Aging is a beautiful experience but can come with some drawbacks. As you age, your skin’s structural integrity begins to deteriorate, resulting in wrinkles and lines on your face. These wrinkles and lines are often the results of your face losing volume in such areas as your cheeks and jawline. Perhaps you have considered undergoing a surgical procedure, such as a facelift, to correct the cosmetic concerns. Still, the thought of undergoing the knife and the potential for scarring has always deterred you. Or maybe you have thought of having dermal fillers, injections that add volume to areas where volume is otherwise lacking, but know that they only offer temporary relief, causing you to reconsider. If you struggle with volume loss in your face but aren’t too keen on either a facelift or a dermal filler injection, then a facial fat transfer is meant for you.

Facial fat transfer is an exceptional treatment that utilizes your fat cells to add volume to your face. Sunken cheeks can be restored to a plump image. Deep folds that run from your nose to your mouth can be smoothened. Hollows beneath your eyes can be restored. All of these cosmetic concerns can be corrected with facial fat transfer – permanently. If you are interested in learning more about facial fat transfer and would like to schedule a consultation at Ridenour Plastic Surgery of St. Louis, MO, please contact us at (314) 501-7946 or visit our contact page.

What is Facial Fat Transfer?

Facial fat transfer, also known as fat grafting or autologous fat transfer, uses your fat to increase the volume of fat in another area of the body. The fat is harvested or extracted by hand using a small liposuction cannula. The fat is prepared for reintroduction into the body and injected into the new part of the body using very small blunt-tipped needle-like cannulas. The most common donor areas where the fat is taken from are the stomach, thighs, and hips. Facial fat transfer is minimally invasive, and the recovery time is short.

Fat transfer is most commonly performed for cosmetic purposes but can also be used for breast reconstruction and the repair of traumatic injuries. For the face, fat transfer is needed to correct age-related facial atrophy. Facial atrophy is part of the normal aging process. With increasing age, fat is lost from the temples, around the eyes and mouth and in the cheek’s mid-portion. Loss of volume and support results in an older, aged appearance.

What Are the Benefits of Facial Fat Transfer?

Facial fat transfer helps boost your image to add more youthful contour to your face. The treatment can also be used to sculpt other parts of your body where the fat is harvested. Areas prone to troublesome fat deposits, including the hips, abdomen and thighs, can be improved by relocating the fat to an area where it would be more beneficial, such as the face.
Facial fat transfer offers other benefits as well. The treatment is a natural solution to your cosmetic concerns. Compared to dermal fillers, which use tissues from animals or synthetic materials, facial fat transfer uses your fat. This is particularly beneficial because it allows for there not to be a risk for an allergic reaction.

Facial fat transfer is also versatile and long-lasting. The versatile treatment can be used to treat an array of facial imperfections, including acne scars. In addition, your facial fat transfer can be combined with other cosmetic treatments, allowing for a comprehensive, customizable treatment plan. Skin resurfacing treatments, including chemical peels and microdermabrasion, complement facial fat transfer. During an initial consultation, your skin’s quality is assessed, and other treatments may be recommended in addition to facial fat transfer.

Your Facial Fat Transfer Treatment

Your facial fat transfer treatment will involve three different steps: harvesting your fat, purifying your fat and transferring your fat. Dr. Ridenour will begin by determining the proper source to harvest your fat. The donor site will be marked, and a small incision is made, through which a small cannula is inserted to collect and harvest your fat. You will be given local anesthesia to help mitigate any pain during this step.

After your fat has been harvested, Dr. Ridenour will place it into a centrifuge, a device that spins rapidly, to filter it of any impurities. The purified fat is then placed into a syringe for injection. Before injecting the purified fat, Dr. Ridenour will numb your face with local anesthesia. The tiny cannula with the purified fat is then inserted into your desired treatment area. The fat is injected in multiple passes. A line of purified fatty tissues is deposited with each injection until a contoured, symmetrical shape is attained. Depending on how much work needs to be done, facial fat transfer can take approximately two hours.

Who Makes a Good Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer?

You should be in relatively good health and a healthy weight range. You should also have a substantial amount of fat in an area on your body that would be a suitable fat donor site. While facial fat transfer involves moving your fat from one part of your body to another, you should keep in mind that it is not a treatment meant for managing weight or obesity. It is also best to have realistic expectations if you are considering a facial fat transfer. Your cosmetic concerns and the potential fat donor site will be reviewed during an initial consultation to ensure your candidacy for facial fat transfer.

Excellent for men and women with:

  • Sunken cheeks
  • Bags beneath the eyes or dark circles
  • Thin lips
  • Uneven jawline
  • A chin lacking definition
  • Nasolabial folds
  • Marionette lines
  • Sunken temples

Your Facial Fat Transfer Results

After your facial fat transfer, you will notice side effects in two parts of your body: your face and your fat donor site. Side effects include swelling, bruising and redness. Bruising lasts for approximately 10 days after surgery and, in some cases, can take up to three to six weeks to completely subside. You will be advised not to do any vigorous activities for the first several days to avoid more extensive bruising. Your final results will take some time to appear. Over time, some fat cells will die off.

Often, approximately 40 to 60 percent of fat cells die after the first three months, which is why your treated area may appear puffy the first couple of months because Dr. Ridenour will overcompensate your fat transfer to mitigate this loss. In some cases, patients may experience minimal results if too many fat cells die off, which is an issue more common for older patients. It will take approximately nine months for final results to be achieved as your body stops absorbing the newly placed fat cells. A touch-up facial fat transfer appointment may be needed if too many fat cells are lost after six to nine months.

Your face will be defined by more youthful contours when you have achieved your final results, allowing for a more beautiful image. The surviving fat cells will not be absorbed by your body, allowing for permanent results. However, any weight loss or gain can affect your results potentially.

Schedule a Consultation

Facial fat transfer is an excellent option for treating unwanted wrinkles and lines, especially if you don’t want to undergo a more extensive procedure such as a facelift or if you desire permanent results, which dermal fillers don’t offer. With a facial fat transfer, you can say goodbye to your sunken cheeks, bags beneath your eyes, and uneven jawline and more – all by using your body’s natural volume adder: fat.

If you are a resident of St. Louis, MO, or surrounding communities and you have been struggling with the appearance of your wrinkles and lines, perhaps facial fat transfer at Ridenour Plastic Surgery is just what you need. Please contact us at (314) 501-7946 or visit our contact page to schedule a consultation.

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