Fat transfer (also known as fat grafting) can be very effective in soft tissue augmentation procedures of the face. The technique developed at Hess Plastic Surgery is more efficient and effective than traditional techniques and therefore, better for restoring that youthful fullness that gets depleted over time.
The clinical term for this procedure is “autologous” fat grafting, which means the fat is harvested from your own body. Dr. Hess first performs liposuction on the thighs, flanks or abdomen and then prepares it for injection. The harvesting and subsequent injection of fat is done with cannulas (tiny hollow tubes), specially designed by Dr. Hess, that deposit fat in very conservative amounts.
Like dermal fillers, fat injections can fill depressions that have appeared on the skin. Wrinkles, folds, smile lines, or sunken cheeks can be corrected, and the results are long lasting if not permanent. At Hess Plastic Surgery, we use micro-fat injections to perform treatments like the following:
Successful fat grafting requires a skilled surgeon, mainly because the survival rate – how much fat gets reintegrated – can vary. With a large mass of fat it becomes difficult for the fat to survive and much of it gets reabsorbed by the body. Dr. Hess’ precise technique utilizes the smallest cannulas for both harvesting and injecting fat. The fat is then injected into multiple tissues of the face. This promotes a high rate of fat reintegration and an exceptionally high success rate.
Very small incisions are used both for the removal of and the injection of the fat. These incisions require minimal care and no stitches need to be removed. Patients may experience minor swelling, tenderness or bruising at the harvest site for the first 2 weeks. Temporary changes in skin sensation may also occur. The site of injection may have mild to moderate swelling during the first few weeks. Bruising, pain, changes in sensation or motor function may occur but are typically minor and temporary.
Although fat grafting can be a relatively minor cosmetic procedure, the results can be quite dramatic. You don’t have to accept that increasingly gaunt, hollow appearance that comes with age; you just have to get creative and do something to restore that youthful fullness. Fat grafting at our Virginia plastic surgery office is one way to achieve that.