Fat Grafting for Face

Fat Grafting

Fat Grafting

Look no further than dermal fillers or fat grafting as a solution for volume loss in your face. The goal here is to restore volume to the face without changing the natural contours or proprotions of your face. To achieve this end, we evaluate your facial aesthetics individually, and develop a volumization plan based upon the areas of volume loss. For example, certain fillers work better in the eyelids than in the cheeks. Fat grafting is a more cost effective solution for large volume loss. These issues and more are taken into account during your personalized complimentary consultation.

Fat Grafting vs Dermal Fillers

Fat Grafting for Volume Loss

As you age you will lose volume in your face. Some women feel as though their cheeks become hollowed-out with age. Fat grafting is an effective treatment for restoring volume. -Dr. Alan Durkin.

The use of dermal fillers has forever changed facial aesthetics and facial rejuvenation. As of today, Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in every modern city use dermal filler therapy on a regular basis to rejuvenate their patients. At Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery, we take pride in our dermal filler therapies and neurotoxin therapy.  We provide them on an hourly basis to our wonderful and diverse client population.

The benefits of dermal therapy are well documented. They offer a safe, comfortable, nonsurgical approach with minimal downtime while commonly providing dramatic results.   While the benefits of filler therapy are well documented, many patients view the reabsorption or loss of dermal fillers as less desirable because they have to keep returning for additional dermal filler injections once the product wears off.

So what is the ideal filler? The ideal filler would be organic. The ideal filler would be vascularized, grow and shrink with your face. It would provide a seamless integration between filler and native tissue. What substance is like this? It is our common enemy….your own fat!!

Fat Grafting

Structural fat grafting for facial rejuvenation is a safe, effective and organic approach to facial rejuevenation and volumization. When performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, fat grafting is a very effective method for improving your facial appearance. But, not everyone or every doctor understands facial fat grafting and thus, there is a lot misinformation out there on the subject.

Unlike commercial fillers, there is a nearly unlimted supply of volume of your fat. Also unlike facial fillers, fat grafts remain intact for approximately 5-7 years or longer. As your face changes, your fat graft changes with it. If you gain weight, your fat graft gains weight with you. If you lose weight, your fat graft loses volume with you. Unlike permanent fillers or facial implants, if your face descends, the fat graft descends with your face. Thus, fat grafts provide a natural look, not artificial. Fat grafts are a safe and effective alternative to dermal filler therapy.

How Long do Fat Grafts Last?

Many people are under the impression that fat grafting is highly variable or that fat grafts will not survive. Some have said that only ½ the fat graft survives, some say 30%. At Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery, Dr. Alan Durkin, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, maintains a high volume fat grafting practice and boast well over a 70% fat grafting take in our patients. Dr. Durkin believe’s the survival rate of a fat graft is technique dependent. As such, Dr. Durkin has refined his technique over the past 10 years to minimize trauma to the fat cells themselves and to optimize the donor bed that is receiving fat grafting.

How do You do Fat Grafting?

Fat Grafting Cells

3-D Illustration of fat cells. Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery, Vero Beach, Florida.

Dr. Durkin’s fat grafting process can be done awake, with light sedation, or with twilight sedation. There is no need for a general anesthetic. Dr. Durkin uses a proprietary tumescent technique that maximizes patient comfort during the procedure and during recovery. Dr. Durkin’s fat grafting technique also minimizes post op bruising while also providing a soft medium for fat cells to be harvest for transfer. We commonly harvest 3 times as much fat as we intend to inject so that only the best fat is chosen for injection. Your fat is then combined with platelet rich plasma and processed immediately in our State Certified Surgery Center.

Dr. Durkin performs all fat grafting himself. Needle free cannulae is used to minimize trauma to the recipient bed. Fat is injected in a discontinuous retrograde fashion using either cross hatching technique or a fanning technique. Consider a farmer planting a field.  instead of taking a thousand seeds an putting them in one spot they take the time to separate each seed in a row. We want that fat to grow similar to a crop of plants by doing small discontinuous injections.  By using what we call a micro droplet technique, we are able to maximize the ability of your face to adopt a fat graft.

Why Doesn’t Everyone get Fat Grafting?

So why doesn’t everyone get fat grafting?

The main reason that not everyone is rushing to get fat grafting is because there is a greater initial cost to fat grafting. Why? Because fat grafting is surgical even though its minimally invasive. Over time, there is no question that fat grafting is the most cost effective than getting fillers every 6 months (or so). While you may spend 3 times that much on fat grafting, you will spend more than that on a filler over the period of 5 years. However, many people like to pay smaller amounts of money over a period of time and thus, they choose dermal fillers. The other consideration is that fat grafting does cause mild bruising and swelling as compared to to dermal fillers. Many people simply do not want any downtime, making dermal fillers a better option.

Does Fat Grafting work anywhere else besides the Face?

We utilize fat grafting on almost all of our surgical face lifts. As well, many of our body contouring patients take advantage of fat grafting and simulatenously receive facial rejuvenation with minimal downtime. Our practice avidly uses fat grafting in face and breast. Fat grafting is also the foundation for the braziliian butt lift.  This wildly popular procedure involves large volume injection of harvested fat into the buttocks to provide lift and volume. We specialize in fat grafting of the face and breast. For fat grafting of the buttocks, visit Miami Butt Lifts (in Miami, Florida).