What is facial fat grafting?
Facial fat grafting, also known as facial fat transfer or lipofilling, is a cosmetic procedure. In facial fat grafting, a surgeon transfers fat from thighs and hips to facial areas. The transferred fat tissue has a good blood supply with high regenerative capacity making it ideal for this grafting procedure.
Patients dissatisfied with various age-related facial changes may seek this technique to restore their youthful appearance.
Why is facial fat grafting done?
Facial fat grafting is usually a cosmetic procedure to enhance and rejuvenate the face. It can also be used in the following conditions:
- For treating scars
- For treating age-related degeneration of facial muscles
- For reducing wrinkle lines
- For enhancing lip volume
- To treat areas of the face not successfully covered by other surgeries
- For treating undesirable facial changes caused by cigarette smoking, post-trauma scars, and acne
How is a facial fat grafting procedure performed?
- Discuss with your surgeon the areas to be treated, details of the procedure, post-surgery care, goals and possible adverse effects
- List your medical and medication history for the surgeon
- Your surgeon might ask for ‘before’ photographs of your face for assessment purposes
- Don’t wear any make-up or jewelry on the day of surgery
- The areas to be treated will be marked.
- The site from which the fats are taken (harvest site), usually thighs and hips, and the site, where it is injected (recipient site) are sterilized and draped.
- Local anesthesia numbs the harvest site.
- Through an incision, a long needle syringe is inserted to extract the fat.
- After extraction of fat, the incision is closed.
- The fat extracted is washed free of oil and blood.
- It is then purified and injected slowly into the recipient sites in the face.
What is the recovery time for facial fat grafting?
- Avoid massaging the face, to prevent the migration of fat from the treated areas. This will ensure the longevity of treatment.
- Compression dressings are applied to prevent migration.
- Some amount of edema and bruising may be visible during the first week.
- You will be asked to follow-up for six to eight weeks.
- If you need to repeat the procedure, a three-month waiting period is mandatory.
- If you notice undercorrection or overcorrection compared to the desired correction, notify the physician.
- If you experience bleeding, edema for more than two weeks, infections, and damage to any other site, immediately contact the physician.
The cosmetic benefits of facial fat grafting don’t last as long as some more invasive cosmetic facial surgeries. Nevertheless, it is the most popular facial rejuvenation technique.