The facelift is one of the most frequently performed surgical cosmetic enhancement treatments available, and it has helped patients all over the world reduce signs of age and achieve a more youthful, refreshed appearance. Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is another popular aesthetic enhancement procedure that has proven to be very effective at enhancing the results of a facelift and restoring volume to specific facial areas for patients who may need it. By taking excess fat cells from one area of the body via liposuction and injecting them into targeted areas of the face during facelift surgery, you can attain a number of additional benefits from the procedure.
Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Scott, recently answered some questions about this effective combination of procedures, illuminating some of the distinct advantages of facelift with fat transfer procedures.
WHY IS FAT TRANSFER NOW A POPULAR TREATMENT TO COMBINE WITH FACELIFT SURGERY?
The aging process of the face not only involves descent or sagging of the tissues, but also frequently involves fatty volume loss. This volume loss is most obvious in the upper cheek and the bony orbital rim area. Re-volumizing these areas with micro fat transfer techniques can frequently further enhance the overall rejuvenation of the face. Other areas can also be treated with fat grafting as well.
WHAT DOES THE FAT TRANSFER PROCESS INVOLVE?
The process of fat transfer to the face is a fairly simple concept; however, it is very delicate to perform properly. Fatty tissue is harvested from other parts of the body (such as the thighs or tummy) very gently with microcannulas. This fat is processed and concentrated. The fat is then injected into the areas of facial volume loss with a very small cannula utilizing a feathering technique. A certain percent of the transferred fat will resorb; however, usually 60-70% will survive long-term.
WILL THERE BE ADDITIONAL RECOVERY TIME NECESSARY?
Adding fat transfer to a facelift typically does not lengthen the recovery and adds almost nothing to the aftercare.
DOES EVERYONE NEED A FAT TRANSFER COMPONENT ADDED TO A FACELIFT TREATMENT?
Fat grafting can theoretically be added to any facelift procedure, however, not all facelift patients need it. Some people maintain their facial fatty volume as they age and require only elevation of the skin and soft tissues with no fat grafting. Also, through weight gain, some patients may actually have more facial fatty volume than they would like. In this scenario, we would obviously not perform fat transfer.
CONTACT THE PLASTIC SURGERY CENTER
If you would like more information on facelift surgery and fat grafting, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott, please contact The Plastic Surgery Center today.