Who is a candidate for fat transfer?

The face loses volume with age and can be replaced with a multitude of materials to create a more youthful appearance. A growing trend in both facial and body cosmetic surgery is in using your own fat to replace what was lost. Many like this option simply because they do not like foreign materials in their body. Other advantages include that it is permanent and there has been some evidence to support the presence of stem cells within the harvested fat to improve the appearance of the skin.

An optimal result using the fat transfer technique usually involves repeating the procedure to an average of 3 times since some of the cells do not survive with each treatment. The good thing is that once this is done it is absolutely permanent.

The fat cells are harvested using a small liposuction cannula and taken from the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. For facial injection only a small amount is harvested, about 3 tablespoons, so no change in contour of the donor areas is seen.

What is recovery like after fat transfer?

The small incisions are closed with dissolving sutures and a special glue. There is very little down time after this procedure. Mild swelling and bruising may be seen, but this is minimal since blunt cannulas are used instead of sharp instruments. After a week, the glue can be rubbed off by using any ointment like Vaseline, and routine skin care may resume. No pain medication beyond Tylenol or ibuprofen is needed since this procedure is very well-tolerated.

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