Facial Fat Transfer (Autologous Fat Transplantation) in Cleveland, OH
The visible signs of facial aging are caused by more than just sagging of the skin. Changes in the volume of the soft tissues (especially fat cells) are equally, if not more, important. Loss of fat within the face caused by aging creates a ‘hollow’, ‘deflated’ or ‘sunken’ appearance. By transplanting fat cells from elsewhere in the body, fat transfer restores lost facial volume. Fat transfer is a permanent, safe, and effective treatment for facial rejuvenation.
Who is a Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer or Autologous Fat Transplantation?
Candidates for facial fat transfer are healthy men and women who have lost facial volume due to aging or have a congenital or hereditary deficiency of facial fat. Many patients have tried dermal fillers in the past and desire a more long-term result. Fat cells that are to be transferred, or transplanted, into the face must be harvested from elsewhere on the body (the donor site). Excellent candidates have sufficient fat cells in their donor sites. Fat transfer is sometimes performed in conjunction with other facial plastic surgery procedures such as blepharoplasty, facelift and neck lift to achieve enhanced results.
How is Facial Revolumizing Fat Transfer Performed?
Fat transfer may be performed under local, moderate sedation or general anesthesia, depending on the patient’s preference as well as the extent of the procedure. Dr. Harmych uses a process similar to liposuction to harvest fat cells from the donor site (usually the abdomen, or stomach). The harvested fat is purified and transplanted to the face using a small cannula similar to liposuction. Incisions used for fat harvesting require one or two small sutures. Incisions on the face are very tiny and generally heal on their own without sutures.
What is the Recovery like from Facial Fat Tranfer?
Fat transfer is usually performed on an outpatient basis with most patients returning to the comfort of their own home within a few hours. Prescription pain medication is sometimes required for about 1-3 days. Social downtime is usually less than 1 week and in most cases patients may return to full physical activity in 2-3 weeks. Swelling and bruising at the injection and transfer sites are common and usually resolve within 1-2 weeks. Bruising and swelling at the donor site often lasts longer than that in the face but usually lasts less than 2 or 3 weeks and is relatively easy to conceal. It is expected that the immediate appearance of the treated area will appear fuller than it when completely healed as a small number of transferred fat cells will not survive in their new location. Temporary postoperative swelling also contributes to this effect.