of time. Although you may feel a bit bruised, it is more the appearance of swelling that necessitates recovery time. It may take several weeks for the majority of swelling to resolve, and up to three months before seeing the final result.
As with any surgery under general anaesthetic, there are potential risks or complications to consider. During your private consultation, Dr Shortt will be able to estimate the time he expects it will take you to recover, and how soon you can expect to get back to the different activities you usually do.
Learn more about Face Surgery in Dr Shortt’s Blog
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