A gaunt, severe face is one of the more obvious signs of facial aging. This can make a person appear constantly angry, sad, or worn out, which leads to numerous misunderstandings. For a fuller, more youthful face, many patients undergo the facial fat grafting procedure.
How does this gaunt look come about? As we age, tissue from the underlying facial fat layer begins to disappear. With this loss of tissue comes a loss of facial volume. This makes the bones of the face appear harsh, creating severe features. Facial fat grafting is a method of filling in and adding volume to the hollow areas of the face, evening out the appearance.
Facial fat grafting also has the ability to fill in deep creases and wrinkles. Glabellar lines, marionette lines, crow’s feet, and the nasolabial folds are all examples of lines that can be filled using this procedure. Acne scars can also be corrected. Injectables like Radiesse and Restylane can correct many of these lines, but they do not last as long as facial fat grafting.
Fat grafting uses the fat cells from your own body to restore facial volume. This makes it an autologous procedure. Because autologous procedures do not use foreign substances (instead relying on substances from the patient’s body), they are much less likely to result in allergic reactions. Fat cells also make the results look and feel quite natural.
The procedure can require around two to four hours to complete. To harvest fat cells for the fat grafting procedure, your plastic surgeon will need to perform liposuction. Liposuction is a method of reducing an area in volume by suctioning out fat cells. Areas that can be targeted with this procedure include the abdomen, back, thighs, and arms.
During liposuction, local anesthesia is typically used. A cannula is inserted into the target region. This tool is a tube with a sharp end that’s meant to dislodge and break apart stubborn fatty deposits. Once this has occurred, the fat cells are suctioned out of the body through the tube.
After the fat cells have been harvested, they must be purified; this is the best way to get the healthiest donor cells possible. This process involves removing unnecessary fluids and damaged and dead cells. Once the process is complete, the healthiest fat cells are left for injection.
Injections will be made at various tissue depths in order to ensure even results. The injection process is quite precise and requires a fair amount of skill. Taking one’s time is the best way to ensure that the fat cells survive in their new locations, since they must be able to connect to the blood supply. Many fat cells will not survive regardless, and these are instead absorbed harmlessly by the body.
Once your facial fat grafting procedure is complete, you’ll need to experience a recovery period. This will include a degree of bruising and swelling (to be controlled with cold compresses). You’ll need to take around two weeks off of work. Treat your face and body with care during this time in order to make sure that your transferred fat cells connect to the blood supply properly.
Dr. Moeinolmolki can explain more about facial fat grafting, including liposuction and fat cell harvesting, during a consultation at our office. Contact us today to arrange a consultation.