During the natural aging process, the underlying facial tissues responsible for giving the skin its youthfully voluminous appearance may begin to weaken. This can lead to a significant increase in the prominence of facial creases and wrinkles (i.e. laugh lines, marionette lines and crow’s feet), and a reduction in facial volume. This can cause the face to appear thin and tired.
Facial fat transfers are a minimally invasive treatment option performed as a countermeasure to these visible signs of aging. They augment facial volume and fill in the creases, wrinkles and folds. This enhances the overall youthfulness of one’s facial appearance.
Facial fat transfers can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the number of injections and desired final goals. During the fat transfer procedure, small amounts of fat that have been harvested from other body areas such as the thighs, abdomen, or hips, can be injected into the areas of the face with depleted volume (i.e. nasolabial folds, lips, under the eye area, temples, mid-facial cheek region). Facial fat transfers can be utilized to:
- Minimize the appearance of lines between the nose and mouth
- Diminish the appearance of forehead wrinkles and marionette lines
- Restore fullness to the cheeks, lips and temples
Day SurgeryFat transfer surgery to the face generally takes one to two hours, after which, you may be released (depending on your medical condition and health state) to a friend or family member and may return home to continue your recovery.
When do the bandages come off after facial fat transfer?Dr. Sinno and his team will apply a special dressing and initial bandages that should be kept dry and clean for the first week at donor sites. At that point, the bandages will be removed and your post-operative state will be evaluated.
There are no dressings on the face.
Wearing compressive garments to the injected sites (recipient sites in the face) should be avoided for six weeks. However, compressive garments must be worn for at least six weeks on the sites where liposuction was performed (donor sites such as the hips, abdomen, or thighs).
When can I resume showering and washing after a facial fat transfer?The bandages usually are removed within a week after surgery. Dr. Sinno recommends that all bandages should remain dry and clean after your surgery until your first follow-up appointment. Showers should be avoided until authorized by Dr. Sinno. This is usually after all bandages are removed at the first post-operative visit. Until then, sponge baths are recommended.
White non-scented shampoo and soap are recommended to be used along with running water on the incisions after the bandages are removed and when given medical authorization to do so.
When can normal activity & exercise resume after facial fat transfers?You will be advised to keep your head elevated for at least a one-week period.
Dr. Sinno recommends that patients refrain from all activities that may increase their heart rate or blood pressure, including exercise, sexual activity, stressful situations, etc. for at least two weeks after the procedure.
However, it is recommended that patients walk and perform their usual activities within the limitation of the medical advice given and their tolerance to their comfort. No lifting more than 10 lbs. (4 kg) is recommended for at least two weeks after the surgery.
Sleeping on your face should be delayed for at least six weeks after surgery, if possible.
When can I drive after facial fat transfers?It is recommended that patients not drive when taking narcotic pain medications and when having bulky dressings that may hinder their normal reflexes and reactivity.
General HealingYou may experience some swelling and bruising that will peak two to three days after your surgery, and usually subsides within two to six weeks. Post-operative swelling, pain, bruising and duration may differ, depending on the patient and the extent of the fat transfer procedure.
You will be expected to be able to see visible aesthetic improvements in your face immediately following your fat transfer procedure. These results should continue to progress over the following weeks, as the incision site heals and the swelling decreases. Swelling can take six weeks to subside. Dr. Sinno advises his patients that final results should be expected at the one year point post-operative period, when all scars and incisions should be mature.
All medical and surgical procedures have inherent risks and potential complications associated with them. It is imperative that you understand the potential risks, complications and consequences that can arise after the medical or surgical procedure you undertake. This understanding will better allow you to be able to provide informed consent based on the comparison to the potential benefit of the desired procedure.
Although the materialization of inherent risks is rare and developing complications is unlikely, these are real events that can occur. Dr. Sinno will help you to understand the risk/benefit profile of your desired procedure.