After unwanted body fat is removed during liposuction, the fat can be reused for wrinkle reduction, facial volume restoration and lip augmentation as an alternative to dermal fillers. This cosmetic procedure, which involves transferring fat from one body area to another, is known as fat grafting.
Is fat grafting right for you?
For patients who simply wish to remove unwanted body fat, liposuction alone is sufficient. However, if a patient wishes to remove unwanted body fat as well as plump areas of their face or lips, then liposuction combined with fat transfer or grafting may be recommended.
Fat grafting is most commonly performed to address the following cosmetic concerns:
- Sunken cheeks or temples
- Hollow under eyes and dark circles
- Facial wrinkles and creases
- Asymmetric or poorly defined jawline and nose contours
- Thin lips
Some patients may wish to undergo fat transfer for breast augmentation, however this is not recommended, as the procedure is controversial and may result in a variety of side effects including fat necrosis, lumps and cysts.
You must have an adequate amount of fat available for transfer to another area of your body in order to achieve the best fat grafting results. It is not possible to use fat tissue from a donor, such as a family member or friend, in a fat transfer procedure. The fat must be your own.
During consultation, Dr. Weston will discuss your goals for body fat reduction, facial rejuvenation and lip augmentation and conduct a thorough assessment of your health and medical history before recommending the best procedure for you.
What to expect during fat grafting
Before fat injections can be applied to your face, liposuction must first be performed. After your fat has been gently removed, it is processed and carefully injected in thin layers into the appropriate site on your face. The fat injection technique is very important and will significantly affect your fat transfer outcome, so it is important to have your procedure performed by a fat grafting expert.
Fat grafting recovery
Local anesthesia is used during the fat grafting procedure, which takes about an hour to perform. If your local anesthesia is combined with IV sedation, you will probably need a ride home after the fat transfer is complete.
Swelling and bruising may last up to three weeks, and makeup may not be applied until at least 24 hours after surgery.
Fat grafting results can be permanent, however this all depends on how well the fat that was transferred is able to reestablish its blood supply after injection. Some fat will be reabsorbed and may not survive the transfer, so although you will see a volume increase immediately after your fat grafting procedure, it takes about two to three months to see your final results.