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Facial Fat Grafting: 5 Things You Should Know

You’ll fight the signs of aging throughout your entire life, and there’s perhaps no more important battlefield in this fight than the face. As you grow older and lose important structural proteins and subcutaneous fat that made your skin smooth and the contours of your face healthy and full in your twenties, you have some options in your arsenal. Three of the most effective weapons you have to fight back are dermal fillers, cosmetic surgery, and autologous fat transfer, or facial fat grafting.

Dermal fillers used to restore volume in the face typically contain an ingredient called hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a molecule that occurs naturally in the body, and it is used because it has an amazing ability to draw in and retain water molecules. These products are a great solution for many, but facial fat transfer is becoming a popular option for those who don’t want surgery and are looking for longer-lasting and perhaps more dramatic results that dermal fillers can provide.

If you’re taking a closer look at your options to fight the early signs of aging on your face, here are five things we tell patients at our Portsmouth, NH practice about facial fat grafting.

The Results of Facial Fat Grafting May be Permanent

During facial fat grafting, a small amount of excess fat cells are taken from donor sites such as the thighs, buttocks, belly, and back, and they’re injected into areas of your face where you’d like to alter facial contours, add more volume, and tighten your skin. 

More fat cells are harvested and transplanted than needed because some will be reabsorbed and metabolized by your body. When your recovery is complete, the cells that survive the move become permanent in their new location. The processing of the cells for transfer is the critical step in this process. Employing the gold-standard approach in processing fat for transfer ensures the highest rate of survival for the fat cells and the best possible results.

A Facial Fat Transfer can be Useful for Treating Sagging Skin

Until fairly recently, the most common way to treat signs of aging in the lower third of a patient’s face was through surgery. This is because the lower third of your face is where you’ll experience the most severe sagging skin once you start losing significant reserves of collagen. A facial fat transfer can be used, in some cases, to avoid surgery when treating mild sagging skin by restoring important skin volume. However, surgery may be needed to remove excess skin in cases where sagging is more severe.

Facial Fat Grafting is Less Invasive than Facial Plastic Surgery

Some patients simply may not want surgery, or they may not be able to have surgery for medical reasons. Although facial fat graft is a surgery, it’s a relatively minor one. In some situations, a facial fat graft may be the best, least invasive course of action when other surgeries aren’t an option or other risks are present.

Incisions at the donor and transfer sites will be tiny. The device used to harvest fat cells and the needle used to re-inject it are both quite small, making facial fat transfer significantly less invasive than many other facial cosmetic procedures. This also makes for an easier recovery than other facial plastic surgeries.

A Facial Fat Graft May Have Less Risks than Other Procedures

Medically speaking, one of the best things about a facial fat graft is that it uses your body’s own fat cells to boost volume and restore your youthful appearance. Because it doesn’t use foreign devices such as implants or any product that even carries a minor risk of allergic reaction, a facial fat graft may pose fewest risks for patients who want to restore facial volume.

A Facial Fat Graft is Not a Substitute for Weight Loss

A question that pops up often during consultations from patients who are excited at the prospect of taking fat from one area of the body and putting it where they actually want it is, “How much weight will I lose?”

A facial fat graft is not a substitute for actual weight loss. The amount of fat taken from the donor site will be small. The procedure can be a great catalyst for a healthier lifestyle once your recovery is complete, though!

Think A Facial Fat Graft Might be Right for You?

Talk to Dr. Anthony Wilson, of AW Plastic Surgery, and our team of facial fat graft experts if you’re thinking it might the best option to achieve your aesthetic goals. 

To schedule a consultation at our Portsmouth, NH practice, please call us at (603) 294-4526, or use our website to contact us.