Facial Fat Grafting

Summary

Augmentation of facial areas that have lost volume as a result of hereditary factors or trauma, with fat grafts harvested from another area of the body.

Length of Procedure

60 to 90 min

Cost

$3000 to $7000

Recovery Time

Up to 7 days

Before & After Gallery

Where

SpaMedica clinic in Toronto, ON

Anesthesia

Local anesthetic

Who

Doctor or registered nurse

Alternative Names

Fat transfer

Are You a Candidate?


Individuals who wish to add volume to their face, and have excess donor fat in areas where it is not needed.

Prep/Pre-Op

The facial fat grafting procedure starts with a consultation with Dr. Mulholland where areas of loss of facial volume is discussed and analyzed.

Dr. Mulholland will recommend the areas of the face that will benefit from facial fat grafting and facial fat transplantation and the techniques for his facial injectable using a small, blunt micro-cannula will be discussed.

Procedure Details

A small, blunt harvesting needle is used to harvest the fat graft material. Once the harvest is completed, the fat grafts are then prepared. The preparation process includes centrifugation and separation of the fat cells and the stem cells (also found in the fat tissue) from unwanted elements, such as blood serum and local anesthesia.  Once the local anesthetic is inserted, the fat grafts are expertly placed, using a multiple-level, blunt micro-cannula technique pioneered by Dr. Mulholland.

After Care Instructions

Facial fat grafting and facial fat transplantation does result in a lot of inflammation and swelling. The micro dissection with the blunt cannula results in swelling, as does the release of free fatty acids from the fat cells that do not survive, so post operative swelling and bruising are the most common side effects of the procedure. It is recommended that most Toronto facial fat grafting patients take one week off following facial fat grafting, until the swelling subsides and they can return to activities of normal living.

Maintenance Required

Because the normal facial aging process is one of deflation – a loss of facial fat volume, both ungrafted and grafted fat – it is expected that patients who have a nice improvement following facial fat grafting may require another session or multiple sessions every three to five years.  As fat grafting patients age, they will lose their normal non-grafted facial fat as well as the grafted facial fat and repeat procedures every few years may be required to maintain an optimal facial volume.

Side Effects and Risks

The most common side effects of facial fat grafting is swelling and bruising. In general, the swelling and bruising can be significant (similar swelling to a wisdom tooth extraction) and 7-10 days should be allotted for recovery. Taking anti swelling and bruising medication may be recommended. Persistent exacerbation of under eye swelling can rarely occur following fat grafting to the under eye and if this occurs, adjustment, reduction or removal of the grafted and transplanted fat cells may need to be performed.  Performed expertly, there are very few serious complications of facial fat grafting, but reported complications include lumps, irregularities, asymmetry, complete loss of the fat grafts and localized infection around the nose and eye, even blindness has been reported. The best way to avoid or minimize moderate or serious complications is to choose the right surgeon, with years of experience performing facial fat grafting, with a very low complication rate and a great reputation.

Outcomes

Dr. Mulholland has 20 years of experience in facial volume restoration and fat grafting and has achieved world wide recognition as an expert in the techniques of facial fat grafting. Dr. Mulholland has a high degree of success following facial fat grafting. In most areas of the face, between 30% and 60% of the facial fat grafts will survive. In more mobile areas, like the lips, fat graft survival is less, but significant. In the immobile areas, like above the brows, the temporal areas, the bridge of the nose, under the eyes, along the cheeks and along the jawline, a high degree of take and longevity occurs. In most successful fat grafting procedures, patients will find that their fat grafting results last several years.

Benefits

Most well-selected SpaMedica facial fat grafting and fat transplantation patients are extremely happy with their facial fat grafting. The restoration of volume and proportion is one of the most important ingredients in a youthful and natural-looking face. Fat grafting combined with other non-excisional treatments such as Botox Injectable and fractional resurfacing and thread lifts can improve the result and fat grafting in the T-zone at the time of facelift surgery is one of the standards of Dr. Mulholland’s facelift and mini-facelift approach.

Additional Procedures

Facial fat grafting and facial fat transplantation is quite commonly combined with other procedures. The ancillary or additional procedures can include completion liposuction to the donor sites or other sites and other body contouring procedures such as tummy tuck or breast augmentation, either Natural Breast Augmentation, or with Saline or Silicon Cohesive Gel Breast implants.

Cost

The cost of facial fat grafting is generally in the $3,000-to-$7,000 range, depending on all the areas of facial fat grafting performed and the amount of fat needed to be harvested and the number of donor locations accessed and management of the donor site. Some patients also combine multiple-zone body liposuction at the time of facial fat grafting and this will increase the cost of the procedure, but volume procedural discounting for the liposuction areas is offered.