Facial Fat Grafting Philadelphia
Facial fat grafting performed in New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area is a state of the art 3-dimensional approach to facial rejuvenation. While most facial cosmetic procedures involve subtraction or removal of sagging skin, this technique involves addition and augmentation of specific facial structures. One of the key components to facial aging is 3-dimensional volume loss.
Often times this aspect of facial aging is overlooked. Thinking of the face as a balloon, as one lets air out of a balloon the walls of the balloon lose their tension and become lax. In a similar fashion, the facial skeleton loses volume in the form of decreased facial fat and bone density. Facial fat grafting/transfer procedures seek to restore the facial volume of specific facial structures to allow for a more youthful, and overall healthy appearance.
The youthful face is likened to the shape of a heart, with the cheek bones being the broadest and most pronounced area of the face. From the cheek bones, the face then tapers down to its slimmest area being the chin. The lower face becomes widest along the jaw line with the formation of jowls, while the cheek areas taper and slim due to loss of cheek volume and sagging of the upper face. Due to this loss of volume and descent of upper facial tissues, deep facial folds, wrinkles, and hollows become more pronounced. Specific areas include the periorbital region (area around the eye), the malar area (the cheek), the nasolabial folds (lines adjacent to the corner of the nose and mouth), and the perioral area (area around the mouth). Fat transfer is utilized to “build up” these specific areas to restore the natural foundation of the face as it was in our youth. Wrinkles and folds are smoothed, while cheeks and specific hollowed areas are “plumped” to provide a healthier and more youthful appearance.
The selection of autologous fat (a patient’s own fatty tissue) as a filler is widely recognized among top Philadelphia cosmetic surgeons as one of the most fundamental materials for use in facial and body augmentation. Fat can be utilized as a filler substance for cosmetic and reconstructive procedures in cases where volume loss needs to be addressed. Fat provides a soft and natural feeling filler which can be harvested with very low risk, has no risk of allergic reaction, and lacks risk of disease transmission. Fat is also readily available in abundant stores making it a low cost filler medium which can be harvested from the patient’s own body (usually hips or abdomen) in large amounts. Patients need not worry about how much filler they are using because fat is harvested directly from their own body at no cost.
Dr. Anthony Corrado Discusses Fat Grafting
Facial Fat Grafting/Transfer Procedure Facts
To correct facial volume loss associated with aging, to smooth wrinkles and fill deep hollows and folds.
The procedure is performed through carefully placed needle stick sites, leaving virtually no visible post procedure scars. Fat is first delicately harvested from such areas as the abdomen, hip/flank, or buttocks. It is carefully rinsed and prepared. It is then injected with tiny microcannulas which prevent injury to the living fat cells during the transfer process.
The procedure is performed under local anesthesia with oral or IV sedation for further patient relaxation.
Length of Time:
The procedure lasts between 1-2 hours depending on the patient’s rejuvenation needs. Procedures such as Chemical Peel or Laser Skin Resurfacing may be added to complement the patient’s procedure. All procedures can be performed at our in-office procedure suite or at a fully accredited outpatient surgery center.
After the Procedure:
All patients are sent home that day after their procedure, and are given a set of post procedure instructions to follow. The patient will follow up the next day for a post procedure check, and again on the seventh day after the procedure.
Most patients can return to work in a few days. Patients are asked to refrain from physical exertion for a period of two weeks. Swelling and bruising usually resolve in one week, but they are usually minimal. Although a narcotic pain medication is prescribed most patients report only using Tylenol. An elastic compression garment is worn to provide post procedure compression at the harvest site for a few days. (It should be noted that individual recovery time and pain thresholds may vary depending on the patient).
Fat Transfer/Fat Grafting (Facial Fat Injections) Frequently Asked Questions
There are several questions that patients frequently ask board certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Corrado, regarding facial fat grafting and facial fat transfer. Although each patient represents a unique surgical challenge, Dr. Corrado believes that those considering the procedure can benefit from generalized information about facial fat injections. Serving the greater Philadelphia, PA area, and beyond, Dr. Corrado performs facial fat grafting/transfer on both men and women of various ages.
What is fat grafting or fat transfer?
Fat grafting and fat transfer are interchangeable terms which involve the injection of fat cells for cosmetic purposes. In facial fat grafting/transfer fat is removed from an area of the body(i.e. abdomen, hips, thighs, etc.) and implanted into areas of the face which have lost volume due to aging. As we age, one of the first signs of aging is facial volume loss. By adding volume with fat transfer, hollowed areas of the face can be filled and lifted to restore the well-rested and refreshed look of our youth. Fat transfer will also help to fill many of the deep wrinkles of the face to give the face a smoother and more youthful appearance.
How long does fat transfer last?
The benefits to fat transfer are that larger volumes of fat can be used to fill the face compared to typical volumes of dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. Fat transfer can last for many years, if not permanently, compared to dermal fillers which typically last for up to one year.
What are the benefits of fat grafting?
- No risk of allergic reaction.
- Large volumes of fat can be harvested and implanted.
- Provides longer lasting results compared to dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane.
- A flat fee is charged for the procedure compared to “per syringe” pricing with fillers.
- Can be performed while awake under local anesthesia in our office surgical suite.
What areas are targeted with fat transfer?
- Sunken cheeks
- Sunken temples
- Under eye hollows and dark circles
- Marionette and Nasolabial lines and wrinkles of face
- Thin lips
- Smoker’s lines above the upper lip
- Weak chin
- Jawline to smooth early jowling
Am I a candidate for fat grafting?
If you have areas of volume loss and wrinkles which are causing your face to look aged and tired, then your answer is yes! We suggest you call the office at 1(877)481-FACE and set up your complementary consultation with Dr. Corrado to discuss your candidacy for fat grafting. Dr. Anthony Corrado provides fat grafting for patients in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware Valley Areas, and beyond. Call today for your consultation.
Can fat transfer be done while I am awake?
Yes, typically fat transfer procedures are done in our office surgical suite under local anesthesia. Patients are given oral medications in low doses to help them relax, but they are still awake and able to communicate with Dr. Corrado and his staff during the procedure. This has proven to be a very safe and effective procedure. Patients with certain medical conditions or concerns can also have the procedure performed under anesthesia in an outpatient surgical center. Dr. Corrado will discuss this with you after carefully reviewing your complete medical history during your consultation.
How long do fat transfer procedures take?
Fat grafting typically takes between 1-2 hours depending on the number of areas of the face being treated.
What happens after fat grafting surgery?
Patients are sent home after their surgery. There are not stitches or bandages on the face. Patients are asked to apply cool compresses to the face for the first 24-48 hours. An elastic compression garment, similar to spandex, is worn to provide tight compression at the harvest sites. Patients are asked to followup with Dr. Corrado the next day for evaluation. The sutures at the harvest sites are typically removed at 7 days after the procedure. Swelling typically takes 2-3 weeks to resolve. Swelling varies depending on the patient.
Does fat grafting really work? Another surgeon told me it does not work.
The success of any fat grafting procedure is dependent on proper surgical technique. Over the last several years, many discussions regarding fat transfer have centered on modification in procedure technique to optimize the results and longevity of fat transfer surgery. Gentle handling of the fat is paramount to procedure success as the fat is living tissue and is very delicate. Improper techniques during the harvest, separation, and implantation phases of the procedure can affect success rates. Many surgeons that question the success rate of fat grafting do so because of lack of success in performing the procedure themselves. Many times this is due to lack of training and experience with fat grafting. Many surgeons have tried fat grafting in the past using old fashioned techniques which had low success rates. Patients should see a board certified facial plastic surgeon who has performed many of these procedures in their career. Dr. Anthony Corrado provides patients of the greater Philadelphia and Delaware Valley areas with expert facial fat grafting. He has lectured at national conferences and published in respected medical journals on fat grafting techniques.
How does the fat survive?
Like any living tissue transplantation procedure done within the human body, a blood supply to the living tissue must be established to allow oxygen and nutrients to get to the fat cells. Injecting fat in small quantities over several passes in a given region of the face optimizes the chance of survival. Fat is injected with special injection devices, micro cannulas, which implant small amounts of fat with each pass of the syringe. This “micro droplet” technique helps to increase the success of the procedure. Large volumes of fat injected on each pass of the syringe have less of a chance to develop a blood supply and therefore have less chance of survival. This is because it is more difficult to carry oxygen and nutrients to the center of large transplanted volumes.
Can I have fat grafting with my facelift?
Yes, Dr. Corrado typically combines a facelift with fat transfer as part of a 3-D facelift procedure. Facelift procedures help to fight gravity by lifting the skin of the neck and face. Facelifts DO NOT address the volume loss which is also an integral part of the aging process. Using fat transfer to add volume to the face, in addition to lifting sagging skin, will offer patients the most comprehensive and successful facial rejuvenation.