Fat injections, also commonly referred to as fat grafting is an alternative to synthetic dermal fillers (facial fillers) like Juvederm, Restylane, and Sculptra. Fat is extracted through liposuction from any part of your body that has excess fat. That fat is then injected into your face to add volume that has been lost during the aging process. These two processes are done on the same day as one procedure.
GOALS OF FAT GRAFTING
Improved facial contours
A more youthful appearance
Plumper, more youthful lips
CANDIDATES FOR FAT GRAFTING
Individuals with dark circles under their eyes due to loss of subcutaneous fat
Individuals with sagging cheeks
Individuals with bags under the lower eyelids
Individuals who desire augmentation of their lips, cheeks, and/or other parts of the face
What to Expect at your Consultation
Dr. Perrotta or Dr. Pellegrino will devote as much time as necessary to discuss your individual goals and needs with you. After a focused physical examination, your surgeon will provide preliminary recommendations and explain what you can expect from surgery.
Once your surgeon determines his surgical plan, our aesthetic coordinator will produce a written quote, which lists all costs of your proposed surgery so that there are no surprises. At that time, an appointment is set for your pre-op visit.
Much is covered during your pre-op visit. First, one of our highly trained medical assistants will take pre-op photos. Next, your surgeon will explain the surgical technique to you and thoroughly inform you as to what you can expect, including any potential complications. Note that all procedures involve some risk, but major complications are rare. Dr. Perrotta or Dr. Pellegrino will then obtain a more complete medical history from you and perform a final pre-op physical examination, including a check of your vital functions to ensure that you are physically fit for surgery. All informed consents for surgery will be filled out at this appointment and final payments are due at this time. You will be notified 24 hours prior to your surgery with your arrival time.
The Fat Grafting Procedure
Dr. Pellegrino and Dr. Perrotta usually perform this procedure on an outpatient basis. They prefer general anesthesia, heavy IV sedation, or regional blocks. The problem with local injections of anesthesia alone is that directly injecting the anesthetic into the tissues numbs that specific area and distorts the tissue. This renders it difficult to make judgments about the amount of fat to inject. First, the fat is extracted through liposuction from the belly, thigh, or any part of the body with excess fat and easy access. Next, the fat is processed in order to maximize the amount that “takes” when injected. Lastly, the fat is injected into the desired facial areas through tiny cannulas (hollow metal tubes).
You can go home the same day wearing a compression garment or ace bandage(s) over the fat donor site(s). The injection site usually remains uncovered. Any initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral pain medication. Bruising and swelling usually subside in 2-4 weeks.
After your procedure, you will follow up with us several times so that we can monitor your healing. Over the long term, at least 25% of the injected fat is believed to be reabsorbed by your body. For this reason, you may need to return for periodic refresher treatments.