Facial Fat Grafting
Introduction to Facial Fat Grafting
As we age, our facial fat pads deflate, especially in the upper and mid-face. The goal of facial fat grafting, sometimes called fat transfer or “liposculpture” is to reset the clock on this aging process. The facial fat pads in the temples, the brows, malar region (cheek) are specific regions where we have deflation occurring as we age. This process, along with an accumulation of fat in the lower, namely the jowls and underneath the chin, turns the face from a triangle with the apex (narrow tip) down, to an upside-down triangle with the tip up (see diagram). Along with the change in the skin texture (wrinkling), this volume loss is one of the most obvious changes that illustrates the aging process.
Seattle Face & Skin has helped so many of our Seattle patients gain the volume and appearance in their face that they have been longing for with the safe treatment of Facial Fat Grafting. To find out more about this procedure and decide whether or not it’s right for you, please continue reading the information we have provided for you below.
What is Facial Fat Grafting?
The process of fat grafting starts with the harvesting of donor fat cells from regions of the body that tend to have an over-abundance of fat cells: abdomen and flanks (usually in men), and outer and inner thighs and knees (usually in women). The harvesting procedure is identical to liposuction that is performed for body contouring, with one exception: the amount of fat harvested is much less for facial fat grafting. The fat is then centrifuged to remove any unwanted fluid or blood, and the pure fat cells are then transferred to smaller syringes and injected with very fine cannulas into the areas that require volume. The injection is performed through multiple small openings in the skin that are created with a needle so that there is no visible scarring. The technique is extremely important to avoid unwanted contour defects.
What are the Benefits of Facial Fat Grafting?
Some of the benefits that our patients rave about the most with Facial Fat Grafting in Seattle are:
- Contours other parts of your body
- Long-lasting results
- Natural-looking results
- No downtime
Who are the Best Candidates for Facial Fat Grafting?
Facial volume loss starts in the late 30s and continues as we age, so by the time we are in our early 50s, most patients would benefit from fat grafting. One needs to have some fat reserves in the body to harvest the fat. Most patients have enough fat for transfer, but patients that are extremely fit or thin, may not be good candidates, depending on the amount of fat needed to make a difference.
It is best to perform the procedure when you are at your most stable weight so that your surgeons don’t over or under-treat. We prefer to perform the procedure when you are within 10 pounds of your stable weight. For example, if you are at your thinnest, your face will require more fat, and if you then gain weight and reach a more naturally stable weight, the amount of fat in your face may end up being more than desired.
What’s the First Step?
If you are bothered by the unnecessary signs of aging, a sagging face, or deep wrinkles, your first step can start by booking a consultation at Seattle Face & Skin. When you meet with Dr. Bhrany, he will discuss the possible methods of fat grafting and the risks and benefits involved. We encourage you to ask questions or express concerns about how Facial Fat Grafting works and how it may look moving forward. You will be asked about your medical history, so it’s very important to be open and honest with Dr. Bhrany. The more information he has, the better chance you have for a successful treatment and incredible results.
Using the information he gathers from you, Dr. Bhrany will then create your personalized surgical plan. If you agree with this plan, our Patient Coordinator will help you schedule your surgical date and provide you with a list of instructions to follow before your surgery.
What to Expect on the Day of Facial Fat Grafting
When you come in for your Facial Fat Grafting, the first thing we will do is numb both target sites (the area we’re removing the fat from and where we will put it) with local anesthesia. In some cases where large volumes of fat are required, we may recommend general anesthesia or local anesthesia combined with sedation to ensure your comfort throughout your entire Facial Fat Grafting treatment. Then, Dr. Bhrany will remove an appropriate amount of fat via a liposuction treatment and purify the fat. Once this step is complete, the purified fat will be injected into your face with a needle to achieve the appearance your desire.
Facial Fat Grafting Recovery
You will be able to return home after your Fat Grafting Recovery, but we recommend making arrangements with someone to drive you to and from your procedure, as you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours after the anesthesia. Although this is a permanent procedure, during the fat grafting process, about half of the fat that is injected will survive. This process finalizes at about 6 months after the procedure. Because we expect about half of the fat to resorb, we tend to overfill slightly at the time of surgery. This initially will leave the patient slightly more full, and as the fat resorbs the volume will go down to almost baseline.
At about three months, the fat cells start to “wake up” so that by about six months, the results will be permanent. We do want to emphasize that fat grafting does not stop the aging process, so eventually one may need additional volume. Rather, it merely turns back the clock on the facial volume so that in 7-10 years, a repeat procedure may be needed or can also be augmented with facial fillers.
How Much Does Facial Fat Grafting Cost in Seattle?
The cost of Facial Fat Grafting in Seattle will depend on multiple factors, including where the fat is taken from and how much is needed to match your desired aesthetic. After meeting with Dr. Bhrany and he creates your procedure plan, our Patient Coordinator will be able to provide you with a breakdown of the entire cost of your surgery.
In some instances of volume loss secondary to facial trauma or radiation therapy, insurance can cover the cost of the procedure, but this is a rare exception. Most cases of fat grafting are done for purely aesthetic reasons.
Why Choose Us?
At Seattle Face & Skin, our goal is to help our patients achieve a healthy, more youthful, and natural appearance, that will also leave you feeling better and more confident inside. Our practice is led by Dr. Amit D. Bhrany, who will walk you through the evaluation step by step, giving you expert advice and recommendations based on your goals. Dr. Bhrany is a double board-certified in Facial Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology (Ear Nose and Throat Surgery). After receiving his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and doctorate in medicine from Boston University, Dr. Bhrany was awarded fellowships in Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Facial Plastic Surgery at the University of Washington (UW). During those two years of additional sub-specialty training, Dr. Bhrany developed skills for cosmetic facial plastic surgery, reconstructing all aspects of the head and neck, as well as head and neck cancer surgery and microsurgical reconstruction.
Schedule Your Consultation
You no longer have to deal with the physical and mental discomforts of your aging with Facial Fat Grafting in Seattle. Request your consultation with Dr. Bhrany at Seattle Face & Skin through our website and one of our team members will quickly get in touch with you. You can also reach us by calling (206) 599-3222 today!
Facial Fat Grafting FAQs
Your procedure questions answered.
Most patients find the pain associated with Facial Fat Grafting to be minimal. Patients can often manage any pain they experience following a facial fat transfer procedure with oral pain medication. Any pain relievers or medication for pain recovery will be discussed upon consultation, and you will leave your procedure with a detailed recovery plan.
Beyond your initial consultation and surgery, Dr. Bhrany will want you to come back in for one or two follow-up visits so that he can ensure that your expectations have been met with surgery and that your incisions have all properly healed.
The results of your treatment will usually be visible within seven to ten days, which is how long it will take for the initial swelling associated with your treatment to go down. Some patients may need to wait three to four weeks after their treatment appointment to see their desired results. We can't wait for you to experience that first moment that you notice your new facial aesthetics.
Of course! This procedure is considered less invasive than others, which allows our patients to combine their Seattle Facial Fat Grafting with other aesthetic procedures, such as Laser Skin Resurfacing or BOTOX. No matter what your end goal is for combining procedures, Dr. Bhrany will be more than happy to discuss your options during your consultation.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of bleeding and infection. These risks are extremely low, however. More common risks include over or under-correction and contour irregularities at the site of injection or the donor site. The technique is extremely important in this regard so that the fat is not injected too superficially. It should be noted that although fat grafting can be an extremely natural and long-lasting facial volumizer, a small percentage of patients will have a very low retention of the fat and thus may have sub-optimal volume augmentation. In these instances, repeat procedures may be considered.