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Facial Fat Grafting

One of the most common concerns we address are under eye bags and looking tired. We all lose fat in our face as we age. Depending on your ethnicity, you will lose fat at various rates. People of northern European decent will lose fat faster than those of Asian, faster than those of African decent. Therefore, the appropriate timing of facial rejuvenation has very little to do with age and more to do with your genetics. 

While fillers can camouflage transitions between areas of fat loss, fat grafting allows for total restoration of the fat that has been lost. This tends to result in a very natural rejuvenation. The goal is not to augment the face or create something that was never there, the goals is to simply restore the volume that was present when you were younger. We love to review photos from 10-20 years prior and that way determine all of the areas that need to be addressed.  

Fillers vs. Fat 

As mentioned above hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvaderm, etc.) and polylactic acid (sculptra) are fillers that allow for the camouflaging of unwanted lines and shadows associated with aging and facial volume loss. Injected volumes are typically around 1-5 cubic centimeters (cc) but these have a less permanent results and often need to be redone in 3-12 months depending on the area of the face. The procedure is very quick and there is no recovery time required. Fillers are purchase by volume and can become costly over time with the need for repeat  injections and maintenance.Fat grafting is more invasive since the fat must be taken from another part of the body using gentle liposuction. With fat transfer, we  are able to use 20-70cc  for a more holitistc and sustained rejuvenation. Your own fat is a more permanent solution that lasts longer and has additional benefits such as improved blood flow to the skin. Fat grafting is often used in combination with laser treatment in order to again achieve a more holistic, natural rejuvenation. Downtime varies, but most patients are presentable to a stranger after 1-2 weeks, though we occasionally have very motivated individuals who have returned to work in 3 days. 

Want to read more?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has created an excellent resource for patient education.