Columbus Fat Transfer & Fat Injection
As we age, we begin to lose fat in our face, particularly around our eyes, cheeks, temples, and mouth. This contributes to the deflated, tired look we associate with aging. If you have experienced such a volume loss, you may be a candidate for a fat transfer procedure. Columbus Fat transfer surgery helps restore the rounder, fuller look of youth.
Why have a fat transfer?
- Your cheeks or temples have lost volume
- The area under your eyes has sunken
- Your chin or jaw line needs some padding
- The area between your eyebrows is indented with vertical worry lines
- Your forehead has deep horizontal furrows
- You want to add volume to your lips
In most cases, the fat is used to restore volume loss to your face. Of course, fat can also be transferred to other areas of your body to restore normal contours, for example after trauma or injury. Transferred fat is more likely to survive as a permanent enhancement in healthy, non-smoking patients who are younger than 65 years of age.
Fat transfer can be done with patients either awake but sedated or under a deeper twilight sleep. In this two-step procedure, fat is first removed from an area of your body, such as your abdomen or thighs, that has excess. The harvested fat is then re-injected into another area of your body that needs it. As with liposuction, fat is removed with a small suction tube or cannula. Extreme care is taken not to traumatize these fat cells so they are more likely to survive when re-injected. A micro-cannula (the size of a pencil lead) is used to transfer the fat to the desired site.
Current fat transfer techniques involve harvesting small parcels of fat by using smaller and less traumatic suction tubes. Smaller fat parcels are more likely to survive when re-injected into the body.
Results after a fat transfer are immediate, although some settling of the fat will occur, so your final result may not be evident for 3 to 4 months. Most patients look quite normal and return to work within 7 to 10 days.
In most cases, patients experience very little bruising and discomfort. Oral medication and bruise cream are often used to alleviate any minor bruising, which usually resolves within 5 to 7 days. Temporary swelling in your face is expected, but the amount of swelling depends on the amount of fat injected. Steroid medication is often used after the surgery to decrease swelling. Normally, the swelling resolves completely within several weeks, but it can persist for as long as two months.
With the current technique of micro-fat transfer, we expect the majority of the re-injected fat to survive and create a permanent enhancement. Some fat will not survive; the fat cells need an adequate blood supply in their new location. During your initial procedure, therefore, more than the needed amount of fat is usually injected to overfill the area, expecting that some of the initial correction will be reabsorbed by your body. Occasionally, a second fat transfer procedure is necessary if more than the expected amount of fat does not survive.