What is facial lipofilling?
Facial lipofilling (fat transfer, fat grafting) is enhancement or replacement of volume in your face using your own fat. Extremely fine fat may also be used to rejuvenate your facial skin directly. Fat is taken from another area and transferred into your face after it has been prepared suitably. (See separate Lipoaugmentation (Lipofilling/Fat Transfer) (Breasts) for fat transfer to breasts.)
Who is suitable for facial lipofilling?
If you are looking for a subtle enhancement to areas such as your cheeks, chin or lips or are concerned by loss of volume from ageing changes to these or other areas of your face, you may be suitable for lipofilling. Sometimes a second lipofilling procedure is needed.
If you smoke, are on blood-thinning medication or have significant health problems, this will need to be assessed and you may be advised to wait or not to have lipofilling to your face.
There are variations depending on your individual anatomy and goals. The standard surgery can be done under general or local anaesthesia. Fat is taken from areas such as your inner knees, tummy, hips and thighs through tiny incisions in a procedure similar to liposuction. After rinsing and preparing to the correct size and consistency, the fat is then transferred into your face to replace or enhance volume or in a very fine preparation to rejuvenate your skin. Drains are not used. Stitches are usually absorbable, if needed.
Facial lipofilling can be done on its own or in combination with other procedures. Common combinations include facelifts, mid-face lifts, lower blepharoplasty and other facial rejuvenation procedures.
Duration of surgery
0.5 to 1 hour depending on the extent of surgery. If other procedures are planned at the same time, the overall surgery time is longer.
You will have tapes on the incisions where fat was taken from. Lipofilling is an outpatient or day case procedure. You can shower with care after 48 hours.
On average 1 to 2 weeks off work are needed. No heavy lifting or strenuous activity is allowed for 6 weeks. Reduce bending and stooping as much as possible and sleep on extra pillows at night to help reduce swelling. Most exercise can be restarted at 4 weeks. Some forms of exercise are restarted at 6 weeks. Driving is not allowed until you are safe to perform an emergency stop. Final results take 6 to 8 weeks to see. If more lipofilling procedures are planned, they will be planned for 3 to 6 months afterwards.
Unfortunately, complications can occur after all surgery and you need to be aware of this. Ms Nugent will do her utmost to reduce your risk as much as she can. This includes the health and procedure advice she gives you before surgery, the care and precautions she takes during surgery and the advice she gives you after surgery. Some of the complications that can happen include slow healing, infection, bleeding, poor scarring, asymmetry, pain, numbness or sensitivity in the skin, contour irregularities, loss of more than expected fat, oil cysts, fat necrosis, fat embolism (rare but can cause blindness), changes with changes in body weight.
Most patients who undergo facial lipofilling surgery are very pleased with their results and it has an excellent effect on facial rejuvenation. Success depends on being prepared for your surgery, choosing the right procedure, the surgery itself and recovering well. All steps in the journey are crucial!
Download the detailed information booklet on this page to read more and book a consultation to discuss your individual circumstances with Ms Nugent!