Loss of volume in the face is one of the most important hallmarks of facial ageing. A full face generally gives a more youthful look. Fillers are the mainstay of achieving better facial volume but are temporary. Fat transfer on the other hand often provides a permanent result in most cases thus helping to restore a youthful look.
AM I A SUITABLE CANDIDATE FOR FAT TRANSFER PROCEDURE
Fat transfer is a safe procedure when performed in the right setting. There is no ideal age group for this procedure but good general health including psychological stability and realistic expectations are prerequisites.
BENEFITS OF FAT TRANSFER
Fat transfer improves the appearance of the face by correcting the volume loss and filling the wrinkled and deflated areas. It also helps to recontour the facial areas such as, around the eyes, jawline, temples and cheeks to mention a few.
LIMITATIONS OF FAT TRANSFER
This procedure does not stop or reverse the aging process, nor will it completely remove deep wrinkles and skin folds. It will not remove or treat fine wrinkles, acne scars or pigmentation problems such as age spots. Not all of the transferred fat survives and results are somewhat unpredictable.
CONSULTATION FOR FAT TRANSFER PROCEDURE
During the consultation all your cosmetic concerns will be addressed in detail. The skin and structure of the face will be examined and discussed. Digital photographs and morphing software are used to aid this process where appropriate. Individual risks – general health, anaesthetic risks, risks of poor healing and factors that contribute to unfavourable results, effects of smoking, bleeding tendencies will be assessed. Both mental and emotional attitudes will also be considered because a realistic attitude is crucial to the success of the procedure.
These include skin type, ethnic background, degree of skin elasticity and amount of volume of tissue, individual healing, basic bone structure and other factors such as cause of volume loss. Volume loss is particularly more pronounced around the eyes, cheeks, and jawline, where fat grafting can play the greatest role in creating a balanced natural look, in conjunction with other procedures such as facelift and eyelid surgery.
HOW IS FAT TRANSFER PERFORMED?
The procedure may be performed either under local anaesthetic with or without sedation (twilight) or general anaesthesia. Small amounts of fat are hand-harvested from one’s own abdomen or thighs, purified and then transferred to certain regions of the face as required. Only tiny amounts of fat are removed so this should not be equated with liposuction. Using fine blunt cannulas, the fat is injected as tiny droplets throughout the areas of facial hollowness. This requires several passes of the canula and therefore may result in significant swelling and bruising. However, this microdroplet technique affords a higher blood supply to the transferred fat, increasing its survival and a natural smooth look.
WHAT TO EXPECT POST-OPERATIVELY
Some mild pain and discomfort are common immediately after the procedure. During the recovery period we would advise you to have the head elevated when lying down for the first 24 hours, avoid intense physical activity for about three weeks and report any undue discomfort.
Recovery usually takes two to three weeks following which normal activity may be resumed. Normal make-up may be applied after one week. Swelling and bruising may take up to three months to settle, but usually lasts for approximately three weeks.
POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS OF THE PROCEDURE
Complications are infrequent but include bleeding, infection, unfavourable skin tethering, nerve damage, altered sensation, lumpiness, change in skin colour, and minor cosmetic irregularities. All these will be discussed in detail during the consultation.
Please ask all questions you may have, and ascertain that your questions and concerns have been addressed to your satisfaction before you proceed to surgery. Understand that this is a lifestyle surgery and not an essential procedure.
|Procedure time:||1.5 hours|
|Anaesthetic:||General/ local with or without sedation
|Hospital stay:||Day case procedure|
|Time off work:||2 - 3 weeks|
|Restricted routine:||3 weeks|
|Back to full normal activity:||6 weeks|