Fat Transfer with Facelifts

Facelift & Fat Grafting

Fat Transfer with Facelifts- a “Natural” Choice

Cosmetic surgery is becoming more and more familiar with the terms Fat Transfer, Fat Injections, Autologous Fat Transfer, and Fat Grafting, which all refer to the process of taking fat from unwanted areas of your body and re-injecting purified adipose fat tissues into other areas of your body. The goal of any fat transfer procedure is to add a natural fullness to the area which receives the fat grafts. Common areas enhanced by at injections include the face, lips, and buttocks. With the face, fat can be transferred to the cheeks, nasolabial folds, jawline, and the lower eye area. Fat transfers in addition to facelifts is becoming very popular, since facelifts only lift and tighten the skin, whereas adding a fat transfer completes the desired look with a youthful volume.

Fat Transfers are a three part process that includes extraction of fat with liposuction, processing and centrifugation of fat and the re-injection of fat. Fat transferred from other areas of your body to your face will not only give some lifting to the general facial structure, but also improve the look of your skin. Patients seeking a fat transfer for facial rejuvenation can address such issues as; fine lines and wrinkles, crow’s feet, under eye bags or dark circles, frown lines, sunken cheeks and an all-around tired look.

In addition to filling out wrinkles in the face, highly purified fat injections also enhance the blood circulation in the tissues. This is because there is a population of adipose stem cells in the fat cells that are re-injected. Even with only minimal manipulation, such as centrifugation, a small plug of Adipose Stem Cells (ASC’s) are collected in high density fat grafting. Thus, a small number of regenerative type cells are reinjected into your face with high density fat processing techniques.

Fat injections can be done under local or IV sedation anesthesia. Using thin cannulas, fat is harvested from the hip, inner or outer thigh, lower back, or lower abdomen. These areas are called the ‘donor sites’. The fat is then decanted and processed in a special centrifuge, and is then injected into the desired facial area. The area where the fat is re-injected is called the ‘recipient site’. When performed properly, a large percentage of the fat transfer will ‘take’ and the face will fill out to look more youthful.

Fat grafting has been performed for over 100 years by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. During the past two decades the fat transfer procedure has evolved greatly. More recently, plastic surgeons have refined the processing component of the procedure to yield a high density fat pellet, which is combined with purified fat. This technique is referred to as ‘High Density Fat Grafting.’

As plastic surgeons continue to understand the aging process better, they have come to appreciate that in some patients, rather than dissecting tissues and surgically lifting, adding soft tissue volume such as fat will make the face look younger. Using fat injections as an integral part of face lift surgery is becoming common practice.

Compared to injectable facial fillers such as Juvederm, the fat transfer procedure is more involved because the fat has to first be harvested from another part of the body with Liposuction. However, unlike injectable fillers, fat transfers can be used in larger volumes to fill larger defects. And above all, fat injections are a natural type of surgical enhancement, and they contain a small population of regenerating adipose stem cells.

If you are seeking more information on facial and body reconstruction and plastic surgery you should make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr Aguiar. At Aguiar Plastic Surgery, we offer state-of-the art, safe, and effective cosmetic procedures, plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, and Med Spa services in Tampa, Florida. We can discuss your concerns and give you an honest consultation that is designed and tailored to create an appearance on the outside that will reflect how you feel on the inside.

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