Download the Facelift Guide for everything you need to know about a Face Surgery including fat transfer
What is Fat Transfer to Face?
NOTE* We currently do NOT perform this procedure on its own. – only as part of a comprehensive Facelift Surgery
Autologous Fat Transfer to the face refers to the method of processing and purifying fat for use as an injectable filler. It has powerful rejuvenation and anti-ageing properties. Once the fat is processed and re-injected to the face, it can help restore lost facial volume (atrophy). It can also improve skin tone and skin texture. Furthermore, you can use this in your hands. The fat liposuction and re-injection process is complete during a single session of approximately 90 minutes. The surgeon will perform the fat processing technique on-site at the time of extraction.
How is the fat collected?
The fat used in the injection procedures is collected using a very small tumescent liposuction system.
This means that during the liposuction process, the surgeon will inject a formulation consisting of; saline, local anaesthetic and adrenaline into the extraction area to limit discomfort, swelling or bleeding. This technique also helps to separate the skin from the fat that lies below it. This limits any damage to the tissue during the liposuction process.
The tumescent liposuction technique involves the use of cannulae that are much smaller than the ones used in conventional liposuction.
- A cannula is a blunt needle that has holes on the side of it rather than at the end like a standard needle.
- All forms of liposuction create some bruising and swelling. However, the area it affects is usually small, as is the volume of fat the surgeon removes.
- The liposuction site usually recovers fully within a few weeks.
- There is no need for any stitches.
- Usually patients will be under local Anaesthesia for the procedure.
The volume of fat taken from an area like the buttock or hip will vary depending on the volume of fluid required for the treatment area. For facial rejuvenation, this amount is usually between 50-80 ml.
How is fat processed?
- Before your surgeron re-injects the fluid they have taken from your body they process it. The technical terminology for fat transfer is ‘autologous fat grafting.’
- Not all of the fat the surgeon injects will ‘take’, repeat procedures are often necessary.
- At times, you may also find it more practical to use a traditional volumiser (such as a high-quality temporary-filler-solution based injectable product).
Fat Graft survival rates vary.
This procedure has been proven to improve the quality of surrounding tissue as well as the general appearance of the overlying skin, by replacing lost volume. However, fat graft survival rates can be in the 30% to 80% range. This can mean that patients will need multiple procedures (whilst fat grafting can help you get a great result, it is variable and sometimes a temporary-filler-solution based injectable can get you the look you want in less time and at less cost).
Is there any downtime with Face Fat Transfer – and what results will I get?
The surgeon will perform the re-injection via cannula, in most cases, they also use local Anaesthetic.
You can expect to feel some pain or tenderness in the extraction area for a few days, as well as minor bruising. Bruising in the re-injection sites is less common, but can occur due to a cannula not being as fine or sharp as a regular needle.
Fat Transfer methods offer volume enhancement to areas like the mid face and under the eyes, while also offering greatly improved tone, elasticity and vitality to the overlying skin.
Fat tissue that is re-injected doesn’t have its own blood supply. Therefore it needs to be placed near blood vessels to ensure the survival and prosperity of the fat cells. It is particularly suited for facial rejuvenation as it’s injected superficially into tissue that is rich in vessels.
You may need several treatments to get the desired effects. Fat transfer methods can be a way to reduce scarring or to fill facial lines (other methods are also available).
Areas particularly suited to Autologous Fat Transfer (Fat Grafting) Rejuvenation include:
- Tear Troughs
- Nasolabial folds
- Lips and around the mouth
- The backs of hands