Naturally Contouring Your Face Using Fat Transfer, and How It May Help You!

Here is the “fun” thing about aging: it happens to all of us.

The symptoms of aging are pretty much universal. We usually start to see them in our 30s, when our metabolism just doesn’t quite process those calories the same way as it did in our 20s. Then, in our 40s, we start to see fine lines on our face, and maybe even our first gray hairs. As the years continue, our reflection starts to look more like our parents than ourselves. But why? Why does our facial structure change so dramatically as we start to put on a few years? The answer is fat! Yes, fat! As we get older, a number of things happen to the tissues in the face. We start to lose a thin layer of fat, the muscles start to shrink, and we even start to lose bone volume over time. These are the reasons our faces start to look older and more hollow. It’s facial deflation! As the fat padding in our faces starts to vanish, the loss of that volume leads to dark shadows under the eyes, hollow temples, and deflation around the mouth and jawline. Yes, wrinkles and sagging skin are major factors, but it’s facial deflation that mainly contributes to the appearance of premature aging.

Thankfully, cosmetic surgery has a number of solutions to these problems, some more invasive, and effective, than others. Face and neck lifts can help with the sagging skin and Botox® can certainly help with the wrinkles, but what about the loss of volume? Well, we have that covered, with two excellent options that can help restore the volume and appearance of youth. One is nonsurgical dermal fillers, which have their advantages, but the other option is truly something special: fat transfer.

Fat Transfer
Fat transfer is a fairly self-descriptive surgical procedure. We simply take fat cells from elsewhere in your body (possibly in places that you wish they weren’t), remove them through liposuction, purify them, and then re-inject them into your face. This can provide you with longer-lasting results than other methods of facial volume replacement, while also taking a few inches off!

The procedure itself is simple. Dr. Flaharty will use a tiny cannula to remove small amounts of fat from your body. Those living fat cells are purified and concentrated in a centrifuge to separate out it all out, and are then put into a number of small syringes that will be used for the fat injections. This is a very delicate procedure, as we must quickly and carefully inject the fat in small micrografts so the living cells can continue to get the blood and nutrient supply they need to survive.

What’s the Difference Between Dermal Fillers and Fat Transfer?

Dermal fillers are some of our most useful tools in the fight to restore volume to the face. With them, we can fill in hollows under the eyes, as well as deep wrinkles, fine lines and folds. That said, there are some drawbacks to them as well, the biggest one being that they are temporary. Dermal fillers safely break down and are absorbed into your system over the course of a year or so. This means that, to maintain the volume in your face, you will have to come back for touch-up dermal filler treatments every few months.

Fat transfer, however, solves this problem more permanently. Although a small amount of fat is reabsorbed by your body soon after the procedure, the fat that remains will last for a long time, giving you longer-lasting results. Another advantage of Fat transfer is that, well, fat just feels more natural! In a perfect world, we would always use fat to globally re-volumize the face. This is because we can transfer 40 to 60 milliliters of fat in one procedure, giving you a comprehensive rejuvenation of the entire face. We couldn’t do this with dermal fillers, as it would be far too expensive and the results would be temporary.

Am I a Good Candidate for Fat Transfer?
Do you have aging changes in your face and a little excess fat on your body?
Then yes, chances are that you are a perfect candidate!

What Is the Recovery Period Like?
As facial fat transfers are surgical procedures (liposuction IS also surgery!), there is an expected recovery period of about two weeks. You can expect some swelling and bruising in the face, and in the areas where the fat was removed, which you can manage with a pain medication or cold packs. You should avoid any physical activity immediately after the procedure. In the second week, the bruising may have faded, but you will still be fairly sensitive. Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself. You may need to wear a compression garment in the areas where the fat was harvested, to promote healing.

Although a fat transfer can be a remarkably rejuvenating treatment on its own, it really shines when combined with other surgical or non-surgical procedures such as an endoscopic brow lift, eyelid surgery, a face and neck lift, and laser skin resurfacing (CO2 or Fraxel). With all of these treatments together, you can get that harmonious rejuvenation you’ve always dreamed of! To book a free consultation with Dr. Flaharty to talk about all of your options, you can give us a call at (239) 415-7576, or visit our website at www.azulbeauty.com for more information. With a fat transfer treatment at Azul, you can restore the reflection you remember!

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