Facial Fat Grafting/Transfer
Facial volume loss, in addition to wrinkles and skin laxity, is an important and increasingly recognized aspect of facial aging. A simple metaphor can help people understand the role of fat grafting. When we are young our faces are similar to a full, ripe grape and as we become older we deflate into a raisin. Traditional surgical techniques such as a facelift simply cut and pull the raisin into a pea; however, we should think about reinflating it back into a grape. Facial fat grafting does exactly this. It restores the lost volume that occurs with aging.
This volume loss is particularly noticeable around the eyes, cheeks, and jawline. It is in these particular areas that fat grafting can play the greatest role in creating a balanced and comprehensive rejuvenation strategy for the face. Fat grafting is often combined with other rejuvenating procedures including blepharoplasty (eyelid rejuvenation) and/or a rhytidectomy (facelift) when indicated.
Fat grafting also appeals to many patients because it is minimally invasive and does not require any traditional facial incisions. Additionally, fat grafting has beneficial effects on skin tone and texture. Facial fat grafting clearly plays an important role in combating the aging process.
Dr. Meier will discuss the benefits of fat grafting in an individualized one-on-one consultation. He will also answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding the procedure.
About the Procedure
Local anesthesia and mild sedation are used for maximum comfort during the procedure. Dr. Meier works only with board-certified anesthesiologists to ensure patient comfort and safety. Facial fat grafting involves removing fat from the abdomen or thighs and placing it where volume has been lost in the face due to aging. This is not the same as liposuction as only small amounts of fat are removed and grafted. Dr. Meier then injects the fat as little droplets throughout the areas of facial hollowness. A small syringe is used to place the fat and the incisions are so small (the size of the end of a needle) that there is no visible scarring from fat transfer. This microdroplet technique of fat grafting has increased viability and survivability compared with other methods. Dr. Meier is the author of the landmark academic paper proving the durability and clinical results lasting years after fat grafting in the face.
After the Procedure
No bandages are required for this minimally invasive procedure. Most patients experience a feeling of tightness and puffiness in the regions injected. This usually lasts for about 5-7 days. Little or no discomfort occurs after the procedure. Dr. Meier will prescribe pain medication should mild discomfort occur. Bruising and swelling are not uncommon and cold compresses as well as head of bed elevation can minimize these effects. Dr. Meier will give you detailed instructions with regards to care after the procedure. Follow-up care is important so Dr. Meier can monitor the healing process.
More information regarding facial fat grafting/transfers can be obtained by setting up a consultation.