- Why should I have a fat grafting procedure?
- How will my fat be placed in my face?
- How long does it take for the new fat graft blood supply to take effect?
- How long will the results of fat grafting last?
- Can grafting be done more than once?
Why should I have a fat grafting procedure? Another plastic surgeon told me that fat grafting doesn't work.
Successful fat grafting is dependent on proper technique. Gentle handling of the fat is paramount as the fat grafts are living tissue. Failure of the fat graft to "take" can often be traced to improper placement in too large of a volume. Dr. Lamperti finds that slow, incremental placement maximizes the ability for your body to develop the requisite blood supply to the fat grafts.
No matter the technique used, not all of the fat survives, however. The survival rate also varies from patient to patient based on a variety of factors. Once the fat graft blood supply is in place the fat often continues to "blossom" until about 18 months after surgery.
Fat is gently harvested using access points on the abdomen, hips or thighs that are just a few millimeters in size. Gentle hand- suction is used to remove the fat which is then spun briefly in a centrifuge to separate any blood, numbing medicine or other contaminants from the living fat cells. The fat is then placed in small syringes and injected into the desired regions of the face using separate small access points in the skin. Fine blunt-tipped cannulas are used to minimize the chance of injuring neighboring blood vessels or nerves. A multitude of passes are done as the fat is placed in a three-dimensional latticework that maximizes the in-growth of blood vessels and fat survival.
The access points in the skin heal without the need for sutures. The harvest site access points are simply covered with Steristrips.
The new blood supply to the fat grafts takes several months to grow. By about 6 months after surgery patients will find that their grafts (and results) will start to blossom as the grafts finally have a robust blood supply that allows the fat cells to become more full. This process continues until about 12 to 18 months after surgery.
The fat grafts that "take" become a permanent part of your facial soft tissues. Like the fat tissue that is naturally present there, however, it is also subject to natural factors such as weight changes and continued aging.
Yes, if necessary a refinement procedure can be done after an initial fat grafting procedure without any problem. This typically involves a much smaller volume of fat harvesting. It is important to wait for the initial procedure to heal fully before undertaking any refinements since the final result from fat grafting takes up to 18 months to become evident.
Want to learn more about Facial Fat Grafting or see before and after photos of Dr. Lamperti's fat grafting patients?
Call 206.505.1300 or Contact us to schedule a private consultation with Dr. Lamperti in one of his Seattle area offices.