What is Fat Grafting?
A process where a patient’s fat in an area of concern is aspirated…just like liposuction…but the fat is collected in a sterile process that allows it to be reinjected as a filler. The most common areas for fat grafting are the face: lip augmentation, facial fillers, soft depressions around the mouth. Fat can be grafted to the breasts to improve contour after reconstruction or cosmetic procedures or used to touch up areas after liposuction on the body.
How long will surgery be?
Fat grafting not combined with other procedures can be done relatively quickly, sometimes in less than an hour. If combined with a face and neck lift or other body procedures, clearly the procedure will take longer.
What kind of anesthesia will I have?
When fat grafting is combined with other procedures, general anesthesia is used. For small procedures, generally limited to the face, local anesthesia can be used with or without premedication with Valium.
What is recovery like?
Because fat is a living tissue, bruising is expected after injecting this into any area. This is mostly noted in the face and lips. Swelling is generally resolved within about 2 weeks.
What are the risks?
The biggest risk for fat grafting is loss of the fat injected. It is generally accepted that about 60% of the fat is maintained, related to several issues including blood supply to the area and the amount of fat injected. Other risks include infection and hardening of the injected fat which is generally temporary and resolved with gentle massage of the area..
How do I prepare for surgery?
A preoperative appointment is scheduled approximately 2 weeks prior to surgery. At this time, all consents and recommendations, instructions for before and after surgery are reviewed. A long list of medications to avoid is reviewed and prescriptions are given for postoperative management. The day before surgery, all patients are called to review final questions, confirm nothing has occurred since the patient was seen at preop that might require rescheduling of the procedure and to finalize arrival time at the facility. All patients are given ample information at the preoperative appointment regarding a time line of what to expect in the recovery process and when.