Fat Injection to the face is most commonly performed in conjunction with other facial surgery such as a facelift. Typically the areas where fat grafting is used are the cheeks and the chin.

Because of the nature of fat grafting and the fact that not all of the fat transferred will survive, some lumpiness can ensue. This is why it is only done where the fat can be laid deep, against the bone providing great lift and contour, but deep enough that no irregularity should be seen

Fat injection is not used for wrinkles or lines on the face. Instead, Dr. McGovern may recommend a resurfacing technique, such as dermabrasion. Rather than filling in facial lines, resurfacing methods strip away the outer layers of the skin to produce a smoother appearance.

Deep folds in the face caused by loose skin are called static lines and are more effectively treated with cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift or browlift.

Superficial lines due to overactive muscles (called dynamic lines) which include frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines are best treated with cosmetic injectable muscle relaxants.

With the advent and documented safety of dermal fillers over 20 years or more, and the relatively inexpensive nature compared to surgery, fat injection is used less and less.

If you are contemplating facial surgery and feel that you may benefit from some additional fat injection to improve your facial contours further, discuss this with Dr. McGovern at your consultation. Alternatively, call out experienced staff who are happy to answer your questions.

surgeryFat injection is very individualised. That’s why it’s important to discuss your hopes and expectations with your plastic surgeon, who has experience with many different types of surgical and non-surgical facial procedures.

In your initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your face – the skin, the muscles and the underlying bone – and discuss your goals for the surgery. Your doctor will help you select a treatment option based on your goals and concerns, your anatomy and your lifestyle.

He will also ask you about your medical history, drug allergies, and check for conditions that could cause problems, such as active skin infections or non-healed sores from injuries. In general, there are few contra-indications to the injection of the autologous fat.

Fat injection procedures usually performed as day procedures at one of the local hospitals or day procedure units.

Other filler injections are performed in our rooms at Vie Institute.

Fat injection requires both the donor and recipient sites to be numbed with local anaesthesia, general anaesthesia or sedation is used as well, to ensure the procedure is pain free. Therefore you cannot drive, be sure to arrange for someone to take you to the hospital and take you home .

Filler injections require only local anaesethetic. For lips, we will inject the local anaesthetic into the gums, this will numb the lips for between 20 minutes to one hour. Other areas of the face are numbed using EMLA cream, rubbed into the area to be treated and left on for one hour before the procedure.

Fat Injection:

In medical jargon, the fat-injection procedure is known as autologous fat transplantation. It involves extracting fat cells from the patient’s abdomen, thighs, buttocks or elsewhere and re-injecting them beneath the facial skin. Fat is most often used to fill in “sunken” cheeks or laugh lines between the nose and mouth, to correct skin depressions or indentations, to minimize forehead wrinkles and to enhance the lips.

The Procedure: After both the donor and recipient sites are cleansed and treated with local anaesthesia, the fat is withdrawn, using a syringe with a large-bore atraumatic fat harvesting needle attached to a suction device. The fat is then prepared into a pure form by removal of blood and liquid fat through centrification, and injected into the recipient site with a needle. “Overfilling” is necessary to allow for fat absorption in the 6 weeks or so following treatment. On average only about 40% of the injected fat “takes” successfully as a graft, so a greater degree of overfilling is necessary. When fat is used to fill sunken cheeks or to correct areas on the face other than lines, this over correction of newly injected fat may temporarily make the face appear abnormally puffed out or swollen. This lasts 1-2 weeks to a noticeable extent, but the final contours will not be evident for 6 weeks.

Filler Injections:

These treatments take between 15 and 30 minutes only. The area to be treated will be numbed with local anaesthetic and then cleansed thoroughly. A series of small injections are placed just under the skin to plump out lines, or into the border and body of the lip to increase fullness and create the desired shape. You may be a little red and swollen for the rest of that day, but you can cover the redness with a mineral makeup. Many people chose to return to work immediately, but for your first treatment schedule it at the end of the day or on a day off.

recoveryMany patients are able to resume normal activity immediately. You can expect some swelling, bruising or redness in both the donor and recipient sites. The severity of these symptoms depends upon the size and location of the treated area. You may use makeup with sunblock protection to help conceal your condition.

The longevity of the fat injection sites varies significantly from patient to patient. Most patients have some degree of permanent improvement, due to fat having taken successfully. However, many patients find that at least half the fullness disappears within 6 months. Repeated injection may be required once or twice, rather than on a regular basis every 3 to 6 months as is the case with other commonly used fillers.

If you’re like most patients, you’ll be very satisfied with the results of your autologous fat injection. You may be surprised at the pleasing results that can be gained from this procedure.

Fillers also give excellent results, with little downtime. You will be amazed at how much benefit you can gain from these very simple non-surgical procedures.

If you have further questions, write them down and ask your surgeon and his highly trained staff at your consultation.