San Diego & La Jolla, CA
Aging and sun damage causes the face to gradually lose its youthful volume. To restore fullness to the face, some people choose to use dermal filler injections. Another solution, which is much longer lasting, is fat grafting. This procedure harvests fat cells from a part of the body where fat is in surplus and adds it to areas that could use volume. It is a safe, effective and long-lasting surgery is a great way to rejuvenate and enhance the face.
Benefits of Facial Fat Grafting
Fat transfer can be performed on multiple areas of the face, depending on the aesthetic goals of the patient. Many choose to place fat in their cheeks to restore the round “baby fat” look common on young faces. Others choose to place fat in their lips to achieve a plumper, more kissable appearance. Others still have fat placed in their chin to strengthen the definition of the jawline or to correct a “weak” or recessed chin.
Many patients are drawn to fat grafting because it is essentially two cosmetic procedures in one. Not only does it add fullness to the face, it also provides a convenient opportunity to remove fat and recontour a “problem” area elsewhere on the body.
While silicone implants are also sometimes used to provide volume to the face (specifically in the cheeks and chin), many patients prefer to augment their features with their own fat cells rather than a foreign object. Accordingly, the procedure feels more natural because it is simply repositioning existing fat.
Fat Transfer Procedure
Dr. Reagan completes fat grafting surgery in three main stages. First, he performs liposuction to obtain fat from a section of the body with excess fat deposits. Patients can provide input as to where they would like to take the fat from — usually it is most plentiful around the abdomen, thighs, flanks and buttocks. Liposuction surgery involves making tiny incisions in the skin and using a cannula to break up and suction out fat.
Next, Dr. Reagan purifies the fat to eliminate impurities. This ensures that the fat is safe to be reinjected into the body.
Finally, Dr. Reagan places the fat into the target area of the face. With help from a syringe or cannula, he deposits the purified fat. He also molds the transferred fat so that it achieves an appealing, natural shape. To protect the face, he covers the treated area with a bandage.
Fat Grafting Recovery
Although the recovery for facial fat grafting is modest compared to other surgical procedures, most patients take at least one week off from work to focus on resting and allowing time for the swelling to subside. Depending on where on the body the fat was harvested from, patients may need to wear a compression garment to improve and accelerate healing.
Fat Grafting Results
Although not all fat cells survive the fat transfer process, most do. Because the body recognizes its own fat cells, those that survive the initial months tend to thrive, becoming fully absorbed in their new host site. After allowing some time for the swelling to subside and some fat cells to be rejected, patients should be able to see their final contours.
Results are indefinite, with most patients seeing a visible improvement even as the aging process progresses.
Brian Reagan, MD, FACS
Dr. Brian Reagan is a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of True Beauty San Diego Aesthetic Surgery & Medicine. Dr. Reagan is renowned for his surgical skills and commitment to patient satisfaction. Dr. Reagan has been featured on local media outlets, including ABC 10, and recognized as one of the “Best Plastic Surgeons in San Diego” by San Diego Magazine, and “Best Plastic Surgeons in La Jolla” by La Jolla Light Newspaper.
Other Areas Where Fat Can Be Grafted
In addition to the face, fat can be transferred to other parts of the body. Most commonly, fat grafting is performed on the buttocks (in a procedure known as Brazilian butt lift) and the breasts in cases where women would prefer to not use breast implants. Dr. Reagan would be happy to discuss these procedures during a consultation.
Speak to Dr. Reagan about Fat Grafting
To learn more about how you can use your own excess fat to rejuvenate and augment your face, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Reagan, a board-certified plastic surgeon who consistently ranks as San Diego’s best. Call 858-454-7546 today.