Have you ever wanted to take fat from one side of the body where it is disturbing and move it somewhere more useful? Due to recent medical advances, this process is actually a simple and effective option for face rejuvenation, breast augmentation and body contouring. Our plastic surgeons specialize in fat transfer and offer it as a natural alternative to fillers or facial implants.
Are you a good candidate for fat grafting?
The best indication for facial fat rejuvenation is the person who has begun to notice a loss of facial volume. Many patients see deep nasolabial grooves, marionette lines, flattening of cheekbones, narrowing of temples or shadows and depressions under the eyes. These changes can occur as early as in our 30s. A successful transfer of fat requires an elastic skin. Most candidates are between the ages of 30 and 50, but rejuvenation with fat can be done successfully at 60 or even 70 years. If you are generally healthy, you have a realistic view of the results that can be obtained by this method and you have any of the following conditions, you can be a good candidate for the procedure:
Loss of facial volume either in a particular region or in total
Deep wrinkles on the face or neck
Deep nasolabial grooves
Decreasing of the facial volume leads to a lower structural support of the face and its inevitable sagging. Restoring the volume can be compared to inflation of a balloon, redefining smooth and youthful facial contours. The cosmetic transfer uses fat and stem cells to restore volume and stimulate the regeneration of surrounding tissues.
Now is the right time to describe your cosmetic goals. The plastic surgeon will evaluate your facial and throat structure, skin elasticity, facial volume and basic muscle tone to determine if a fat transfer is recommended. If necessary, adjuvant procedures can be added to create a harmonious rejuvenation. These could include neck lifting, blepharoplasty or laser treatments. Dr. Sinescu will explain exactly each technique together with the risks, benefits and recovery time. You will be asked to describe in detail how you want to look afterwards. Bringing pictures from a time you were happy with your face will help us understand the changes you desire. Working together, you and the plastic surgeon will decide which technique will deliver the expected results.
You will be given a detailed explanation of the procedure, steps to be followed before and after surgery, potential risks and complications, costs and payment methods. We will answer all your questions. We’ll ask for your medical history, information on cigarette and alcohol consumption, and a list of all the medicines you use, including the over the counter ones.
Surgery will take place in one of the ultramodern clinics where Dr. Sinescu works. The procedure will last between 1 and 2 hours and can be done either with local anesthesia with or without sedation or with general anesthesia, according to your preferences and your doctor. With general anesthesia, you will be completely asleep throughout the operation. With local anesthesia, you will be awake and the areas to be treated will be numb.
The surgeon will mark the areas of the face to be injected, as well as the areas from which the fat grafts will be harvested. All areas will be injected with local anesthetic for comfort during and after the procedure. Very small incisions are required for harvesting and reintroducing fat. Grafts are harvested with low aspiration to enhance the proportion of living cells and are processed by filtration to isolate, purify and concentrate the transferable cells. The final product, loaded into 1 ml syringes, is injected into target areas and deeply stratified to the surface, to restore facial volume and shape. All regions are approached from at least two access points to optimize a smooth transfer. Small tubular cannulas are specially designed to enhance graft survival and also minimizes trauma to surrounding tissues. Ensuring a layered transfer helps increase the survival of grafts by placing them near new sources of nutrition that allow them to live in their new environment.
Incisions from the donor areas are sutured. Patients are given cold compresses and are encouraged to stay in a semi-vertical position, which helps to control edema and ecchymosis.
Breast and Body Contouring
Transfer of fat becomes more and more popular for patients interested in improving their body contour as the efficiency of the technique is crystallized. Fat breast augmentation may be a natural alternative to mammary implants, although there are some limitations. Breasts can be increased by up to one cup in a single procedure that uses fat transfer so that women interested in larger augmentation opt for breast implants or serial interventions. Appropriate candidates also need enough fat to be harvested, usually from the abdomen, thighs, hips or back. If the indication is absolutely correct, the fat transfer gives natural and permanent results. The Brazilian buttock lift operation is also done using the adipose transfer technique, representing an option for patients who want to improve the outline of the buttocks without implants.
Recovery after cosmetic fat transfer
Removing the dressing – 1-5 days after surgery
Body and hair shower – after removal of the dressings
Suture removal – 5-7 days after surgery
Return to work – 3-14 days after surgery
Driving – as soon as you feel comfortable
Intense physical activity – 2-14 days after surgery
Fading of scars – few months to a year
What are the possible side effects or risks?
Like any surgical procedure, fat transfer has associated risks, but major complications are extremely rare. During the initial consultation, our physicians will evaluate and discuss individual issues and determine if you are a good candidate for intervention. You can help reduce the risk by carefully following the pre- and post-operative instructions provided. Our staff will be with you at every step of the way to ensure a safe and aesthetic result.
The most likely risks include the following:
– sensation problems
– partial or full graft loss
– prolonged edema
– contour irregularities
How long do the results last?
Fat transfer restores facial volume lost in the natural aging process to create a younger look. These results generally last between 5 and 10 years, even more in some cases. It is important to note that the effects of aging, gravity and environmental factors will continue to affect the texture, elasticity and tone of the face and neck. Meticulous skin care is essential to maximize the effectiveness and longevity of surgical results.
Frequently asked questions
Are there other procedures that may be associated with cosmetic fat transfer?
Facial rejuvenation with fat transfer is often performed together with facelifts, neck lifts, brow-lifts, blepharoplasty or laser treatments. Botulinum toxin injections are a non-surgical alternative that can temporarily reduce the number of lines and wrinkles on the face and neck.
Is the surgical intervention covered by health insurance?
Fat transfer is considered an aesthetic surgery and therefore it is not covered by medical insurance. You are responsible for all the costs. The costs and payment methods will be discussed during the initial consultation.
Are there alternatives?
Botulinum toxin and fillers are non-surgical alternatives. These injections can reduce or eliminate incipient wrinkles. Meticulous skin care can also help to improve the tone, texture and, occasionally, the facial contour. Although commonly performed together with fat transfer, laser treatments and chemical peeling can also offer a less invasive alternative.