FAT TRANSFER (FACIAL)
Facial fat transfer enhances the face using fat collected from another area of the body. Fat transfer involves the use of healthy fat extracted from the body via liposuction to create the patient's desired facial structure. The term "Facial fat transfer" relates specifically to the injection of fat into the face for a more permanent volumising and contouring effect as opposed to injectable fillers.
Fat transfer, also called fat grafting, fat injections and Lipofilling, is a procedure that uses a person's fat to fill in irregularities and grooves. Facial fat transfer is now a well-established technique that was perfected in the early nineties to a predictable procedure for volumising and contouring areas of the face.
Aesthetic indications for undergoing Lipofilling include sunken cheeks, the disappearance of fat from the cheekbones, deep grooves running from the nose to the corners of the mouth, and in some instances of lines between the lower eyelids and the cheek. It is also one of the most common methods used for lip enhancement. Lipofilling/liposculpture can be used to smooth out all types of irregularities, such as those resulting from poorly performed liposuction or injuries.
A limited liposculpture obtains the necessary fat through one or several 3 to 5 mm incisions. It is typically taken from the abdomen or inner thigh. The aspirated fat is processed by centrifuging, filtering or rinsing. Pure liquid fatty tissue ready for injection is the result.
The fat is then injected where needed. The fat is evenly distributed into the area by injecting minute amounts in the tissues so that the injected fat is well surrounded by healthy tissue. This ensures that the transplanted fat remains in contact with the surrounding tissues that must supply it with oxygen and nutrients.
A facial fat transfer takes about an hour, depending on the size of the areas to be treated.
Local infiltration anaesthesia of the donor area and the area to be treated.
Bruising, swelling, tenderness, up to 24 hours drainage of anaesthetic liquid.
bruising, swelling (especially the lips if treated), tenderness. The areas that have been treated using fat transfer will be rather swollen immediately after the operation, especially the lips if they have been treated. It is therefore essential to use a cold pack to compress it the first few hours to minimise the swelling. A cold pack is a freezer bag filled with ice cubes and water.
The swelling will increase until about the third day but will then gradually subside. After about a week to ten days, patients feel confident about going out and resuming a normal social life. If any bruises have developed, they might remain visible for a little longer but can be hidden reasonably well with make-up.
Patients should have a check-up with the surgeon after five to seven days and again three weeks later. By then most of the swelling will have subsided, but the correction may still look somewhat exaggerated. Surgeons usually over-correct, which means injecting more fat than is needed because 25 to 30% of the transplanted fat cells do not survive. The final result is assessed after three months. The surgeon will then take photographs to be compared with those taken before the fat transfer procedure. A second session may be scheduled to top up any shortfall in volume.
Possible risks include asymmetry, irregularities, overcorrection, and infection.
The swelling usually diminishes from the third day on, and social activities can be restarted after about one week, sometimes with the help of some make-up.
Facial fat transfer improves deep wrinkles and folds. This procedure also smooths out any irregularities and dents. A facial fat transfer provides volume augmentation of the treated areas such as cheekbones, cheeks, and the chin. Improved quality of the overlying skin can be a positive side effect. After the body absorbs a percentage of the fat (between 20 and 50%), the correction can be considered permanent.
WHEN YOU CHOOSE A DOCTOR WHO IS A MEMBER OF APRASSA, YOU CAN BE ASSURED THAT YOUR SURGEON IS QUALIFIED IN ALL ASPECTS OF COSMETIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY.
The Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons of Southern Africa was formed in 1956. It currently has over 169 members from all around South Africa. All our members are fully qualified Plastic surgeons that have been approved for APRASSA membership and will endeavour to provide you with excellent care throughout your plastic surgery journey.