Aging causes a natural reduction in fatty tissue, especially in facial areas such as the temples, cheeks and lower eyelids. This process of fat loss can cause the face to look sunken or gaunt. For many patients, a fat transfer may be a good solution. Fat transfer uses fat from other areas of the body to augment the areas that have lost volume. Dr. Jonov uses this process for Seattle patients who desire to augment their lips, fill facial folds, and restore facial volume for a more youthful look. It can also be used in other body contouring procedures that target the buttocks and breasts.
During the consultation, the surgeon and patient will discuss what donor sites will be most suitable and desirable for fat removal. During surgery, fat is removed from the donor site using a cannula. The fat will then be purified using a centrifuge, which is a device that spins the fat at a high speed in order to remove any impurities. The fat will be placed in a syringe and augmented into the transfer site. The surgeon will simultaneously massage the area so that the fat settles where needed to create a satisfactory shape and contour. Multiple injections are usually needed.
A fat transfer procedure will vary greatly in terms of cost, but the surgery could run as low as $3,000-$5,000, or as high as $5,000-$11,000. The reason for the expansive price range is because there are two procedures that have to be accounted — liposuction and the actual fat grafting/transfer process. The price is subjective until it is known how much fat is going to be removed from how many body parts and where the transfers will take place.
When performed by an experienced cosmetic surgeon, a fat transfer can result in an enhanced appearance that can last for years. While some of the fat will be reabsorbed back into the body, a skilled fat transfer expert will understand the proper mechanism behind creating a result that will last. There are new modern techniques available to help lengthen the life of the transferred fat cells. Plasma Rich Plasma is an example of this. When added to the transferred fat, it can increase the cell survival. This is a therapy that is still being studied.
A fat transfer typically results in long-lasting fullness. However, because a portion of the transferred fat will be reabsorbed into the body over time, some of the results may diminish. The good news is that this is a procedure that can be performed again very easily, resulting in additional body contouring and enhancement.
While fat transfers produce great results for many patients, there are other alternatives that some may consider. Luckily, the market for injectables is wide and diverse. An injection, such as BOTOX®, may produce the results some patient’s desire — especially where wrinkle correction is concerned. For patients desiring volume, there are countless filler products that offer many different choices and options. Some fillers, including collagen and hyaluronic acid, offer temporary outcomes, while the heaviest of fillers, PMMA, offer lasting results.
A fat transfer is considered an outpatient procedure and is performed at an accredited surgical facility. In the majority of cases, especially where larger injection areas are concerned, general anesthesia will be used. For smaller areas, such as the lips, the surgeon will use a local anesthetic. After the procedure, the fat removal areas, as well as the injection sites may be swollen and red. This will subside in a short time. This procedure continues to be popular among patients because it offers little risk and little downtime, while delivering great results.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.