Put some of that unwanted fat to good use and rejuvenate your look while you’re at it.
Fat transfer and injections offer an alternative to dermal fillers. Facial fat transfer restores volume to your cheeks while correcting facial lines and wrinkles. This treatment uses your own fat that has been harvested from other areas of your body. We inject the material into targeted wrinkles, fine lines, creases and folds. The results are long-lasting and the risks are minimal because we use your own tissue to achieve age-defying results.
Core Plastic Surgery serves Birmingham, Mountain Brook and their surrounding communities with a full suite of cosmetic surgery and medspa procedures. Men and women from around Alabama seek the services of board-certified plastic surgeon Grady Core, M.D., F.A.C.S., and his on-site Medical Aesthetician, Adina Barnett.
Core Plastic Surgery will help you to look and feel your best. Contact Core at 205-397-2100 and schedule a visit to our lovely office space. We are eager to share what our team can do for you. When results matter, choose Core Plastic Surgery.
- 1 What is Facial Fat Transfer?
- 2 Facial Fat Transfer’s Target Areas
- 3 Benefits
- 4 Ideal Candidates for Facial Fat Transfer
- 5 Your Personal Consultation at Core Plastic Surgery
- 6 Preparation for Autologous Fat Transfer
- 7 Facial Fat Transfer and Injection Procedure
- 8 Recovery From Fat Transfer
- 9 Complementary Procedures and Alternatives to Fat Injections
- 10 Long-Lasting Rejuvenation at Core Plastic Surgery
- 11 FAQ
- 12 References
What is Facial Fat Transfer?
Autologous fat transfer is a procedure in which one’s own lipids are used to add volume and reduce wrinkles to sagging and sunken areas of the face. As we age, our skin loses elasticity. Lax, loose skin can hang from our cheeks, neck and jawline to rob our looks of the supple vitality of youth. Short of full Facelift surgery, dermal fillers can be a minimally invasive option to fill these sunken areas and treat the moderate signs of aging. But the latest techniques now emphasize fat transfer and injections as an all-natural alternative to dermal fillers.
Dr. Grady Core has been at the forefront of cosmetic care for his entire career.
He was an early innovator of minimally invasive endoscopic plastic surgery, a practice that is widely used today. He trained at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic before eventually being named a member of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, an exclusive, invitation-only honor society of about 300 members.
On the medspa side of his practice, he is assisted by Adina Barnett, a Licensed Medical Aesthetician who has over 20 years of experience in aesthetics. She has performed over 2,000 laser treatments.
You can learn more about facial fat transfer and the many other procedures we perform at Core Plastic Surgery by keeping up with our blog.
Facial Fat Transfer’s Target Areas
- Sunken cheeks
- Sunken eyes
- Thin lips
- Nasolabial folds
Since facial fat transfer is an injection of your own lipid tissue, it does not have the same risk of an allergic reaction that artificial products might have. In fact, your living fat cells may have rejuvenating properties of their own.
Dermal Fillers and lip injections are effective, but mostly temporary. Once the graft has taken, fat transfer’s effects are long-lasting. The fat graft joins with the existing material and eventually becomes indistinguishable from it. Follow up procedures may be necessary as the body will inevitably reabsorb some of the fat transfer’s immediate results, but even these muted results are all-natural and enduring. This is why the procedure has become so popular in recent years.
You may experience some ancillary benefits from the harvesting procedure. Your donor fat is typically collected from the thighs and belly, areas usually targeted for body contouring. Taking fat cells from where you don’t want them and putting them where you do is certainly a win-win.
Facial fat transfer is a safe and simple procedure lasting no more than two hours. It is performed in our office and you can go home the same day.
Benefits of Fat Transfer and Injections include:
- Little risk of adverse reaction
- Long-lasting results
- Recontours areas where fat is taken
- In-office procedure
- Safe and effective
Ideal Candidates for Facial Fat Transfer
Ideal candidates for fat transfer and injections want to fill in and smooth out wrinkles. They may have lines and even scars that can be erased or improved using their own fat cells. Ideal candidates seek the long-lasting benefits of autologous fat grafting rather than the effective, but temporary, outcomes of other dermal fillers.
It is necessary that fat transfer candidates have significant donor areas with enough excess fat to treat their target areas. Dr. Core will inform you of your full range of treatment options during your private, in-depth consultation.
Your Personal Consultation at Core Plastic Surgery
Your consultation includes a discussion with Dr. Core himself. He will conduct a thorough examination to see if you’re a good fit for the facial fat transfer procedure. He may also suggest other options for you to consider. Your consultation will include some discussion of your current health and medical history.
Be sure to mention any prescriptions or past procedures that may be relevant to the doctor.
It is important that you accurately communicate your aesthetic goals to Dr. Core so that he can match you to the most realistic and effective treatment program. Inquire at Core Plastic Surgery to learn more about our in-depth consultations.
Preparation for Autologous Fat Transfer
The first step in facial fat transfer includes some minor Liposuction to the harvest area. This is a surgical procedure requiring an incision and local anesthesia. We recommend that you prepare in the same way that one prepares for lipo.
How to Prepare for Facial Fat Transfer
- Fill Dr. Core’s prescriptions well ahead of the procedure
- Adjust current medications per the doctor’s recommendations
- Stop smoking at least two weeks before the procedure
- Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs that may affect circulation
Facial Fat Transfer and Injection Procedure
There are three steps to the facial fat transfer and injection procedure: harvesting, purification and injection. We’ll discuss these steps in detail below.
In this phase, Dr. Core performs liposuction on the area you have chosen as the harvest zone. The doctor makes a small incision and inserts a long, thin cannula wand for fat extraction. The cannula removes the fat through the gentle application of reverse pressure. Fat transfer and injections also involve reshaping the area from where the fat is taken to give it a smoother contour.
This phase of the procedure harnesses the power of centrifugal force to separate the raw lipids into their component materials. The Core Plastic Surgery team spins your fat in a special centrifuge to remove impurities and prepare it for injection.
The Core medical team will numb the target areas for fat transfer. These are the areas that you and Dr. Core have chosen for volumization during your personal consultation. Targeted areas typically include the cheeks and lips, as well as the areas around the eyes and mouth. The injections are accomplished by way of a syringe or small cannula.
Recovery From Fat Transfer
Swelling and redness around the injection zone are common but it should subside within a few days.
Because the treatment includes liposuction, we recommend that you rest for a few days after your procedure to let the harvest area heal. Dr. Core may advise you to avoid strenuous activities like heavy lifting for a few weeks. Additionally, you should avoid any excessive stress on the area where the fat was injected. It will take a few weeks for new blood vessels to grow into the injected fat.
Complementary Procedures and Alternatives to Fat Injections
After you have fully recovered from the fat injection procedure, its effects become long-lasting as fat amalgamates with the lipids in the target zone—there’s no going back. For this reason, some choose to experiment with temporary dermal fillers and lip injections before “taking the plunge” into fat injection. We’ve listed some of Core Plastic Surgery’s extensive inventory of temporary fillers below.
Long-Lasting Rejuvenation at Core Plastic Surgery
The cutting edge in facial rejuvenation is an all-natural alternative to the synthetic fillers that have become so popular in medspas across the country. Fat transfer and injections offer their own unique set of advantages as they solidify their place among the menu of options available to our patients around the Birmingham and Mountain Brook areas, in Alabama.
Dr. Grady Core is an innovator in the plastic surgery space. He is an experienced surgeon who is respected by his peers. Contact Core Plastic Surgery to set up a meeting and learn more about what his team can do for you.
How is facial fat transfer different than dermal fillers?
Unlike dermal fillers, facial fat transfer uses your own fat to add volume to target areas of the face. Because they are taken from your own body, fat injections do not have a risk of an allergic reaction.
What are the unique benefits of fat grafting?
The effects of fat transfer are long-lasting. Unlike other dermal fillers, which dissipate with time, fat grafts eventually take root in the injection zone and merge with the lipids already there.
- Simonacci, F., Bertozzi, N., Grieco, M. P., Grignaffini, E., & Raposio, E. (2017). Procedure, applications, and outcomes of autologous fat grafting. Annals of Medicine and Surgery, 20, 49–60. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2017.06.059
- Shridharani, S., Broyles, J., & Matarasso, A. (2014). Liposuction devices: technology update. Medical Devices: Evidence and Research, 241. doi: 10.2147/mder.s47322
- Pavicic, T., & Funt, D. (2013). Dermal fillers in aesthetics: an overview of adverse events and treatment approaches. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 295. doi: 10.2147/ccid.s50546