Are you worried because your face is deflating like a balloon as you are aging? It is happening because the bones, fat, and other soft tissues of your face are shrinking due to the natural aging phenomenon. Don’t worry as there are solutions to it. Advancements in plastic surgery have now made it possible to get back the fullness and previous glory of your face. Facial fat grafting is one such technique.
People often hesitate before choosing face fat grafting because they think that it is an excruciating and invasive procedure that has a very long downtime and recovery period, and there are many complications associated with it. However, that is not the case if the procedure is done by an experienced plastic surgeon.
If you also have such concerns, read this article. It contains everything you need to know about face fat grafting in Singapore.
What Are The Causes Of Volume Loss On Face?
Fat provides volume to our faces. So, as the facial fat is lost, our face gives a more sunken appearance. Various factors can contribute to it. The major ones include;
- Hormonal changes
- Excessive weight loss
- Exposure to UV rays
- Certain medications – etc
What Is Face Fat Grafting?
Face fat grafting is a technique, in which fat is harvested from another site of the body, processed, and then injected into the volume-deficient areas of the face. It is used as an aesthetic procedure to improve the facial contours, soften the facial features, fill up the hollow areas, fade wrinkles, etc.
Other names which may be used to describe face fat grafting include;
- Fat transfer
- Micro-lipo injection
- Facial fat rejuvenation
- Autologous fat transfer
- Fat injection
How Is Facial Fat Grafting Done?
Facial fat grafting is done in the following steps;
In the first meeting, your doctor will make an initial assessment of your face. The doctor will determine which facial areas have volume loss and need fat grafting. Besides, the doctor will also decide which fat-rich areas of the body can serve as good donor sites for fat graft extraction.
On the procedure day, you will be asked to lie down on the operation table. Intravenous sedation along with local anaesthesia will be injected to minimize the discomfort during the procedure. The choice of general anaesthesia is made based on how much needs to be extracted. In cases where a huge amount of fat is needed, general anaesthesia is recommended to ensure the patient’s comfort.
Fat Removal With Liposuction
Liposuction is done to extract fat from the predetermined fat-rich donor areas of the body. These areas may include;
- Upper arms
- Lower back
- Flanks – etc
Liposuction is done with the help of special types of equipment to minimize damage to tissues.
The next step is the processing and purification of fat. The harvested fat is poured into the container of the centrifugation machine. The centrifugation helps in the removal of the damaged and dead fat cells along with unwanted fluids. The remaining healthy fat cells are then collected and are ready to transfer to the face.
Fat Transfer To The Face
The purified healthy fat cells are then carefully injected into the volume-deficient or recipient areas of the face. It is done at different depths of the skin to ensure optimum and desired results.
What Are The Benefits Of Facial Fat Grafting?
Facial fat grafting offers many additional benefits than other facial treatments like dermal fillers. These benefits are described below;
- Minimally invasive
- Natural and safe treatment
- The same treatment can be used to address multiple cosmetic problems of the face like depressions, lines, wrinkles, scar marks, saggy skin, etc.
- Can also help in reducing dark circles that are caused by facial volume or collagen loss
- The facial contours are improved
- Excess fat from other body parts is also extracted; thus, giving you a better body contour
- No allergic reactions due to autologous grafts
- Skin quality improves because the grafts contain stem cells that produce growth factors that help in facial rejuvenation by forming newer and healthier skin cells
- Provide long-lasting and natural-looking results
- Minimal downtime
- Less expensive than the facial lift surgery
Which Areas Of The Face Can Be Treated With Facial Fat Grafting?
Volume loss of the following areas of the face can be addressed with the aid of face fat grafting treatment;
- Areas under the eyes
- Nasolabial folds
What Problems Can Be Addressed Using Facial Fat Grafting?
Following aesthetic issues of the face can be addressed by facial fat grafting;
- Volume loss due to aging process
- Flat or boney forehead
- Smile lines
- Frown lines
- Crow’s feet
- Marionette lines
- Under-eye hollows
- Wrinkles and creases
- Facial depressions
- Scrawny cheeks
- Acne scar marks
For How Long Do The Results Last?
Facial fat grafting provides more long-lasting effects than dermal fillers or Botox injections. Unlike artificial injectables that get absorbed over time and need revision treatments, the fat grafts last for a much longer time. The results remain evident for many years hence they are often considered as a natural yet permanent ‘filler’ injection.
Within the first 4 to 6 weeks after the injection of fat grafts, some of the injected fat gets absorbed in the body. It is because some of the fat cells do not receive a good blood supply and they die by the process of apoptosis. The dead cells get absorbed in the surrounding tissues and disappear.
However, many fat cells survive this initial phase of absorption and continue to live on like normal cells in their new domicile. The longevity of the results can be further enhanced by following a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a constant weight. Major weight loss should be avoided as it may cause the loss of grafted fat cells as well.
How Is The Recovery Be Like?
Soon after getting the treatment, you may observe some swelling and bruise at the treatment site. It can be dealt with cold compressions. The swelling and bruising will subside within 2 to 3 days. Once it does, the results will start becoming visible.
Initially, the treatment area where fat grafts are injected looks overfilled. There is nothing to worry about as it is quite normal. Some grafted fat cells get absorbed and others settle down completely to give natural-looking results.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Facial fat grafting is a highly safe procedure because, in this treatment, the patient’s body fat is used to address the facial volume loss. There is no foreign body reaction and graft rejection. So, the risks of potential side effects are minimal.
Although rare, with any surgery, there is always risk of complications developing after the treatment. The possible ones may include;
- Infection of the donor or recipient site
- Graft displacement or migration
- Fat embolization (if the fat is mistakenly injected into the blood vessel, it may travel as a fat embolus in the bloodstream potentiating some serious and fatal complications)
- Skin irregularities
- Liponecrotic cyst formation
Does Facial Fat Grafting Need Hospitalization?
No. Face fat grafting is an outpatient procedure usually performed under local anaesthesia and does not require an overnight stay at the hospital.
What Is The Cost Of Face Fat Grafting In Singapore?
The cost of facial fat grafting in Singapore ranges between $4,000 to $8,000; however, the total price varies due to the following factors;
- The area of the face being treated
- The amount of fat extracted and transferred
- Skills and experience of the doctor
- Type of anaesthesia used
- The locality of the treatment centre
- Charges of operation theatre
- Consumables used during surgery
- Post-treatment medications
Who Is An Ideal Candidate Of Facial Fat Grafting?
An ideal candidate for facial fat grafting is the one who fulfils all the following requirements;
- The patient wants to address any of the aesthetic issues mentioned above
- The patient must have enough amount of extra fat in the body that can be harvested
- The patient must be healthy and disease-free
- There should be no infection at the recipient or donor site
- There should be no bleeding disorder
- The patient should not be taking any antiplatelet or anti-clotting medications
- Any other blood-thinning supplements or medications like vitamin E, fish oil, NSAIDs, etc, are not being taken by the patient
- The patient has a good circulatory system
- The patient should not have any unrealistic expectations
Face fat grafting is a technique in which fat from one’s own body is surgically transferred to the face. It provides volume to the face that has been lost due to the increasing age. Besides, many other facial concerns can be addressed by this treatment. Face fat grafting is a safe procedure with minimal downtime and recovery period, recommended for those who want natural facial enhancement without the use of synthetic filler or materials.