Face fat grafting, also known as fat transfer, is a minimally invasive procedure that involves removal and transfer of fat from fat-dense of areas of the body (such as the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs) to fill the areas that lack fat volume (such as cheeks, forehead, around the eyes, breast, and hands).
The procedure for removing fat is called liposuction, and adding it to specific areas on the face or body is called fat grafting, fat transfer or fat injection.
People opt for a fat transfer procedure to;
• Fill the sunken cheeks and grooves that run from the corners of the mouth to the nose
• Smoothen wrinkles and fine lines between the cheeks and the lower eyelids
• Smooth out the sunken forehead and improve the appearance of wrinkles
• Correct the skin irregularities caused by injuries or surgeries
Compared to other cosmetic procedures, facial fat grafting is often praised for its long-lasting and natural-looking results.
How is Facial Fat Grafting Done in Singapore?
Fat transfer in Singapore is an outpatient procedure, so you wouldn’t be required to stay in the hospital. The first step is liposuction, which can be done under local anaesthesia or complete sedation (general anaesthesia), depending on the volume to be transferred.
The fat is usually harvested from the fat-dense areas of the patient’s body such as the tummy, thighs, or buttocks. Fat grafting face may be done as a secondary step after liposuction or as a standalone procedure.
After harvesting, the fat is separated into three layers by filtering and processing in a centrifuge. The surgeon then injects the purified fat to target sites. Common areas of fat grafting in the face include:
- Sunken upper eyelid
- Nasolabial folds
- Marionette lines
- Tear trough
After injecting the fat tissues, your plastic surgeon may use placement techniques such as massage to contour the recipient area. Certain patients may need more than one session and that depends on your age, facial aging, fat volume, and the final results you wish to achieve.
What are the Advantages of Facial Fat Grafting?
Facial fat transfer is particularly effective for plumping the sunken areas of the face, such as the cheeks and jowls and filling in wrinkles, fine lines and nasolabial folds.
Restoring facial contour goes a long way as volume loss and decreased elasticity of the skin are major contributory factors to the aging of the face. The following are the benefits of facial fat grafting:
- It improves the quality and integrity of the skin. The fat harvested to the recipient site contribute to long-lasting facial rejuvenation.
- It produces natural-looking and long-term results as compared to facial injectable(s). The results achieved with dermal fillers typically last 6 to 9 months. On the other hand, the results of facial fat transfer generally last several years.
- Synthetic fillers are foreign bodies and are more likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Fat grafting is a natural approach as it uses the body’s own fat tissue and there are less chances that it will trigger the immune response.
- Compared to surgical procedures such as a facelift and browlift, fat grafting takes a short time to subside the inflammation and has a shorter recovery time.
- Fat transfer is minimally invasive and more cost effective than some other plastic surgeries.
- Facial fat transfer uses your own fat tissues, effectively reducing any rejection from the body.
Who is a Suitable Candidate for Facial Fat Grafting?
In general, facial fat grafting is suitable for people looking to restore or gain a youthful appearance. Candidates for this procedure include people who are generally in good health and experiencing one or more of the following concerns.
- Facial wrinkles, including frown lines
- Sunken looking areas of the face
- Acne scarring
- Furrows between the brows
- Thin lips
- Unhappy with facial contours
What to Expect During a Facial Fat Grafting Procedure?
The following is a brief explanation of how the facial fat grafting in Singapore is done:
To establish your treatment goals and expectations, it is important to have a clinical examination and an in-person consultation with an experienced plastic surgon. Some surgeons may offer a 3D assessment with a simulator to give you a realistic idea of how you can look after the fat transfer.
Fat Graft Harvest
The liposuction of the fat graft can be done from several donor sites such as; the buttocks, tummy, arms, and inner thighs. Specialized cannulas are used to harvest the fat. It ensures that the fat grafts to be reinjected are small and ideal for fat grafting.
Processing of Fat
The fat is centrifuged or filtered. After this, the excess oil is removed, and the blood is drained to obtain purified fat for grafting purposes. Extraction of healthy fat tissues is important to ensure optimal survival rate which affects the end results.
The purified fat is transferred into 1cc syringes and carefully injected into the targeted areas.
Is Face Fat Grafting Safe?
Face fat grafting is a very safe procedure and has minimal chances of complications and ill-effects if the treatment is done by a skilled and experienced surgeon using the right technique and under proper sterilized conditions.
As one may know, fat grafting is a multi-step procedure. The techniques used for fat harvesting, fat purifying and injection techniques contribute to the outcome of the procedure. On top of the surgeon’s skills, patient’s pre-and post op care is equally important in ensuring a smooth and safe outcome. The body with the right condition would help minimize risk and complications associated with the procedure.
However, like any other cosmetic treatment, it has some potential risks of side effects and complications. Common side effects include;
- Numbness / Altered sensation – etc
These side effects are temporary and are almost observed by everyone who has undergone face fat grafting treatment. They get resolved within 2 to 3 days.
Some side effects are relatively uncommon and usually occur when the wrong technique is used, or when the treatment is done by an inexperienced doctor. These include;
- Wound infection
- Facial asymmetry – etc
Serious side effects and complications are very rare. These are;
- Allergic reaction
- Intravascular injury
- Skin necrosis – etc
How Do I Prepare For A Fat Face Grafting?
There are certain pre-operative instructions you should follow to avoid any complications during the surgery, and for faster recovery. These prerequisites are described below;
Nicotine present in cigarettes compromises the healing process of the body. It will take a longer time for you to recover if you are a smoker. Therefore, it is recommended to stop smoking for at least 2 to 3 weeks before the surgery.
Be Vigilant About Medications
If you are taking any medications, tell your doctor about them. It is because some medications cause thinning of blood or increase the clotting time. This enhances the risk of bleeding during the surgery and may lead to complications.
Therefore, you should stop taking the following medications 2 weeks before the surgery, and ask for their alternatives from your doctor;
- NSAIDs (Naproxen, Ibuprofen, etc)
Avoid Taking Vitamins And Fish Oil Supplements
Like some medications, Vitamin E and fish oil supplements also augment the bleeding tendency, and therefore, must be avoided for at least 2 weeks before the face fat grafting treatment.
Other nutritional supplements to avoid include;
- Licorice root – etc
What Can you Expect after Facial Fat Grafting?
Compared to other procedures, the pain and swelling from fat grafting are minimal and should be easily manageable with OTC painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. In most cases, the pain and associated symptoms would resolve in a day or two. The bruises may take around a week to disappear and the swelling should subside in a week or two.
How Long Does a Facial Fat Grafting Take to Settle?
Recovery is relatively fast compared to surgical procedures that involve incisions. Recovery time depends on the size of areas to be treated, the patient’s overall health, and the technique of fat grafting. After the procedure, the patient may experience minor discomfort and pain that usually resolves in days. Redness, bruising and swelling will improve within a week after the procedure.
Is Facial Fat Grafting Permanent?
The results may vary from individuals. Some patients have experienced natural-looking and long-term results for a couple of years. The surgeon will be able to share more information and better advise during your consultation.
How Much Does Facial Fat Grafting Cost in Singapore?
The fat grafting Singapore cost procedure generally starts from $3000 onwards. There are various factors that affect the procedure cost which include:
- The fat volume required for the target area
- The number of areas for fat grafting
- The duration of the procedure requires for each patient
- The choice of sedation
Schedule a consultation and assessment for face fat grafting
Deciding on a procedure such as facial fat grafting isn’t easy and there are many considerations. Speak to Dr Vincent Yeow, our certified plastic surgeon with more than 20 years of experience, for both a consultation and an assessment so you can make an informed decision to achieve your beauty goals.
About Dream Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery
Bespoke surgical for cosmetic or medical reasons is what Dream covers to bring out the beauty in every individual. Going beyond the aesthetics and working on physical anomalies are what we value the most in leading our patients to cherish self-improvement and confident lifestyles.
Derived from Associate Professor Vincent Yeow’s long-standing experience performing plastic surgery in Singapore, our treatment plans deliver physical remodelling in our patients’ favour. One of the notable remodellings is droopy eyelid correction. The ptosis surgery used for treatment eventually fixes drooping eyelids, improves vision and enhances appearance.
Most importantly, as a trustworthy plastic surgery and aesthetic clinic, we treasure positive and natural outcomes for each individual. We will ensure to deliver the beauty refinement of your dream without compromising your safety and privacy.