Facial Fat Transfer

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Facial fat transfer, also called facial fat grafting, is a cosmetic procedure used to restore volume and contour to the face, along with diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As the face ages, there is a gradual loss of volume in the face, particularly around the cheeks, nose, eyes, and mouth. Facial fat transfer corrects this loss of volume, diminishing characteristics of aging.

Dr. Richards, Dr. Jabs, and Dr. Magge are all board-certified plastic surgeons with decades of combined experience in facial plastic surgery and fat transfer procedures. Learn more about this age-defying procedure below and then contact Cosmetic Surgery Associates in Bethesda, MD to request a consultation.

About Facial Fat Transfer

With age, the face begins to lose volume and deflate. This can cause increased prominence of nasolabial folds (laugh lines), marionette lines, and undereye bags. It can also make the cheeks and lips appear deflated or sunken. In more severe cases, an invasive surgery such as a facelift would be performed to correct these concerns. However, in many cases, these concerns can be improved with the introduction of volume to the face by way of a facial fat transfer.

Patients may have already heard of other fat transfer procedures, such as the celebrity-endorsed Brazilian Butt Lift.

A facial fat transfer is another type of autologous fat transfer procedure that works similarly to the Brazilian Butt Lift. The first step of both procedures involves harvesting fat from the patient’s body using liposuction.

This is just one of the many reasons why fat transfer procedures are popular – they also allow the patient to contour other parts of their body through liposuction! Then, this harvested fat is purified so that only the most viable fat cells remain. Finally, the fat is precisely injected into the face where there are lines, wrinkles, or a lack of volume to contour the facial profile.

Facial fat transfers, and fat transfer procedures, in general, are attractive to many patients because they do not require the introduction of foreign matter into the body. As opposed to using dermal fillers or implants, volume is added to the face only using material from the patient’s own body. This means that there is almost no chance that the body will reject the material or have an allergic reaction. Plus, while simultaneously attaining dramatic, long-lasting results, the results look extremely natural.

Patients interested in a facial fat transfer can begin by requesting a consultationwith one of the esteemed doctors at Cosmetic Surgery Associates. Contact our office today to get started.

Good Candidates

As with any procedure that the doctors at Cosmetic Surgery Associates perform, it is important that the patient is in good health and can properly heal from the procedure. This is critical not only for the patient’s final results but also for the patient’s overall safety. During the consultation, we ask that the patient is completely upfront with their medical history so that we can provide them with the best possible care.

The first step of a facial fat transfer procedure is liposuction, so the patient must be a good candidate for liposuction as well as fat transfer. This means that the patient must have excess fat deposits on their body suitable for grafting. While facial fat transfer does not typically require harvesting as much fat as other fat transfer procedures, such as a breast fat transfer procedure or Brazilian Butt Lift, some slimmer patients may still not be good candidates.

However, our doctors welcome all patients interested in any of the aforementioned procedures to come in for a consultation. An individualized consultation with one of our knowledgeable doctors is the only way for patients to know for certain whether or not they are a good candidate for facial fat transfer. In any case, our doctors will do their best to recommend additional or alternative procedures that the patient may benefit from to help them achieve their desired results. Contact us easily here.

Facial Fat Transfer vs Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are perhaps a more well-known anti-aging facial treatment than facial fat transfer. However, this does not necessarily mean that dermal fillers are better than facial fat transfer or vice versa. In any case, it depends on the patient’s specific concerns, goals, and facial structure.

Dermal fillers are soft tissue fillers that act to mimic subcutaneous fat that is lost in the face over time. There are different types of dermal fillers, but perhaps the most popular and well-tested are hyaluronic acid fillers, such as the Juvéderm and Restylane families of fillers.

Dermal fillers are popular because they are very quick and relatively painless procedures. In general, dermal filler treatments can be performed in half an hour, depending on the number of injection sites. Plus, patients can return to the majority of their normal activities, such as work and errands, right away. They will need to stay out of the sun and avoid vigorous exercise for 24-72 hours. Plus, they may experience minor redness and swelling around the injection points, but this is little compared to more invasive procedures that have more significant side effects and require the patient to stay at home anywhere from three days to two weeks.

However, dermal filler treatments do not last as long as facial fat transfers. While dermal filler treatments with Juvederm or Restylane last anywhere from three months to two years, facial fat transfer procedures can last for many years. If the patient takes good care of their skin and body, the results can last decades.

While dermal fillers may seem more attractive due to the lesser cost and minimal recovery period, it is important that the patient also considers the maintenance of their treatment. Dermal fillers require more upkeep than fat transfers, so the cost and downtime will accumulate. It is best to speak with an experienced plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Richards, Dr. Jabs, or Dr. Magge prior to deciding on a treatment.

Procedure

A fat transfer procedure is a three-step procedure involving the harvesting of fat from the body, cleansing of the fat, and then re-injection of the fat into the face. Our doctors perform the procedure on an outpatient basis, so the patient will be able to return home the same day as the treatment. The patient may be placed under local or general anesthesia.

First, the fat will be collected from the patient’s body using liposuction. Common areas for fat removal include the abdomen, buttocks, hips, flanks, arms, and thighs; however fat cells can be removed wherever the patient has localized pockets of fat cells.

For this process, a very small incision will be made near where the fat cells are located. Then, using a cannula and negative pressure, the fat cells will be suctioned out and into a closed circuit.

Second, the fat cells need to be isolated and cleaned. In order to do this, the cells will be separated the from any undesirable liquid collected during liposuction. As a result, only the most viable fat cells remain for injection.

Third, the remaining fat cells will be transferred into a hypodermic syringe for reinjection. At this point, the doctor will have already marked on the face the injection points and determined how much fat needs to be injected into each spot. He will inject the cells at various depths, ensuring that the maximum number of fat cells survive in the targeted areas.

Recovery

Following the fat transfer procedure, the patient will likely experience some bruising and swelling on their face around the injection points. This is normal and will go down over the course of a few days. Any discomfort can be controlled with pain medication recommended or prescribed by the doctor. Typically, the patient can return to their normal activities within a few days or sooner.

The results from the procedure will be immediately evident and continue to improve as bruising and swelling goes down. They can continue to improve, in some cases, for months as the body settles into its final contour. The doctor will provide more information on recovery and results at the time of the consultation.

Consultation

The consultation is the first step in a facial fat transfer procedure. The patient should request a consultation by contacting our office. When the patient comes in for the consultation, they will meet personally with the doctor to discuss their goals for the treatment and why they are interested in the procedure. The doctor will perform a standard physical evaluation to determine whether or not the patient would be a good candidate for a facial fat transfer or if they may benefit more from another procedure, such as dermal fillers or a facelift. If the patient is a good candidate, then they will have the opportunity to schedule their appointment. The doctor will go over the procedure in more details, including preparation and recovery information and answer any questions that the patient has.

Contact Cosmetic Surgery Associates in Bethesda, MD today to request a consultation and get started on your cosmetic journey!