These days, women don’t let age dictate their fitness. In fact, Gallup recently reported 52.9% of women aged 45 to 64 workout 3 or more days per week. But when you vanquish belly fat, you also lose youthful facial curves. Fortunately, you can use your own body fat to get them back. It’s a process called fat transfer or fat grafting.
Is fat transfer right for me?
Young women’s faces are more rounded at the temples and cheeks. These contours generally last into your 30s. But as you age, you naturally lose volume, particularly around the eyes, cheeks, and jawline. If you’re keeping your body fat percentage low, this loss may become pronounced.
If you’re seeing more angles and shadows in your face, fat transfer may be just what you need to add fullness. The procedure uses some of your own fat cells to plump up areas of your face which can restore shape, minimize lines on your forehead or around your mouth and nose, and even improve the look of acne scars.
Before and after photos showing the results of fat transfer
Why do many women prefer fat transfer to other options?
It’s non-invasive, so there’s no incision on your face. The look is subtle so it’s hard for others to tell you’ve had work done. People will simply claim that you look well rested and refreshed.
Fat transfer lasts longer than fillers and, because it uses your own cells, it’s much less likely to cause an allergic reaction. It’s also good for people who are sensitive to products like collagen or other fillers. While it effectively restores many facial areas, it’s not ideal for the lips. So, depending on what you want done, your doctor may suggest a combination of different cosmetic options.
What happens during the procedure?
Your doctor will take a small amount of fat cells from your thigh or abdomen. The cells are then carefully purified for re-injection into selected areas on your face. Your doctor will work with you to create a customized plan for where the injections will have the best effect. Because you re-inject living cells, the extraction process is very important. Make sure you have a doctor with plenty of experience with this procedure.
Once implanted, many of the cells will establish a new blood supply allowing them to integrate with the living tissue. As a result, your new contours look natural and endure well.
What do I have to do before surgery?
You’ll be asked to stop smoking for at least six weeks, avoid anti-inflammatories, and stay well hydrated. The procedure lasts a short time, but you’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours.
What can I expect in recovery?
It takes about a week to recover from the swelling and bruising, but you might still have some puffiness. Some people take two weeks off from work to ensure they feel better by the time they need to go back. By the third week, you’ll be able to resume normal life while being careful to treat your face gently. Some limited inflammation may last longer but will recede over time.
Will I need to repeat the treatment?
The effects of fat transfer can vary. If the fat transfer “takes” successfully, the fat can establish a new blood supply and results may be permanent. However, certain areas may not establish blood supplies, possibly resulting in the need for touch-ups. Your face will continue to lose fat naturally over time, so you may want to repeat the transfer after a couple of years to maintain the look.
Fat transfer can also be used for other areas of the body where you want to increase volume and fullness: the breast area, buttocks and even the hands.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more and more people are choosing fat transfer as a minimally invasive procedure for reviving their youthful appearance. If you’d like to take advantage of this trend, contact us at Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center for a free consultation.