Dermal fillers are a popular way to add and restore facial volume. However, they aren’t your only treatment option. Fat grafting is a great alternative that outlasts leading injectables.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ronald Schuster performs all fat grafting procedures at our Baltimore office. He draws on his extensive experience to deliver natural and flattering results. Schedule a consultation at 410-902-9800 to learn how fat grafting can help you look your best.
What Is Facial Fat Grafting?
Facial fat grafting is a minimally invasive procedure that uses excess fat from your stomach, thighs, hips, and other parts of your body to add or restore volume to areas of your face.
Also known as fat transfer, fat injection, or lipofilling, facial fat grafting enhances your natural features and helps combat visible signs of aging. Fat is also a rich source of stem cells and growth factors. When injected, it can stimulate collagen growth, a protein linked to healthy skin.
What Cosmetic Conditions Can Facial Fat Grafting Improve?
Over time, your face loses volume and structural support. The fat that sits below your skin shifts downward, flattens out, and slowly fades away. These changes will impact most of our features.
Fat grafting is an ideal treatment to replenish facial volume. It can address sunken under-eyes, hollow temples, and deflated cheeks. It can also smooth marionette lines and nasolabial folds. In some cases, facial fat transfer can even improve the appearance of depressed acne scars.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer?
Facial fat transfer is a good choice for patients who want long-lasting improvements in facial volume. Ideal candidates have enough excess body fat to extract and use for the procedure.
Fat grafting might be right for you if:
- You are in good health
- You want a long-lasting alternative to fillers
- You can accommodate the short recovery
- You are willing to wait several months for your final results
- You have realistic expectations for the minimally-invasive surgery
How Does the Fat Grafting Procedure Work?
You and our surgeon will select a donor area where the fat will be removed using liposuction. While it can vary based on the patient, this area will likely be your thighs, hips, or abdomen.
You’ll be given anesthesia to ensure that you remain comfortable through the procedure. Then, our surgeon will extract the fat via liposuction, purify and prepare it, and carefully reinject it into the areas that are being volumized. The fat is transferred in small droplets using a tiny cannula.
What Is the Recovery Like After Fat Injections?
Facial fat injections usually involve a relatively short and manageable recovery period. You can expect some swelling, bruising, and soreness at the injection sites. It’s also normal to feel sore or achy where liposuction was performed. These effects typically resolve within a few weeks.
The transferred fat will need to develop a new blood supply after surgery. Some of the fat cells won’t survive this process. The ones that do will remain in the treated area and provide a permanent improvement. The ones that don’t will slowly dissolve over the next six months.
Usually, at least half the fat survives. It’s best to wait until around the nine-month mark to judge your results. At that point, your final outcome from facial fat transfer should be visible.
Are There Any Risks From Fat Grafting?
Facial fat grafting is generally considered a low-risk procedure. There’s almost no chance of experiencing an allergic reaction because the procedure uses your own fat to add facial volume instead of synthetic dermal fillers. Common side effects include temporary bruising and swelling.
The main risk of facial fat transfer is that it can be hard to predict how much fat will survive. You may need to undergo a second procedure to touch up the results and achieve your desired look.
Our surgeon will discuss additional risks associated with fat grafting during your consultation.
Schedule a Fat Grafting Consultation in Baltimore
To learn more about long-lasting facial rejuvenation using fat grafting, call 410-902-9800 for a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ronald Schuster. Our office serves patients from Baltimore, Lutherville-Timonium, and the surrounding areas of Maryland.