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As we age, the fat in our face slowly atrophies, leaving the face deflated with saggy skin, hollow cheeks, or sunken eyes. Rather than just lifting the skin to restore a more youthful appearance, providing volume replacement with fat may be the answer. Injectable fillers such as Restylane, Radiesse, or Sculptra have some limitations that fat is able to fill.

Advantage of Fat

Advantage of fat is that augmentation can be permanent. Because it requires harvesting from the abdomen, flanks, or hips with liposuction, sedation is recommended. Therefore, it frequently is combined with other surgical procedures such as a mini-lift or a facelift.

Fat Transfer Procedure

The procedure involves harvesting fat from a donor site through a tiny incision, such as in the belly button. The harvested fat cells are specially processed with a centrifuge and then re-injected into the desired area with tiny canulas through small punctures. Meticulous layering of fat cells results in a rejuvenated, natural look. Under-eye circles are filled, the appearance of jowls can be diminished, and cheek fullness can be restored.

Recovery from Fat Transfer

Post-operative discomfort is mild and controlled with oral pain medication. The most significant consequence of the procedure is swelling that can last 1 to 2 weeks. Bruising can last 7-10 days.

Results of Fat Transfer

Results are permanent and appear after 3-6 weeks. Additional treatments may be required to obtain optimal results. Results are most predictable in the cheeks and around the eyes. Fat can be added to the jawline to recreate the youthful appearance. Lips and areas around the mouth are not the best candidates for fat transfer as the injected fat frequently atrophies in those areas.