Volume loss or volume deficiency can occur on the face as a result of the natural process of aging or genetic predisposition. If you’re experiencing dissatisfaction with your facial features due to sagging, hollowing, or reduced youthful fullness, our extensively trained plastic surgeon, Dr. Neal Goldberg, performs autologous fat injections to help achieve your cosmetic goals. Facial fat transfer can help to:
- Replace lost volume under the eyes and on the face
- Minimize common signs of facial aging
- Provide more comprehensive aesthetic enhancement when combined with other procedures
Are Facial Fat Injections Right for Me?
Facial fat injections are one of the most versatile cosmetic enhancement options available, and the technique used to harvest and administer the fat lends itself to a high level of customization. Fat transfer, a procedure that repurposes your own natural tissue, works well as a stand-alone method and as one part of a more comprehensive treatment plan to improve the appearance and shape of the face. In the hands of our skilled plastic surgeon, fat injections can offer natural-looking, long-lasting results, often with less downtime than with other methods of volume enhancement. If you are considering a facelift or dermal fillers to restore the youthful volume of your face, minimize folds, and improve contour, fat injections from our practice may be right for you.
What Areas of My Face Can Benefit From Fat Injections?
Dr. Goldberg typically utilizes fat injections for two areas: the face and the buttocks. However, you should feel comfortable discussing your areas of interest with him during your initial consultation. Facial fat injections are designed to restore volume to the features that have begun to hollow or sag as a result of the natural process of aging, environmental stressors, or genetic predisposition. If you would like to reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds, also known as smile or laugh lines, or marionette lines (which run from the corners of the mouth to the chin), fat transfer often can achieve excellent results.
What Can I Expect From the Procedure?
Customization is an essential element of every treatment plan, and Dr. Goldberg will listen attentively to your cosmetic goals during your initial consultation. He will also examine your areas of concern and collaborate with you to determine if fat injections alone or in combination with other procedures can optimize your outcome. If you wish to reduce common signs of aging on your face, a facelift may be recommended in the event you have significant skin laxity, which can’t be fully addressed with a fat transfer. Similarly, fat injections can restore volume and minimize folds, but they don’t smooth wrinkles and fine lines the way cosmetic injectables and fillers do. Through a reciprocal conversation, you and the doctor can create the ideal selection of enhancements for your needs.
To harvest the fatty tissue that will be used to enhance the volume of your face, Dr. Goldberg will utilize liposuction. The flanks and abdomen are the most common regions to collect viable fat, and during your initial consultation he will explain which areas he determines will offer the best opportunity for your procedure. Either local or general anesthetic will be provided, depending on the extent of liposuction required and number of treatments performed.
After acquiring and preparing the fatty tissue, Dr. Goldberg will utilize his micro-droplet technique to administer small quantities of fat underneath the skin to create a natural-looking infusion of volume. His artistic eye and professional experience allow him to optimize the outcome with regard to size and shape and avoid an “overstuffed” appearance. His focus is on achieving an aesthetically appealing, natural, and feminine (as appropriate) look that flatters your whole face.
What Will My Life Be Like After Facial Fat Injections?
Following the operation, you may feel swollen and tender, particularly in the areas from which the fatty tissue derived. Most patients experience little discomfort in the region where the fat was administered, due to the small cannulas and ultrafine needles utilized during the procedure. Your experience may vary depending on the type and number of treatments performed. You should expect to experience these side effects as well as some bruising for approximately one to two weeks.
Fat transfer is designed to provide long-lasting benefits and generally is considered to be a permanent technique. There will always be some degree of volume loss as your results settle, typically between 30-70 percent, and you may discuss the desire for multiple injections if you would like more comprehensive rejuvenation. Inflammation can continue for up to and beyond six months, after which you will see your final outcome.
Learn More About Facial Fat Injections
We understand you may have several questions about facial fat injections, and we’re here to help. Dr. Goldberg has provided answers to commonly asked questions to help you make the best decision for your needs and cosmetic goals. If you have additional questions, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a consultation.
What are the pros and cons of facial fat transfer?
Some of the many benefits of fat transfer is the ability to achieve natural-looking results using your own existing tissue. Many patients also appreciate the ability to contour other areas of the body while improving the youthfulness of their facial features. If you prefer not to have liposuction in order to rejuvenate your appearance, this procedure may not be right for you. This process is also more time-consuming than using non-surgical means, although the outcome can last much longer.
What will my scars look like?
Since fat injections are administered the same way as dermal fillers and cosmetic injectables—through the use of ultra-fine needles—you should not have any lasting scars from that treatment. However, you will have a few small, fairly unnoticeable scars from the liposuction procedure in the targeted area. These incisions should heal well and become inconspicuous with time.
Can I choose where to have the fat harvested?
In most cases, yes! Some of the most popular locations include the abdomen, hips, and thighs, but virtually any area of the body can potentially be an option. Dr. Goldberg will discuss your wishes during the initial consultation and let you know if your selection is a good option. If there is minimal fatty tissue in your chosen spot, or if you have minimal fat overall, you may be asked to gain a small amount of weight. This is rare, particularly for facial fat grafting, as a much smaller amount of fatty tissue is needed to achieve the desired outcome.
How long will recovery last?
Swelling can be significant, although this effect is less noticeable with injections than with surgical fat grafting. Other symptoms can include bruising, redness, and tenderness at the injection sites. Most of the recovery will result from liposuction. You should plan to take up to a week or so off from work to recover, depending on how much tissue is taken, the location from which it is taken, and the manner in which it was harvested. Dr. Goldberg can provide more specifics during your first meeting. Swelling in the areas that were operated on can take several months and up to a year or more to fade, but you should not notice these effects after a couple of months. The benefits of the facial injections should be apparent within a couple of weeks.
How long will the results last?
Fat grafting is designed to be a permanent procedure, although most patients will experience a small amount of volume loss in the first few weeks to months. To combat this issue, Dr. Goldberg will slightly overfill the area of concern to ultimately reach the desired level of enhancement once recovery is complete. In some cases, a touch-up procedure may be recommended if more fat than expected is reabsorbed. Dr. Goldberg is careful to minimize this effect, and he will provide details on how to care for your results to ensure the best possible outcome.
What alternative options are available?
If facial fat grafting is not for you, other treatments are available. If your primary concern is wrinkles and volume loss, non-surgical cosmetic injectables may be able to help you minimize these common signs of aging. If skin laxity is an issue, facelift surgery or minimally invasive treatments through our medical spa service may be able to help, depending on the degree of inelasticity. Dr. Goldberg will review all of your options and guide you in your decision-making. The final choice will always be up to you.
For more information about facial fat injections and their benefits, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Goldberg, please contact our office today.