Fat Transfer to Face
As we age, the face ages as well and as the face matures over time, you’ll notice sagging in the cheeks, flattening of the cheek bone area, circles under the eyes and loose skin around the eyelids. Since it is the face that we present to the world each day, it is just normal that we are concerned with such unwanted changes. Fat transfer to face is an excellent way to restore the lost volume and contour, thereby recapturing the essence of youth.
Transferring the patient’s own fat cells has always been the preferred approach since the fat is readily available, inexpensive and posts no risks of allergic reactions. Other benefits include minimal pain or discomfort, faster recovery time, long-lasting results as well as the ability to treat all skin types.
Face Fat Transfer Procedure
There are actually two procedures involved but they are performed in a single session which lasts for a little over an hour. The first step involves the removal of fat from the donor site. Local anesthesia is commonly used so this initial step is nearly pain free and minimizes the potential for bleeding and bruising at the donor site. The donor sites preferred by surgeons include the abdomen, thighs and the trochanteric (hip roll) regions because fat cells in these areas have high antilipolytic receptor concentrations and are therefore less likely to be reabsorbed by the body.
The harvested fat is then cleaned and processed; then the recipient site is given a local anesthetic before the fat is carefully injected in small amounts into the desired areas for treatment. Typically, two to three sessions are needed over a six-month period in order to correct most facial problems. In most cases, the results are progressive which means that after the first face fat transfer, the patient may not notice much change, but each succeeding treatment yields more evident improvements.
Facial corrections normally require 10 to 60 ml of fat. However, the volume depends largely on the patient’s age, needs and volume loss. It is important to note that there are few instances when the fat will be reabsorbed no matter how many times the recipient site is injected. Additionally, the injected fat tends to last longer in areas of the face that are subject to minimal movement such as the cheeks.
After the fat transfer to the face, the patient will need to apply ice packs on the treated areas. For the first two hours, it would help to massage the treated area every 15 minutes. The recovery period after fat transfer to face is very short. Most patients return to their routine activities right away.
You should not apply cosmetics until at least the day after. You will be instructed to try not to move the treated area, though it may sound impossible to keep it completely immobilized, try nonetheless. The injected fat cells will be given a better chance of survival if you are careful not to move the area around.
Some patients experience mild to moderate bruising, although the swelling can be moderate to severe. The swelling will last between 24 and 72 hours; however, it must be gone totally in two to fourweeks. In case you have pus, excessive pain, redness or other symptoms that don’t appear normal, get in touch with your surgeon as soon as possible.
Fat Transfer to Face Cost
The cost of fat transfer to face varies greatly, just like other cosmetic procedures. The total cost depends largely on the technique used, where it will be performed, and the expertise of the surgeon. The cost can range from $2,000 to $6,000 dollars, with the national average pegged at $3,400. These may or may not include later touch ups, so it would be best to determine what the cost includes beforehand. Overall, while the cost of face fat transfer is a primary concern, particularly during these tough economic times, you should not make it the deciding factor in undergoing the procedure because in most cases, you will literally get what you pay for.