Fat transfer is an injectable treatment that can be used almost anywhere a little extra facial volume is needed, such as lips, facial contouring, or even filling in deep wrinkles to minimize their appearance. As the name suggests, the procedure involves transferring fat from one area of the body to the face.
By using fat cells from the patient’s own body, the risk of rejection and allergy are minimized, since your body recognizes its own cells as part of the fat transfer. Tampa native Dr. Joseph J. Castellano has the skills and experience to perform fat transfers in multiple areas of the body.
Request a consultation to meet with Dr. Castellano and learn more about fat transfer.
When Fat Transfer Is Right
Since fat transfer requires the removal of fat cells from another area on the body, you need to have fatty deposits that can be harvested for this purpose.
Requirements for Candidates
- Very thin patients may not be the best candidates for a fat transfer.
- You should be in good general physical and mental health prior to the procedure.
- Anyone considering fat transfer should have realistic expectations about the results.
What to Expect
The fat transfer procedure is a two-stage process. The first step is the harvesting of existing fat cells via liposuction. Good harvest locations may include around the abdomen, love handles, or upper arms. For the most part, fat cells are taken from areas that would typically be treated with standard liposuction.
After the cells have been removed, they must be processed and purified to make them suitable for re-implantation. Usually only a fraction of the harvested fat will have cells that are acceptable candidates for reinjection. Dr. Castellano uses a special syringe to inject the fat into the target area. Common areas selected for fat transfer include the lips and face, although sometimes larger areas may be treated as well. Injections are performed at a variety of depths in order to encourage a higher rate of absorption.
Recovery and Results
The recovery process following fat transfer is similar to that of standard liposuction, combined with the limited additional recovery associated with injectable fillers. Most patients may feel bruised and sore at the harvesting site, and there may be swelling at the injection site as well.
Since healing time is minimal, most patients are able to resume their standard routine quite quickly. Larger treatment areas may require longer healing times. Bruising and swelling are both normal and should be expected, but should dissipate within the first few days. Final results of the fat transfer should be visible once swelling has resolved.
If the target area is larger, repeated injections may be necessary in order to achieve the ideal results. Sometimes the fat cells are not viable following transfer, and the process will need to be repeated in order to harvest additional cells. Depending on how many cells do take root in their new location, secondary injections may also be required in order to provide greater symmetry and evenness.
With Other Procedures
Fat transfer is one of several treatments that can be performed to reduce signs of aging and enhance facial features. In some cases, patients may choose laser resurfacing or a chemical peel in order to further diminish fine lines. Since a fat transfer does not address problems related to loose skin, facial cosmetic surgery may be necessary for more extensive enhancement.