If you have lost volume on the face and/or neck due to the aging process, fat grafting may be an option. An alternative to dermal fillers, the fat grafting procedure transfers fat from the lower body to the face and neck via injections. This volume replacement technique lasts longer than dermal fillers, and there is no danger of an allergic reaction. The added benefit is that you can also reduce an area of the lower body in the process.
If you do not wish to reduce your lower body, Dr. Ledding will only harvest the amount of fat required for the volume restoration injections.
Fat grafting is also a useful tool for breast reconstruction and other types of reconstructive surgeries. Read more about Reconstructive Surgery.
Dr. Ledding has performed numerous fat grafting procedures for his patients. No two patients are the same, however, so he will spend time with you during your initial consultation and examination to discuss your options and his recommended surgical plan for you.
Who is a Good Candidate for Fat Grafting?
If you wish to restore lost volume on the face and/or neck, or elsewhere, you might be a good candidate for fat grafting (sometimes called fat transfer). Since the procedure is near permanent, it might be preferable for patients who have tried dermal fillers and feel confident they like the look of volume restoration. Some of the fat is absorbed by the body, so a second procedure is sometimes necessary.
It can also be used to augment deficient volume in other areas, such as the breast and body, or as part of a reconstructive procedure.
Is Fat Grafting an Outpatient Procedure?
Fat grafting can be performed either as an outpatient procedure with the patient under a local anesthetic or in some cases, general anesthesia may be used. You can go home the same day, provided someone is available to drive you. Which type of anesthetic is used varies, based on the extent of the areas grafted and patient preference.
What Incisions Are Used For Fat Grafting?
Small incisions must be made in the area of the body that will undergo liposuction. The fat is transferred to the face and/or neck via injections, so no incisions are necessary on the face or neck.
What Happens During Fat Grafting?
Liposuction involves inserting a cannula (small tube) that is attached to a suction device in the area where the fat will be harvested (usually the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks). The cannula is moved back and forth to break up the fat, which is suctioned out. Read more about Liposuction.
The fat is then treated in a centrifuge so that it can be injected using a fine needle.
What Happens Immediately After Fat Grafting?
After some time spent in the recovery room following your surgery, your incisions will be dressed with bandages. Most liposuction patients must wear a compression band for a week or two.
You will go home the same day with instructions for after-care and an appointment set for a couple of days later for your first follow-up exam.
When Can I Return to Work After Fat Grafting?
Most people take seven to 14 days off from work, depending upon the extent of the surgery. You may resume exercise or sports activities in four to six weeks. If your occupation is physically demanding, you may need four to six weeks off work as well.
What Post-Operative Symptoms Can I Expect After Fat Grafting?
Your recovery will include some bruising, numbness, and pain for a couple of weeks in the area where liposuction was done. The injection sites may also have some bruising and swelling for a few days.
You can take prescription or non-prescription medications to ease you through this period. For most areas of the body that have undergone liposuction, you must wear a compression garment for a short time to promote healing. Many will wear a layer of foam inside this garment to aid in achieving a smoother postoperative result.
Swelling on the body takes a bit longer to resolve, gradually improving over a period of months. If there are sutures, they will fall out in about a week.
The injection sites will heal faster, and if there is any temporary discoloration, you can apply makeup to cover it.
Are There Scars After Fat Grafting?
There are scars after liposuction, but Dr. Ledding will try to place them in discreet areas whenever possible. The incisions for liposuction are generally small, and the scars will fade and become less prominent in the months following your surgery. We will also provide strategies for healing the scars as quickly as possible.
The injection sites will usually leave no scars.
Contact our office for a consultation to discuss how fat grafting with Dr. Ledding can help you look years younger and also possibly reduce your lower body.