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Facial Fat Grafting

Facial Fat Grafting (FFG)

Facial Fat grafting is a procedure that contours the face by adding volume to improve hollowed features caused by aging. Facial Fat grafting is also a great option for those who want to enhance the facial features of the face that are usually done with fillers.

Facial Fat Grafting for Aging
Three key components that give the face its youthful appearance are collagen, elastin, and fat. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is the “glue” that holds things together. Elastin is another protein that gives the skin it’s an elastic connective component which helps the skin return to its natural position after the skin is stretched and contracted.  As the body ages, elastin and collagen production not only decreases but also is lower-quality. With degraded elastin and collagen production, the skin becomes lax and visible signs of aging begin to take place (wrinkles, lines, thinning, and dryness of the skin). Gravity also affects the face by pulling the skin and fat downward which causes the face to become pitted in areas like the temples, cheeks, and nasolabial folds. Fat grafting to the face adds volume to the areas that have become hollowed and gives the face a rejuvenated and more youthful appearance.

Replacing Fillers with Facial Fat Grafting
Fillers are commonly used to enhance features of the face like the jawline, chin, and lips. While most fillers last 1-2 years (depending on the filler), facial fat grafting can be used as an alternative for fillers giving patients a more natural and longer-lasting result. Facial fat grafting is also a great alternative for those who are allergic to fillers or their body metabolizes fillers quickly. By using the patient’s own fat, the body will not reject or metabolize the fat giving the patient the enhancement they would like.

Benefits

  • Softens and smoothes transitions in the face caused by wrinkles and lines due to aging.
  • An alternative for those who are allergic to fillers or their body metabolizes fillers quickly causing the patient to receive fillers more often.
  • The use of the patient’s own fat allows results to be more natural and semi-permanent than fillers. 
  • Improves skin’s texture and tone.

What to Expect

During a consultation, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Kristi Hustak will evaluate the patient’s desired areas he/she would like to improve while asking a series of questions to better understand the patient’s wants and needs. After carefully listening to the patient’s goal(s), Dr. Hustak will design a personalized plan best suited to help the patient achieve his/her desired goal(s).

During Surgery

Facial fat grafting is a two-part procedure that uses liposuction and fat grafting. Beginning with liposuction, Dr. Hustak injects a tumescent solution into the areas that fat removal will be performed. The tumescent solution breaks up the fat allowing Dr. Hustak to remove unwanted excess fat from the donor sites. Once the fat is removed, it is placed in a container to be purified and prepared for injection into the face. With small amounts at a time, Dr. Hustak will evenly disperse the fat into the areas of the face giving the patient a more defined and enhanced appearance.

Recovery

Dr. Hustak may require the patient to wear bandages around the donor site to reduce swelling. After 3-4 days patients may resume regular activities but swelling and bruising will still be visible for at least two weeks. Patients are asked to refrain from wearing makeup for the first week after surgery to keep the risk of infection to a minimum. Since the incisions are minimal, there is little to no scarring.

Spa Products and Treatments

Products

  • SkinMedica- TNS Essential Serum: Improves skin’s tone and texture while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.  Learn more >
  • Revision- DEJ Face Cream: Renews the appearance of aging skin by moisturizing the skin for a smoother texture.  Learn more >
  • Alastin- Regenerating Skin Nectar: Supports the skin before, during, and after cosmetic procedures by enhancing the skin’s natural regeneration process.  Learn more >

Treatments

  • Botox: decreases wrinkles and movement of muscles. Botox is great to have done 2 weeks before fat grafting to increase the body’s graft take. 
  • Thermitight or Facetite: THERMItight and FaceTite both use radiofrequency to reach deeper levels of the tissue to tighten and firm the skin while increasing collagen production. The difference between the two treatments is FaceTite incorporates liposuction to extract the fat melted.
    THERMItight learn more >
    FaceTite learn more >
  • Halo: Hybrid fractional laser that targets fine lines and wrinkles, large pores, sun damage, and more. Learn more >

Combining Surgeries

  • Face Lift- Removes sagging, excess skin, and muscle around the face and redistributes fat to areas that have become hollow due to aging and gravity giving patients a refreshed and younger appearance. Facial Fat Grafting enhances facelift results by adding more volume to hollow areas giving patients a more youthful appearance. Learn more >
  • Neck Lift- Removes sagging excess skin and tightens muscles while fat grafting adds volume to their chin without the use of an implant. Often, patients requiring a neck lift in younger years have a weaker chin as well. 
  • Liposuction- Removes excess fat while contouring the body. Learn more >

Facial Fat Grafting FAQs

How long does Facial Fat Grafting last?
Facial Fat Grafting is a semi-permanent filler that can last years. More active areas (lips) will not last as long as other areas like the temples or cheeks, but will still have a longer-lasting effect than fillers.

Is Facial Fat Grafting equivalent to a Face or Neck Lift??
No, facial fat grafting improves volume and is equivalent to results for liquid facelifts. While facial fat grafting does fill areas, it does not remove excess skin or tighten loose muscles. The best way to fix loose skin or lax muscles is by removing the excess skin and tightening the muscles by either performing a facelift or a neck lift.

Is Facial Fat Grafting permanent?
Facial fat grafting is semi-permanent and lasts longer than fillers or wrinkle reducers.

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