As we get older, we often notice areas, particularly on the face, that make us look older. Particular areas of concern often include under the eyes, the cheeks or the lips. Plastic Surgery Specialists of Southern Florida in Hollywood, FL has long provided remedies to these signs of age to bring back a youthful appearance. Fat grafting uses your body’s own fat cells to provide a fuller, more youthful and natural appearance that lasts for many years.
The Benefits of Fat Grafting
Fat has a frustrating tendency to pool in areas where we do not desire it, such as the abdomen or thighs. Often, people spend months on diets and hours at the gym every week trying to lose the stubborn fat that lingers in these areas. At the same time, a little fat in certain areas, such as the breasts, face or buttocks, can make us appear more youthful and vital. Fat grafting transfers cellulite from those undesirable areas and uses it as a natural filler in others. Because it is natural and from your own body, it works far more effectively than temporary fillers and artificial implants.
This procedure can be great even if you do not need to lose weight because the doctor only removes a very small amount from the donor area (the part of the body from where the fat is taken). However, if you do need to lose fat in a certain region, your doctor can perform liposuction on that area, removing the excess fat along with the tissue that will be re-implanted.
For example, your doctor can remove the extra fat from your stomach or love handles while extracting the fat tissue needed for the procedure. The re-implanted tissue is treated to remove impurities before injection.
Gives a More Youthful Look
Many patients opt for grafting in facial regions, such as the lips or under the eyes. These areas often lose their fullness with age. Grafting restores the youthful appearance they desire.
However, facial features are just one possible application. Many clients opt for grafting to achieve fuller buttocks or to fill in depressions or contours anywhere on the body.
Many people try to achieve a fuller look for their cheeks, lips or other areas using artificial injectables. However, these artificial fillers typically last just two years, requiring expensive replacements. Because it transfers natural fat, grafting melds naturally with the body, resulting in longer-lasting results and less frequent replacement surgeries.
Minimizes Chance of a Reaction
When artificial fillers are used in plastic surgery, there is always the chance of an allergic reaction. Grafting eliminates this risk by using fat from your own body. The body recognizes its own tissue, which prevents immune reactions. It also provides a more natural look.
What Is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting is known by a number of names, including facial fat rejuvenation, fat transfer, free fat transfer, autologous (fat) grafting, micro-lipoinjection, and fat injections. Regardless of your preferred term, this procedure involves moving a small amount of fat from one part of the body and implanting it in another.
For example, fat can be removed from areas it is not needed, such as the buttocks or thighs, and placed in the lips, corners of the mouth, nose, under the eyes or in the cheeks. The effectiveness of this procedure and its minimal invasiveness contribute to its popularity. Common reasons for cellulite grafting include the removal of acne scars and the restoration of a youthful-looking face.
Why Is Fat Grafting Effective?
Most people don’t know it, but their fat is the ideal injectable. Because it comes from your own body, it causes no immune problems. The body does not regard its own tissue as a foreign and possibly dangerous object to be attacked. Fat also feels natural and provides a soft filler, resulting in comfort.
To prevent the body from absorbing too much of the fat, doctors must harvest, treat and inject the fatty tissues carefully. It’s also important for patients to keep the injection area still immediately after surgery. With good procedural technique, cellulite grafting has a high rate of success.
Who Is a Candidate?
Candidates for this procedure must be in good health and have no active diseases. Certain pre-existing conditions may disqualify some candidates. In addition, candidates are encouraged to develop realistic expectations. Though the procedure restores youthfulness and vitality to the treated areas, it does not change other aspects of one’s life. Believing it can change who we are results in disappointment despite excellent outcomes.
Discussing goals with your surgeon helps define realistic expectations.
Where Can the Procedure Be Done?
Surgeons can perform this procedure on virtually any area of the body. The most popular treatment sites include under the eyes, the temples, the cheeks, the chin, the jawline, and the forehead. It also works well on the glabella, which is located above the nose and between the eyebrows. Many clients find success in filling facial scars. The buttocks, hips, and sternum are also popular areas.
Areas treated need ample blood circulation. Injected fat cells need nutrients to form their own blood supplies, which requires a significant concentration of large blood vessels and capillaries. For these reasons, areas with low viscosity may not be eligible for the procedure.
Are Consultations Available?
Initial consultations are fundamental to any surgical procedure. The consultation is an opportunity to assess the need for surgery, expected outcomes, and the patient’s fitness for the operation. It also provides time for doctors to explain the techniques, where incisions will be located, and how fat is extracted and re-implanted. Doctors normally use local anesthesia at the points where fat is extracted and re-implanted.
All About Fat Grafting
Preparing for Your Procedure
Prior to surgery, patients receive a written summary explaining how to prepare. This leaflet also explains the procedure itself, the benefits, and the possible side effects. Most importantly, this guide lists medications that must be avoided prior to the procedure. Medications that include aspirin or ibuprofen must always be avoided.
Some prescription medications, dietary supplements, and herbal products must also be discontinued. Doctors may also require a blood test to screen for certain conditions.
The donor site will usually be the buttocks or abdomen. Most patients take an oral sedative and receive injections of sterile saline, lidocaine and, in some cases, epinephrine. Patients undergoing liposuction and cellulite grafting simultaneously often require intravenous sedation.
Once the fat has been removed from the donor site, doctors must treat it before reinjection. Without treatments, the injection would contain dead and unhealthy fat cells, resulting in poor results. To clear away unproductive cells, doctors spin the removed fat in a centrifuge, which removes blood, other fluids, and damaged fat cells. The fat is then injected into the treatment site using a small hypodermic needle.
Patients spend an average of two hours in post-op recovery, at which time they are ready to go home. As the anesthesia wears off, the treated area and donor sire often feel tight and tender. Because of the effects of the anesthesia and surgery, patients are restricted from driving, so you will need to arrange a ride home. Pain is not a normal side effect. Any patients experiencing pain should contact their health care provider right away.
Doctors warn against using cosmetics for at least 24 hours after the procedure. In addition, immobilizing the treated area for several days greatly enhances results. This can be one of the most challenging aspects of recovery. If possible, spending several relaxing days at home post-surgery helps keep the treated area as still as possible.
Patients should avoid touching or massaging the area. Swelling occurs with any surgery. With this procedure, it decreases drastically in 24 to 72 hours and disappears completely in two to four weeks.
In many cases, repeat treatments are needed to maintain results. These treatments are needed because the body absorbs some of the injected fat, which causes the effects to diminish. How much fat is absorbed depends on the individual and the donor- and treatment site but ranges from 10% to 90%. Full benefits from cellulite grafting last from three months to three years, making additional maintenance treatments less frequent versus other treatments.
Evaluation for repeat treatments is performed approximately six to eight weeks after surgery.
How Much Does Fat Grafting Cost?
Prices depend largely on the technique employed, the city and state where the procedure is performed and the treatment area. Average prices range from $500 to $800, though procedures on the lips are often more costly. Maintenance and touch up procedures come at an additional cost, which is usually lower than the initial surgery.
Other Wrinkle Reducing Options
If you are considering having work done on your face or other areas, Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida offers several other options. Fillers can be employed to treat a number of conditions. Our practice uses a variety of synthetic filaments, including Botox and Dysport. These treatments offer strong results in the treatment of glabellar, commonly referred to as frown lines. These treatments are approved for patients up to 65 years in age.
To treat wrinkles, these fillers are injected into the muscles around the brow area. They paralyze the muscles responsible for frown lines, which stops them from scrunching up and creating a more aged appearance. This method provides fast results with little risk to the patient. To determine which treatment options are for you, it’s important to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon.
Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida offers premier care that emphasizes customized treatment. We understand that each patient is different. Our doctors evaluate patient goals, suitability for specific treatment options and which approaches provide the best outcomes for specific patients. Doctors consider age, health status and the severity of any conditions in deciding on a treatment plan.
Treatments have zero downtime and can be conveniently scheduled on an outpatient basis. Most patients return to their normal lives right away and see optimal results within one to three days. Better yet, results continue to improve for two weeks following treatment. Fat grafting is one of the safest and most effective procedures for regaining a youthful appearance, and the low cost makes the procedure ideal for people of all income levels.
Get Started Today
If you have considered plastic surgery or other treatments to restore a youthful appearance in the past, don’t delay any longer. Treatments are pain-free, cost-effective, and get results fast. Schedule an appointment with Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida in Hollywood, FL and our staff will help you create a plan to achieve your dreams.