Fat Transfer

Fat Transfer seattle | renton

What is Fat Transfer?

Fat transfer is a method of using your own body fat to fill in unwanted facial creases or improve hollowing around the eyes, cheeks or temples caused by aging. Fat injections can improve acne scars, and augment certain features such as lips and cheeks. It may also be used to improve the look of the aging hand. Fat transfer is our favorite way to perform the "liquid face lift" because fat is the most pliable filler and is the same consistency as your own facial tissue. The procedure can be performed along with a liposuction, or by itself.

Dr. Reichel has extensive experience with fat injections. "I love using the patient’s own fat for hand and face rejuvenation. As we age, we loose the natural fat pads in the face. Injecting fat can rejuvenate and add back that lost volume. I like to have patients bring in photos from when they were younger so we can restore that lost volume."

» Click here to view before/after photos of this procedure in the Photo Gallery.

How is the Procedure Performed?

Fat transfer is performed by removing fat from one area of your body such as your abdomen or thighs, and then injecting it into the desired site. The "donor" area (abdomen or thigh) is cleaned and then anesthetized with tumescent anesthesia, just like in liposuction. Tumescent anesthesia uses a solution of lidocaine and saline. After the anesthesia, the fat is removed using narrow metal tubes called cannulas. The cannula is attached to a sterile syringe where the fat is collected. The fat is then centrifuged and purified so that it can be injected into the treatment site. In most cases, we will collect enough fat to store for future treatments. The fat can be stored for up to 2 years.

After the fat "harvest", the treatment area is numbed using local anesthetic, and then the fat is injected via very small blunt ended cannulas. It is then massaged into place. Before the procedure, you will be given pain medication and a light sedative to make you more comfortable.

Additional Information

Fat Transfer seattle | rentonBecause some of the fat is reabsorbed by the body after the injection, it usually requires 3 treatments to accomplish a 75 to 80 percent correction. The treatments are usually performed every 3 months. Some patients do not need all 3 treatments, and some patients may need more.

The rejuvenation effects of transferred fat can last years, and in many patients, the effects are permanent. However, in some cases, the transferred fat may be reabsorbed resulting in loss of effect. Some patients require booster injections of fresh or stored fat to maintain results.

Because the fat is from your own body, unlike collagen or other “fillers”, your body will not react against the fat. Results from patients, physicians and other researchers place the durability of fat injections anywhere from half a year up to eight years.

» Click here for more information about Fat Transfer.

Side Effects of Fat Transfer

The treated area may look overly plump or swollen for about a week. You may want to plan a few days of "down-time". However, many patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately. Most notice some bruising, swelling and redness in the donor and injection sites.

Where are the most common locations for fat transfers?

Face, hands, and buttocks.

Who is a candidate for fat transfer?

The best candidate is a patient with volume loss associated with aging or genetics. This includes hollowness in the cheeks, temples, under the eyes, and around the mouth. Aging hands can be rejuvenated with fat transfer. Fat transfer can be a more permanent and natural way to restore volume than dermal fillers.

How can I prepare for a fat transfer facelift?

You’ll be given detailed instructions by our team ahead of your procedure. You will need to take a few days off of work/activity to heal. Make sure to contact us with any questions to ensure a smooth and successful treatment.

What areas can fat transfer be used?

Common areas for fat transfer include the under eyes, cheeks, temples, marionettes, nasolabial folds, and hands. and lips. However, your procedure can be customized to your unique goals.

What areas of the body is fat extracted for fat transfer?

Virtually any area of the body where you have excess fat can be used for fat transfer. However, the most common areas include the stomach, hips, and thighs. Dr. Reichel prefers the soft pliable fat of the abdomen!

How long does fat transfer last in your face?

Fat transfer lasts longer than dermal fillers. Expect it to last 2 to 8 years. In some cases, it can be permanent. Remember, fat transfer, like all cosmetic procedures, can’t stop the process of aging. Make sure to practice good skincare and anti-aging habits to maintain your results.

Will the fat transfer stay in place after a fat transfer facelift?

Yes – once the fat is transferred to a new area and establishes blood supply, it will function just like any other fat. However, it can still be subject to sagging over time because of aging and gravity, so make sure to establish a good skincare and anti-aging regimen.

Is facial fat transfer painful?

Dr. Reichel performs fat harvest and transfers using local anesthetic and sedation, so the discomfort is minimized. It’s normal to feel some discomfort afterward. She and her team will recommend certain pain medications such as extra strength Tylenol.

What is recovery like from fat transfer facelift?

Recovery from a fat transfer facelift usually takes 3 to 5 days. You can expect to experience some minor bruising and swelling at the injection areas. Additionally, you’ll have swelling and redness at your fat collection sites which can take a few weeks to heal. Our team will provide detailed information on what to expect after your procedure.

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Thank you for choosing Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, we look forward to providing you with the very best skin care.