As we age, the structure of our skin starts to diminish, which leads to wrinkles, sagging, and hollows. At Cassileth Plastic Surgery, Dr. Elise Min and Dr. Catherine S. Chang specialize in nano fat grafting to restore youthful contours and plumpness. This procedure, also known as facial fat transfer at our Los Angeles-based practice, can replace lost volume, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and improve the skin's overall texture. Facial fat transfer can be used as a minimally invasive procedure on its own, or combined with a facelift, neck lift, or brow lift.
First, living fat cells are collected from areas that have plenty—and that patients typically wish were slimmer anyway. It is important that the fat cells stay alive, so a specific low-trauma liposuction technique is used to preserve the integrity of as many as possible. Once processed to remove unwanted material, these fat cells are then strategically injected into the areas marked for facial fat transfer. There, the cells will establish a new "home," re-connecting to the blood supply and providing long-lasting volume.
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Facial fat transfer addresses the fine lines and wrinkles that develop as time depletes the face of collagen and natural, healthy fat. This gradual loss of volume loosens the skin, causing it to sag and making it easier for creases and folds to form. Volume loss can also create flattened areas and hollows in the mid-face, leading to a gaunt or sunken look instead of an appearance marked by pleasantly soft and rounded contours. Adding volume back to these key areas makes the face look younger and less severe.
Volume loss can also contribute to the look of dark under-eye circles. Facial fat grafting can revitalize the temples, tear troughs, and cheeks, with fullness helping to restore a more alert and rested look.
The fat for facial fat transfer is typically taken from the thighs, flanks, or abdomen. After processing, it is injected in tiny droplets with either the same type of needle used for dermal fillers or a tiny, blunt needle known as a micro-cannula. This specialized, meticulous injection technique allows for precision control, delivering a more customized youthful shape and contour.
Facial fat transfer patients can expect to take some down time for recovery in two places: the donor area and the injection site. Both areas will show some bruising after the procedure, as well as feel tender. The length of healing and recovery time depends on the specifics of the procedure.
Since the volume is visible right away, patients will notice new contours as soon as their facial fat transfer procedure is done. There will be some "settling," with swelling resolving and the natural-looking contours becoming increasingly apparent in the days after the treatment.
Fat grafting is an effective strategy for more than just facial fat transfer. At Cassileth Plastic Surgery, it is also used for fat transfer breast augmentation, providing enhancement for patients who want larger breasts without implants or who want to get a natural look after reconstruction or revision surgery.
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