Fat transfer, or fat grafting, restores volume to areas that are lacking. Much like facial fillers, fat transfer softens and rejuvenates the face non-surgically. During a fat transfer procedure, Dr. Guyuron takes surplus fat from an area of the patient’s body and injects it into areas of the face that have lost volume and fullness. Fat transfer is a versatile procedure that can be used for a variety of cosmetic purposes.
Fat transfer is commonly performed to improve the following:
- Facial creases – laugh lines, smile lines, crow’s feet
- Thin lips
- Depressions/indentations in the skin
- Acne scars
- Hollow cheeks
- Jawline contour
- Hollowing in the temples
- Hollowing under the eyes
Dr. Guyuron also uses dermal fillers to replenish volume to areas of the face where fat has been lost or displaced. However, dermal fillers only provide temporary results. Fat transfer provides longer-lasting results. Once the fat receives blood supply from the surrounding structures, it will receive the proper nourishment for survival. Note that not all of the injected fat survives, so Dr. Guyuron may over-inject the area, or occasionally perform touch-up procedures.
Fat transfer is typically performed on an outpatient basis and takes place in several steps.
First, Dr. Guyuron will harvest the donor fat from the pre-determined location. (This could be the abdomen or thighs.) Most patients have enough donor fat, even if they are thin.
After he has obtained enough fat from the donor area, he will process the fat and prepare it for transfer. This involves cleansing and purifying the fat through a filtration process.
Then, Dr. Guyuron will inject the purified fat into the treatment area using small syringes. He will repeat the injections, creating a grid of grafted fat, until he achieves the desired correction. The number of injections and amount of fat used depends on the degree of correction necessary.
Dr. Guyuron will provide detailed instructions for recovery, including how to care for the donor sites, medications to take to avoid any infection and potential signs of complications.
Temporary bruising and swelling are common post-operative side effects. After that, residual bruising or swelling can be concealed by makeup.
Everyone recovers at a different pace, but it’s important to refrain from bending, lifting, straining and any vigorous activity for a week to 10 days while the face heals.
Dr. Guyuron will schedule follow-up appointments to check healing progress, answer questions and provide instructions regarding when to return to work and resume exercise.