Fat Grafting

Fat Grafting

Fat Grafting

Over time, the plump and smooth skin on the face begins to wrinkle and sag due to a lack of fat below the skin, a natural product of aging. Other effects of this decreased facial volume include body contours in the temples and around the eyes which make cheeks look less full. Fat grafting is a procedure to improve the fullness of cheeks and other areas of the face by transferring fat to it from somewhere else on the body. 

Dr. Tyrone, Dr. Khairalla and the team at North Florida Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Center specialize in facial surgery in Gainesville, FL, providing top-quality plastic surgery to help patients achieve the best version of themselves. To schedule a fat grafting consultation, contact us today!

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What Is Fat Grafting?

Fat grafting, or fat transfer, is a minimally invasive surgery to move fat from a plentiful area of the body to the face to restore volume loss. Using liposuction techniques, the fat is removed and prepared for injection into the face. Some of the most typical treatment areas for fat grafting include the nasolabial folds (between lips and nose), marionette lines (between lips and chin), sagging jaws, flattened cheeks, and sunken eyes. 

How Does Fat Grafting Work?

Since the fat for this procedure comes from the patient’s own body, the risk for infection or rejection of the fat itself is very minimal. Fillers are usually made of sugar molecules, collagens, or biosynthetic polymers and are used to fill under the skin, but fat grafting uses fillers made from a patient’s own fat. Fat transferred in this manner is a perfect filler because approximately half of the injected fat becomes living tissue and leads to a permanent, natural result. Contact a plastic surgeon in Gainesville, FL, to discuss if fat grafting is right for you. 

Benefits Of Fat Grafting

There are a few key advantages to a fat grafting procedure over a facelift in Gainesville, FL. Patients who feel uncomfortable with the idea of injecting synthetic fillers into their face turn to a fat graft for an all-natural alternative — there’s no outside material, just their own excess fat. Also, the fat is injected in such a way that it’s not obvious a procedure was ever performed. Unlike dermal fillers, fat grafting promises long-term, youthful results and restored facial volume. The fat used for the injection contains stem cells, which can change into different types of cells in the body. These stem cells help recontour the face from the inside out for a more youthful glow.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Fat Grafting? 

As fat transfer procedures grow in popularity, it’s important for patients to consult a plastic surgeon to see if they meet the requirements for the surgery. When patients come in for a consult at North Florida Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Center, Dr. Tyrone and Dr. Khairalla will go over patients’ medical histories and goals to determine if the surgery is suitable for their needs. Certain factors will prevent patients from having the surgery performed, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, smoking, pregnancy, or a lack of fat to harvest from another area of the body. 

What Are The Risks Of Fat Grafting?

Complications during this procedure are rare, but it’s important to be aware of them before deciding on a fat graft. A thorough first visit with a plastic surgeon ensures potential risks are pointed out right away. Some of the risks of fat grafting include:

  • Infection 
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Fat calcification 
  • Poor aesthetic result (over or under correction)

Fat Grafting Procedure 

Though fat grafting is a gentle and safe procedure, there are few steps in the process to be patients should know. First, a Gainesville plastic surgeon uses liposuction to remove excess fat from a predetermined area of the body such as the thighs, stomach or hips. This is done through tiny incisions that leave minimal scarring. Unless it’s a very small area being treated, the patient will have to endure some anesthesia, though how much depends on whether other procedures are performed at the same time. For a fat grafting surgery alone, just a local numbing injection with some sedation will work well. 

Next, Dr. Tyrone or Dr. Khairalla prepares the collected fat and, using minute cannulas placed through small incisions, recontours and rejuvenates the facial tissues. This technique improves the likelihood that the fat transfer will be successful. Often, the surgeon will overfill the treated areas to compensate for fat cells that are reabsorbed.

Fat Grafting Results

Fat Grafting Recovery

After a fat transfer procedure, patients can expect bruising, swelling and redness. Ice compresses can help reduce bruising and swelling, and it’s recommended to apply an ice compression to the eyes and lips if those areas were affected. Bruising and redness typically last less than a week, while swelling can remain for weeks or several months depending on the patient. Patients should avoid taxing activities like lifting heaving objects or physical activity the first week after the surgery — rest and relaxation are key to a healthy recovery. Results can appear in just a few days, though final results commonly take six months to appear.

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