Fat Grafting Overview
As the underlying collagen and elastin fibers break down and wear out, our faces start sagging and looking older. Fat grafting (also called fat transfer or multi-level fat grafting – FAMI) is a procedure that plumps up facial features with the patient’s own fat.
FAMI is a safe, natural, non-allergenic procedure that is used to add volume to your face. First, one of our skincare experts in San Diego office will extract fat from a donor site somewhere in your lower body via liposuction and then use it to fill and contour your face. The results of fat transfers last longer than fillers, generally up to 3 years.
FAMI is used to treat the following facial areas:
- Sunken area beneath the eyes
- Nasolabial folds (laugh lines)
- Forehead creases
- Asymmetrical face
What to Expect
Fat grafting procedures are performed in our San Diego dermatology office on an outpatient basis under local anesthetic. Using a small needle attached to a syringe (liposuction cannula), fat is removed from a donor site where you have some excess.
Once the fat has been removed, it is then processed and prepared to be injected into the face. Using a needle, the fat is placed just under your skin beneath the wrinkle in the area you want to be treated. The result is rejuvenated and re-volumized skin! ncbi.nlm.nih.gov explains more about what this procedure can do.
Treatment Guidelines for Fat Grafting
- Rest is recommended immediately after surgery, but you can walk around the house as tolerated.
- The day after surgery, you should feel well enough to drive your car and engage in light physical activities.
- Have some absorbent pads available (light Maxi pads work well) to use as post-op dressings. It is also helpful to sleep on an absorbent pad the first two nights so that oozing does not stain your bed linen.
- You should expect a small amount of blood-tinged anesthetic solution to drain from the small incisions during the first 24 to 48 hours. It may be necessary to change the absorbent pads that are under the compression garment.
- DO NOT cover the incisions with Band-Aids or stop the drainage in any way. No hot/cold compresses on the incision sites.
- You must wear your compression garment 24 hours a day for the first 3-7 days. After that, you may switch to a lighter garment such as Spanx and wear daily for a month, or longer if you choose.
- Your post-op appointment will be scheduled the day after surgery.
- You may resume light exercise 3 to 4 days after surgery. You should wait for 2-3 weeks after surgery to resume more vigorous physical activities (golf, jogging, tennis). It is suggested that you begin with 25% of your normal work-out routine and increase your activity daily as tolerated.
Discomfort and bruising:
- The soreness is the worst about 24 hours after surgery and then improves daily.
- For relief of soreness and inflammation, take Tylenol 500 mg, 1-2 pills every 4 hours while awake for the first 48 hours AFTER surgery.
- DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN or IBUPROFEN or any other medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen for 3-5 days after surgery as this may promote bleeding.
- Do not apply ice packs. Bruising is normal and can last 1-2 weeks.
- Take the full 10-day dose of oral antibiotics as directed.
- Your doctor or Pre-Operative Nurse will discuss the use of Arnica Montana to reduce bruising.
- When you are given permission to shower, wash the incisions with soap and water, pat them dry and apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment daily.
- DO NOT submerge in water until the incisions have healed completely (about 1 week).
- Caution-when garments are removed during the first few days after surgery, patients often feel dizzy. Avoid this by removing the garments while lying down, then sit on the edge of the bed and stand up slowly. Rest after showering to dress.
- Start with a soft diet and progress to your normal diet. Light foods are recommended for the first meal after surgery. You may resume your usual diet about 4 hours after surgery.
- Drink adequate amounts of water, and fruit juices to prevent dehydration. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for 48 hours.
**If you develop a fever, rash, blisters, increased pain, severe itching or change in color of the weeping fluid, call our office immediately as these symptoms may be a sign of infection. **
Q: Who is a good candidate?
Q: When will I see results?
Q: How long do the results last?
Q: What are the benefits as compared to filler injections?
Q: How much downtime is required?
Q: Are the injections painful?
Q: What are the side effects?
Q: How much does a treatment cost?
Q: Should I get Sculptra or fat grafting?
Q: Which is better? Fat grafting or Voluma?
Q: Is thin skin (almost no fat) a good structure for injecting fat?
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