A fat transfer to face procedure can be used to move fat from the abdomen, flanks, hips, and other parts of the body to the face. In doing so, facial fat grafting restores facial fullness and volume and produces a vibrant, youthful facial appearance.
A Closer Look at the History of the Fat Transfer to Face Process
Fat transfer to face treatment is based on a process that dates back to 1893, when German surgeon Gustav Neuber transplanted adipose tissue from his arm to the lower portion of his eye orbit. With the treatment, Neubar reduced the appearance of scarring in the lower eye.
Following Neubar, surgeon Eugene Holländer in 1910 defined fat grafting by injection as a regenerative procedure. In 1912, Holländer published photographs of fat grafting by injection.
German surgeon Erich Lexer published a two-volume book in 1919 that described fat grafting to the breast. The book included 300 pages dedicated to fat grafting.
In 1926, surgeon Charles Conrad Miller explored the use of fat grafts to treat the face and neck. Miller described 36 instances in which fat grafting was used on the face and neck.
Fat grafting evolved throughout the 20th century, and fat harvesting and transplantation techniques became more advanced over the years. Now, the fat transfer to face process is used to transfer fat from different body parts to improve the facial appearance.
What Areas of the Face Can Fat Grafting Address?
Fat grafting is a terrific treatment to address visible signs of aging in different areas of the face, including:
Sunken cheeks are among the most-common signs of aging in the face — and they are among the most noticeable. The cheeks often start to sag and droop due to the natural aging process. Fortunately, with facial fat grafting, an individual can correct sunken cheeks and make them appear more plump and youthful.
Like sunken cheeks, hollowing of the temples is common as a result of the natural aging process. As the skin loses elasticity in the temples, facial skin sags, and the temples can appear hollow. By undergoing a fat grafting treatment, an individual can restore skin volume in the face and soften the appearance of hollow temples.
- Under the Eyes
A hollowed-out look under the eyes can make men and women appear older than their actual age. Facial fat grafting can be used to inject fat into the area under the eyes. That way, fat grafting helps a person correct dark circles, thin-looking skin, and other signs of aging in the under-eye area.
“Jowls,” i.e. sagging skin that forms below the jawline, appear when the skin becomes thinner and less elastic as a person ages. In some cases, jowls can even become prevalent at a young age due to genetics. Regardless of why a person experiences jowls, facial fat grafting can tighten the skin below the jawline and reduce the appearance of jowls.
In addition, facial fat grafting addresses various signs of aging in the face, including:
- Thin lips
- Facial scarring
- Forehead lines
- Tear troughs
- “Marionette” lines that form around the mouth
Thanks to facial fat grafting, an individual can quickly and safely rejuvenate the facial appearance. Yet, in order to undergo a fat transfer to face procedure, an individual must first qualify for treatment.
Who Is a Candidate for a Fat Transfer to Face Procedure?
At the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Babak Azizzadeh requests a consultation with any individual who is considering a fat grafting procedure. Dr. Azizzadeh is globally recognized for his expertise in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and head and neck surgery, and he only recommends a fat transfer to face procedure if he believes the treatment can be beneficial to a patient. With a consultation, Dr. Azizzadeh can learn about a patient and determine if a fat grafting treatment is the best choice based on the individual’s facial rejuvenation goals.
When Dr. Azizzadeh meets with a facial fat grafting candidate, he wants to make the consultation experience as comfortable as possible. To do so, Dr. Azizzadeh learns about a patient and finds out if there are any medical conditions that could preclude this individual from undergoing facial fat grafting. Dr. Azizzadeh also takes time to understand why a patient is considering facial fat grafting, as well as analyzes this individual’s facial appearance.
Once Dr. Azizzadeh performs his patient evaluation, he offers a personalized treatment recommendation. In some instances, Dr. Azizzadeh recommends a fat transfer to face procedure tailored to the patient. Or, if Dr. Azizzadeh believes there are too many risks associated with facial fat grafting, he can recommend dermal fillers or other non-surgical alternatives.
Is There a Fat Grafting Weight Requirement?
There is no weight requirement for facial fat grafting. If a patient has sufficient fat to harvest and graft, this individual can qualify for a fat transfer to face procedure.
Is a Fat Transfer to Face Procedure Expensive?
The cost of a fat transfer to face treatment is based on the surgeon performing the procedure, anesthesia fees, and other factors. Dr. Azizzadeh explains the cost of facial fat grafting before treatment. He is also happy to respond to a patient’s concerns or questions regarding any facial fat grafting costs.
What Happens During a Fat Transfer to Face Procedure?
With facial fat grafting, fat is harvested from a patient. Then, the fat is cleansed, concentrated, and injected into the patient’s face.
A patient is often given local anesthetic before a facial fat grafting procedure is performed; local anesthetic reduces pain during facial fat grafting. Meanwhile, the process of facial fat grafting consists of the following stages:
- Removal of Fat from the Patient: A small incision is made into the patient’s neck skin, and fat is removed. The incision is then closed with stitches, and dressing is placed over the incision.
- Preparation of Fat for Transfer to the Face: The patient’s fat is separated from blood and other fluids.
- Injection of Fat into the Face: The patient’s fat is injected into the face via needle and syringe. Since each facial fat grafting treatment is customized to the patient, the amount of fat injected into the face and where in the face the fat is injected varies based on the individual.
A typical fat transfer to face procedure requires anywhere from one to five hours to complete. Sometimes, the procedure is completed in combination with other facial rejuvenation treatments as well.
What Happens During Facial Fat Grafting Recovery?
Patients should plan on having someone else drive them home after a facial fat grafting procedure. Some patients experience swelling and soreness immediately after facial fat grafting. In certain instances, the face reabsorbs some of most of a fat injection. Rarely, patients experience blood clotting at the treatment site, infection, or a fat embolism or scar tissue during facial fat grafting recovery.
Most patients experience swelling and bruising that lasts for about one week after facial fat grafting treatment. They can usually return to work as soon as these symptoms subside, too.
Dr. Azizzadeh prepares a patient for the recovery period from a facial fat grafting procedure. He offers tips and recommendations to help his patient streamline the fat grafting recovery cycle and minimize the risk of complications.
Is Facial Fat Grafting the Right Choice?
The results of fat grafting vary, but to date, fat transfer to face procedures have helped many men and women correct visible signs of aging in the face and bolster their facial appearance. Thus, for an individual who wants is pursuing facial rejuvenation treatment options to achieve a youthful facial appearance, it can be beneficial to consider facial fat grafting.
Of course, the results of fat grafting or any other facial rejuvenation treatment are generally dictated by the surgeon who completes the procedure. By working with a facial plastic and reconstructive surgery expert like Dr. Azizzadeh, an individual can boost the likelihood of achieving the best-possible fat grafting treatment results.
Dr. Azizzadeh devotes significant time and energy to each of his facial fat grafting patients. He wants a fat transfer to face procedure to deliver exceptional results, so he learns about a patient and prepares accordingly. Once Dr. Azizzadeh executes a facial fat grafting plan, he monitors his patient’s progress to ensure this individual can enjoy the full benefits of treatment.
Schedule a Fat Transfer to Face Treatment Consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh
To find out more about facial fat grafting or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please contact us online or call us today at 310-657-2203.