When people consider the most common signs of aging, they think about wrinkles and sagging skin. What often doesn’t come to mind is facial volume loss, which is actually an underlying cause of the other signs of aging.
Facial volume loss can cause the face to look flat and less full. To restore a plumper, smoother and more youthful-looking appearance, a facial fat transfer, also known as grafting, can be performed.
Below, top Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Galiano talks about how fat from the body can be used to build facial volume, smooth out wrinkles and fill in facial depressions.
How Fat Transfer Works
Fat transfer is a minimally invasive procedure that uses liposuction to remove fat from a specific area of the body. Most often, the fat is taken from the stomach, hips or thighs.
Then, the fat is prepared and injected into the creases and depressions of the face to restore lost volume.
After the procedure, the facial contour is improved and the face appears rejuvenated and more youthful. Fat transfer results are relatively permanent.
Some of the fat cells won’t survive the transfer, however. They’ll be reabsorbed by the body. So surgeons often overfill treatment areas to ensure enough healthy fat cells remain to deliver long-lasting results.
Fat transfer is most commonly performed on the following facial areas:
• Nasolabial folds
• Marionette lines
• Hollows beneath the eyes
Fat Transfer Candidates
Fat transfer patients should be in good health overall and they should be at a stable weight. Fat transfer candidates can’t be too thin, however, as there needs to be adequate fat on the body to remove during the liposuction portion of the procedure.
Fat Transfer Recovery
The recovery process from a fat transfer is usually mild. Recovery time varies depending on the patient. But in general, the recovery period lasts around seven to 10 days, after which patients can return to work and resume most of their normal activities.
Final fat transfer results take up to six months to show, but patients will start to see noticeable improvements a few days post-treatment.
Patients should also note that there are risks involved with fat transfer, such as infection and fat calcification.
To learn more about fat transfer techniques, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Robert Galiano who will answer all of your questions and provide the best treatment plan for you.