How Facial Fat Changes as We Age
Changes to the skin and soft tissue are the main culprit for signs of aging in the face. Natural aging and the movements of your face also have an impact on facial aging of the skin, as well as sun exposure, your skin care routine and lifestyle habits. Meanwhile, gravity slowly causes drooping in the soft tissues.
Although both part of the aging process, these are two separate sets of changes. As a result, you need different treatments to restore your youthful skin.
What Solutions or Treatments help restore Facial Volume?
When patients want to address the loss of facial fullness, the use of fillers such as hyaluronic acid fillers is the treatment of choice. Hyaluronic acid is non-allergenic and is fully absorbable. The aesthetic results are immediate and very natural, however the results only last 6 months to 1 year and areas of the face that may need greater volume may prove costly.
Dr. Victor Perez now offers an innovative procedure for patients seeking a more permanent result for loss of facial volume.
The procedure called autologous facial fat transfer is a procedure that restores facial volume by using the patient’s own fat. Performed in our Overland Park office under local anesthesia and oral sedation, Dr. Perez can help give patients who suffer from facial volume loss a more permanent result many times with just one procedure.
How The Facial Fat Procedure Is Performed
This sterile procedure is done by selecting an area of fat on the body, usually the upper abdominal area is the area of choice. This is done with local tumescent anesthetic to numb the area.
Once numbed, Dr. Perez begins to harvest the fat cells with much care, maintaining sterile technique through the entire process. The fat is then processed for re-injection using special instruments so the delicate fat cells are not damaged. The fat is then prepared into syringes and injected to the target facial area using a micro drop technique to add volume enhancement.
Common areas of treatment for facial fat transfer are:
- Underneath the lower eyelid
- Nasolabial folds
- Lips and jaw lines
"Dr. Perez is the best when it comes to plastic surgery. He explains everything in great detail and walks you through the process. The staff is excellent and it’s a pleasure that they respect your time."
What Kind of Results Should I Expect?
With the added fat volume added to the face, many patients can expect once hollow areas to be filled. Nasolabial folds improve. Cheeks look lifted and the overall appearance of the face can look more youthful.
Results are immediate with the facial fat transfer procedure, however as the residual swelling decreases and the fat cells take up in their new environment patients start to see the desired results.
It must also be noted that there is also potential stimulus given by the associate “stem cells” that are transferred along with the fat cells. Some patients will not only have improvement in the volume of the face, but also experience improvement in skin texture. Some providers call this procedure a “Stem Cell Facelift,” however most of the attributes are theoretical and difficult to prove. Still, many patients swear by the benefits.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Facial Fat Transfer?
There is little chance of an allergic reaction with this procedure because it uses your own fat to add facial volume and definition instead of the synthetic materials found in leading dermal fillers. However, not all of the fat cells will survive, and this can make it difficult to predict your outcome.
To combat this, it can be beneficial to overfill the treatment area to accommodate for fat loss. Even still, some patients, especially older patients and smokers, may have less fat survive.
Unlike some dermal fillers, facial fat transfer procedures create results that are hard to reverse. For that reason, it is very important to visit a skilled and board-certified provider like Dr. Perez. He has performed numerous facial fat grafting surgeries for satisfied patients over the years.
Is Facial Fat Transfer Painful?
Anesthesia is used to make you comfortable during facial fat transfer. It will be administered before the fat is taken from the donor area via liposuction. Your face will also be numbed.
You may experience some discomfort after surgery as the anesthesia wears off. Your donor site and the grafted area of your face may feel sore for a few days. However, most people manage just fine without prescription pain medication and elect to take over-the-counter options instead.
How Can I Prepare for Facial Fat Transfer?
The first step in preparing for facial fat transfer is to schedule a consultation. During your visit to our practice, our board-certified plastic surgeon will explain how to get ready for your procedure. Dr. Perez will provide you with detailed pre-operative instructions to help set you up for success.
To prepare for your facial fat grafting procedure, you may be asked to:
- Avoid sunbathing
- Quit smoking
- Stop taking blood-thinning medications
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Schedule time off work
What Is the Recovery Like?
Facial fat transfer involves a relatively short and straightforward recovery period. Most patients can expect to experience moderate swelling after the procedure that subsides within 5 to 10 days. Some patients experience mild bruising, especially individuals who have light or thin skin or those who are prone to bruising. By 7 to 10 days, most patients are ready to return to work.
Can I Get Facial Fat Transfer Again in the Future?
Some of the fat that gets moved to your face will not make it through the process. Achieving the results you desire may mean scheduling another procedure to enhance your outcome. You can also decide to schedule another facial fat transfer years after your initial surgery. The only catch is that you must have enough excess fat in a donor area to use for the follow-up procedures.
Contact us Today!
Learn more about fat transfer and other facial rejuvenation options call 913-685-1108 to schedule a confidential consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Victor Perez. We happily welcome patients from Kansas City, Overland Park, Olathe, and other nearby Kansas communities.