- 1 Description
- 2 Options
- 3 Anatomy of Facial Features
- 4 Indications
- 5 Procedure Description
- 6 Recovery
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 7.1 What is a fat injection treatment?
- 7.2 How is the fat injection procedure performed?
- 7.3 Does all of the fat injected permanently stay in the treated areas?
- 7.4 How old do you have to be to have fat injections?
- 7.5 What will my consultation be like?
- 7.6 What is the recovery like after a fat injection?
- 7.7 When will I be able to see the results?
- 7.8 What risks are involved with fat injections?
- 7.9 How does volume loss contribute to aging?
- 7.10 How do fillers replace lost volume due to aging?
- 7.11 Why can’t a facelift replace facial volume?
- 7.12 How are fat injections different from commercial fillers?
- 7.13 How long do I have to take off work for a fat injection?
- 7.14 Why are fat injections so popular?
Aging, significant weight loss and environmental factors can all contribute to a loss in facial volume over time and to issues of sagging skin in various regions of the body. Facial fullness and roundness is often associated with a youthful appearance, and the loss of volume can result in an aged, sad or even angry appearance. Facial volume loss generally occurs in the cheeks, nasolabial folds, eyes, and temple regions, and is most noticeable after the age of 40, although some individuals begin noticing this change in their 30s.
Restoring a fuller, more youthful facial appearance cannot be successfully accomplished through the use of facial creams or other over-the-counter remedies. Effective restoration of facial volume is best accomplished through the use of autologous fat injections, performed by a skillful and experienced plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Joubin Gabbay, M.D.
At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, in Beverly Hills, CA, Dr. Gabbay is highly experienced utilizing autologous fat injections (also known as liposculpture, micro-lipoinjection, fat grafting, structural fat grafting and free-fat transfer) to resolve the problematic issues of facial volume loss and sagging skin for his patients, revitalizing their facial appearance, and enabling them to turn back the hands of time with this procedure.
Fat injection procedures involve the utilizing liposuction for the removal of excess fat from donor sites on the body (such as the abdomen, flanks, hips, or thighs), preparing and treating the autologous fat, and then re-injecting it into the areas of the face and body that are lacking volume and fullness. Utilizing autologous fat injections for facial and body volume restoration purposes is one of the most exciting and cutting edge developments in the field of aesthetic surgery over the past few years. There is some evidence that such injections not only restore and enhance volume and shape to the face or other areas of the body, but may even improve the skin in the areas injected. Volume restoration procedures have continued to rise in popularity, and are considered a key weapon in the battle to combat visible signs of aging – Particularly for patients in Los Angeles and Southern California.
Autologous fat injections can be utilized in a multitude of volume restoration and facial rejuvenation procedures, including:
- Face Augmentation (Cheeks, Nasolabial folds, Tear Troughs, Temples, etc.)
- Chin Augmentation
- Lip Augmentation
- Correction of Skin Depressions, Sub-dermal Attachments, and Scars
- Hand Rejuvenation
- Buttock Rejuvenation
At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gabbay offers autologous fat injections to sculpt and revitalize your face and body, restoring volume to the areas which require it, and resulting in a naturally-youthful and refreshed appearance. If you would like additional information about autologous fat injections, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery today. We look forward to speaking with you, and to setting up an initial, complimentary consultation in Beverly Hills, CA with Dr. Gabbay.
Anatomy of Facial Features
The natural facial volume loss that occurs as we age can change the appearance of the face significantly. Fat injections are a simple means of restoring lost volume to the facial contours, thereby rejuvenating the entire facial appearance. Fat injections can be used to treat volume loss around the eyes, brow, lips, mouth, nasolabial folds, hands, buttocks and cheeks.
The soft tissues that overlay the bony framework of the face and body are comprised of three layers:
Deep Tissue Layer: The deepest tissue layer consists of muscles that are responsible for facial expression. All of the movements of your face are due to contraction of these muscles, and when they lose tone during the aging process, stretching and sagging occurs.
The Middle Tissue Layer: The fatty middle layer lies between the muscular layer and the skin. During one’s youth, facial fat is evenly distributed throughout the face; however, with age, gravity pulls the fat down, causing it to accumulate in the jowl area and under the chin, leaving a hollowness in the cheek region.
The Outermost Tissue Layer: The skin is the outermost tissue layer, and as we age, the skin loses elasticity, causing the formation of wrinkles, folds, lines, and creases.
Fat injections are useful for treating the aesthetic problems caused by facial volume loss and the breakdown of collagen and elasticity.
Some of the visible signs of aging that can be treated with fat injections include:
- Brow furrowing
- Deepening upper and lower eyelids
- Loss of support of the outer angles of the eyes
- Scleral show (excessive show of the white of the eye)
- Fat herniation under the lower lids
- Malar (cheek bone) groove depression
- Malar sagging and drooping
- Nasojugal groove (depression of the inner lower eyelid)
- Deepening of the nasolabial folds and grooves
- Drooping at the corners of the mouth (Marionette Lines)
- Softening of the jaw line
- Formation of jowls
- Loss of lower lip volume
- Flattening of upper lip due to volume loss
- Creases in the chin
- Aging hands
- Drooping/sagging buttocks
- Flat or small buttocks
If you would like to correct any of the aforementioned cosmetic issues, you may be a good candidate for fat injections, which offer a number of benefits, including:
- Permanent results
- Outpatient procedure
- Because the fat used in the injections comes from your own body, there is no potential for an allergic reaction
- Minimal discomfort during the treatment
- Good option for individuals who are allergic to bovine collagen
- Can be used in conjunction with other synthetic facial fillers, such as Juvederm®, Restylane® or Radiesse®
Facial fat injection is a procedure that uses the patient’s own fat to treat facial volume loss in. The injected fat will not move or shift because it becomes incorporated as living tissue. Fat injections can offer permanent or long term results and require minimal post-treatment downtime.
Fat injection treatment steps include:
- Anesthesia: anesthetic options include: oral sedative, injections of sterile saline, Lidocaine, light IV sedation (Twilight), and/or a local anesthetic.
- Fat Removal: the patient’s own fat is extracted (usually from the abdomen, inner knee, thigh, saddle bags, or hip) with a small hypodermic needle or a special cannula with limited suction. Whole, healthy fat cells produce optimal re-implantation results, which is why Dr. Gabbay manually aspirates the fat using a gentle hand-harvesting method that will not compromise the quality of the transplanted fat.
- Fat Purification: the extracted fat must be spun in a centrifuge to extract excess fluids and to separate the damaged cells, leaving only whole, intact fat cells for re-injection. In some cases, other ingredients are added to increase longevity of the treatment (ie. vitamin C, serum albumin).
- Fat Re-implantation: using a separate, smaller hypodermic needle, the purified fat is slowly injected thru tiny skin incisions into the tissue of the recipient site using a micro-droplet technique to ensure smooth results.
Following the fat injection procedure, you may experience mild to moderate bruising and swelling, the majority of which will subside within 24-48 hours. Restricting movement in the treated area for the first 3-5 days will give the newly injected fat cells a better chance of surviving. Within one week you will notice visible results from your fat injection treatment, and these results can be permanent. Some of the potential although rare complications of facial fat injections include: adverse reaction to anesthesia, facial asymmetry, hematoma, infection, bleeding, swelling, bruising, fat necrosis, fatty cysts, blood clots at the treatment sites, and development of scar tissue.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a fat injection treatment?
Fat injection is a cosmetic procedure where your own fat is used to rejuvenate your face, augment your cheeks or lips, and correct problems such as the hollowness around your eyes. Everyone loses facial fat as they age and develop a gaunt or skeletal look. Fat injections restore volume giving you a younger and more refreshed appearance.
How is the fat injection procedure performed?
The fat used in fat injections is taken from another place on your body that has excess fat, usually from the abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, or saddlebags. This fat is purified to a concentrate form before it is carefully re-implanted into the designated treatment areas. The re-implantation is injected with a small blunt needle and the outpatient procedure in typically performed under local anesthesia.
Does all of the fat injected permanently stay in the treated areas?
This depends on numerous factors such as the technique used, and the safeguards taken during the healing process. In most cases, some of the re-implanted fat is reabsorbed within a few months, while some of the augmentation will be permanent.
How old do you have to be to have fat injections?
Lip or cheek augmentation with fat is advised after the age of 20, and most patients who choose fat injections to correct the hollowness on their face from the volume loss are over the age of 35.
What will my consultation be like?
Your consultation at Gabbay Plastic Surgery is your chance to meet and basically interview Dr. Gabbay. Your desires will be discussed and he will explain what can realistically be achieved with fat injections, as well as your medical status, options, risks involved, and the procedure details. Your consultation allows you to make an educated, informed decision, about the cosmetic procedure you choose.
What is the recovery like after a fat injection?
After your procedure you can expect to be swollen, have possible bruises, and you will be sore at the treatment location, as well as the donor site(s). It is important to keep the treatment areas as still as possible for the first few days to allow proper healing, and high-impact exercise or activities must be avoided for the first 2-3 weeks depending upon the extent of the surgery.
When will I be able to see the results?
At first it might seem you had too much fat augmented, but this is usually due to the swelling, which will subside in 3-4 months, allowing you to finally see your true results. It has been stated that by four months any remaining volume is the result of viable (living) fat cells that should be long lasting or permanent.
What risks are involved with fat injections?
Although most complications are rare, some of the risks for fat injections include infection, asymmetry, fatty cysts, hematoma, fat embolism, seroma, and permanent discoloration from the bruises.
How does volume loss contribute to aging?
When we are young our faces are full and voluminous without any wrinkles, and one of the key effects of aging is when your face loses volume, causing your features to deflate making you look old and haggard.
How do fillers replace lost volume due to aging?
Instead of merely eliminating age lines and crow’s feet, injections of filler substances create a fuller, more youthful-looking face, with high contours and smooth skin. Injectable fillers can dramatically improve the angular, thin appearance that often accompanies volume loss with aging. In many cases BOTOX® is used in conjunction with facial fillers to achieve prolonged benefits
Why can’t a facelift replace facial volume?
Procedures such as a facelift can help to reduce wrinkles and sagging, but without adding lost volume, unnatural results can occur. Analogously, in order to return contour and structure, volume has to be replaced, and often both procedures are performed together for the most pleasing aesthetic outcome.
How are fat injections different from commercial fillers?
Fat injections are a more involved procedure that requires first harvesting the fat, before processing the donated fa,t and purifying it prior to reinjection. Fat injections may be associated with more bruising and swelling than commercial fillers, however, the advantages of fat injections include the long-lasting effects and the fat is your own tissue, so there is no chance of an allergic reaction. Unlike commercial fillers, the availability of one’s own body fat enables fat injections to be used in larger volume, to fill larger defects.
How long do I have to take off work for a fat injection?
Many patients take one day off because of the swelling and possible bruising, and you should not wear makeup for the first few days since the area should not be touched.
Why are fat injections so popular?
The main reason fat injections are popular is because they are able to correct the main reason our faces look old, which is volume loss. Most people typically think of the aging face as one in which the skin and underlying muscles have stretched out in response to long term sun exposure or gravity. This is true to some extent, but it is now known that the loss of volume in the face may be an even greater contributor to the appearance of facial aging.