Aging causes a loss of fullness in the face, which leads to concerns such as wrinkles and a sunken appearance. While injectable fillers are commonly used to replace lost facial volume, fat grafting is often a better option when more significant volume enhancement is required.
Fat grafting, also known as fat transfer or lipofilling, is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure. It involves removing fat from one area of the body and injecting it into another to add volume and restore a youthful look. Fat grafting provides a longer-lasting result than absorbable fillers, without the risk of foreign body reaction.
Experienced facial plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Weiss offers fat grafting in the Greater New Orleans and Metairie area. Call 504-814-3223 today to schedule your initial consultation.
What Does Facial Fat Grafting Treat?
Fat grafting is an excellent way to correct cosmetic concerns such as:
- Sunken cheeks
- Undereye hollows
- Thin lips
- Laugh lines
- Marionette lines
- Frown lines
- Crow’s feet
- Horizontal forehead wrinkles
Compared to fillers, fat transfer allows for the injection of a larger amount of material. For this reason, it’s commonly used to treat significant age-related volume deficiencies.
Dr. Weiss can also perform a fat transfer on younger patients. These patients often receive fat injections to augment certain features or correct depressions and pitted scars caused by acne.
Benefits of Facial Fat Transfer
Facial fat transfer offers numerous benefits. For many patients, the most significant advantage of this treatment is the long-lasting results. Fat transfer results are typically permanent.
Fat grafting can provide benefits beyond adding long-lasting and natural-looking volume to the face. Fat contains useful elements, such as stem cells and growth factors. Once injected, these elements promote collagen production and help with overall facial rejuvenation.
Ideal Facial Fat Transfer Candidates
Healthy men and women who are interested in smoothing lines and/or adding fullness to the face are typically good candidates for facial fat grafting. It’s important to note that you must have enough excess fat to use for the transfer. As opposed to patients who are very thin, patients with more body fat tend to have plumper fat cells that have a greater chance of providing the desired volume enhancement.
Dr. Weiss will evaluate your candidacy for facial fat grafting during your initial consultation. He will assess the nature of your concerns and examine potential donor sites for the treatment.
Your Facial Fat Grafting Procedure
Facial fat grafting is a relatively simple minimally invasive procedure. Prior to treatment, both the donor site and the injection sites will be numbed with local anesthesia. If fat grafting is being performed in conjunction with more invasive surgery, it will likely take place in an outpatient setting under general anesthesia.
During the fat transfer procedure, excess fat is first harvested from the donor area using liposuction. Once enough fat is acquired, it’s isolated and purified. After removing any impurities, Dr. Weiss injects the fat cells into the targeted areas of deficiency using a small needle or cannula. He will continue placing fat until he creates the appropriate contour. You will be permitted to leave after a short monitoring period.
Facial Fat Transfer Recovery and Results
It’s common to experience mild bruising and swelling after a facial fat transfer procedure. These effects typically resolve within one to two weeks. Most people can return to normal activities, including work, within one week. It’s crucial to follow Dr. Weiss’ aftercare instructions during this time.
It will take six to eight weeks to see your final results. While some of the transferred fat may reabsorb, the fat that survives the process will remain in the injected area permanently. Fat transfer is the longest-lasting way to restore facial volume, and patients enjoy their results for years to come.
Combining Procedures With Fat Grafting
Fat grafting can achieve amazing results when performed as a stand-alone procedure. It can also be combined with other treatments and procedures to optimize your outcome or address additional concerns.
Laser treatments are a popular add on for fat grafting patients. Laser resurfacing can improve both the quality and health of the skin. Dr. Weiss is committed to your aesthetic wellness and will recommend adjunct services as necessary.
How Much Fat Can Be Added During Facial Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting can be used to add more volume to your face than the leading facial fillers. The concerns that you want to treat will determine the amount of fat that needs to be transferred. Other factors that may also play a role include the severity of fat loss in each region of your face, previous radiofrequency and ultrasonic treatments, and your plans for facelift surgery.
Dr. Sean Weiss draws on his experience as well as recommended ranges to know how much fat to use for micro-lipoinjection. Keep in mind that it is common to overfill the treatment area. This may avoid the need for a second procedure because not all of the relocated fat will survive.
How Can I Prepare for Facial Fat Grafting?
Facial fat grafting is a minimally invasive procedure that requires more preparation than a standard dermal filler appointment. In order to get ready, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take or stop taking certain medications
- Quit smoking
- Avoid anti-inflammatory drugs and supplements
You can help ensure a safe procedure and great results by following your pre-op instructions.
How Can I Maintain the Results of Facial Fat Grafting?
Facial fat grafting is known to offer some very long-lasting results. In general, you can expect that the transferred fat will continue to enhance your facial appearance for many years to come.
That said, you can help protect your new look with a few simple steps, including:
- Wearing sunscreen every day
- Maintaining a relatively stable weight
- Avoiding nicotine and cigarettes
- Eating a balanced diet
- Managing your stress levels
Will There Be Noticeable Swelling Following the Procedure?
It is normal to have visible swelling after your facial fat transfer procedure. For that reason, you will want to avoid scheduling it too close to any big social gatherings or other important events.
Be aware that swelling can make your features appear larger than what you had intended. As the swelling fades and some of the transferred fat goes away, the results will look more natural.
How Long Does Facial Fat Grafting Usually Take?
Facial fat grafting is a relatively quick cosmetic procedure. The actual injection typically takes only a few moments per treatment area. However, it is important to account for the other steps, such as administering anesthesia, harvesting fat from the donor site, and purifying it. Depending on the number of areas to be treated, the entire process may take an hour or more to complete.
Is Facial Fat Grafting Painful?
Facial fat grafting is performed using local anesthesia. Local anesthesia numbs the treatment areas. You will not feel any pain, although you may feel some pressure and movement. The injections themselves are comparable to getting fillers. Rest assured that our surgeon will check in with you throughout your facial fat transfer surgery to make sure that you are comfortable.
Schedule Your Consultation For Facial Fat Transfer in New Orleans
Are you interested in learning more about facial fat grafting and receiving individualized recommendations? Call 504-814-3223 to schedule a consultation with board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Weiss. Located in Metairie, our practice serves patients from New Orleans and the surrounding areas of Louisiana.
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