Facial Fat Injections
cost varies based on how many areas are being treated
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Facial fat injections are used to augment and fill areas such as the under-eye area, cheeks, nasolabial folds and lips. Patients who undergo this surgery will often have tried injectable temporary facial fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane, and will want a more permanent solution than temporary fillers provide.
What is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting is the term used to describe removal of fat from one part of the body and transplantation of this fat into another part of the body. Fat from one patient can only be used on that same patient, and cannot be "donated" to another patient for fat grafting. The procedure itself consists of transfer of very small "packets" or aliquots of fat into the recipient tissue. The principle is similar to that of a skin graft, as the small "packets" of fat receive their initial nutrition for staying alive from the surrounding tissues, and eventually survive by your body actually establishing and growing blood vessels to the new fat. In general, 50-75% of the fat transferred will stay, so if 100 ml of fat is transferred to a certain part of the body, a patient can expect to retain 50-75 ml at most after they are completely healed.
The procedure is usually done under sedation or general anesthesia in an ambulatory surgery center. Fat is removed via liposuction from an area where you do not want it, such as the abdomen, love handles or inner thighs, and injected directly into the areas in your face you want augmented. The incisions for the liposuction are about 3 mm in size, and the injection sites are usually about 1 mm in size. Typically the fat retention rate (what percentage actually survives and stays in place) is 50-75%, so we prefer to overfill the injected areas, anticipating that they will shrink down in size by 25-50% over the first 1-3 months.
Recovery is generally quite fast. You will be moderately swollen and bruised in the areas where fat was removed and injected for about 1 1/2 -2 weeks, sometimes less. The swelling in the fat injected areas will dissipate mostly in the first 3-4 weeks, then be at their final size at 3 months after your procedure. Depending on how much fat is removed from the donor sites, you may have compression garments that need to be worn for 3-4 weeks.