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Question: I'm interested in fat grafting and was wondering what type of anesthesia this is usually performed with.
Answer: When performed on their own, fat grafting procedures are usually done under local anesthesia or with light sedation. General anesthesia may be needed if fat grafting is combined with other procedures like the Brazilian butt lift.
Question: What areas of the body are treated with fat grafting?
Answer: Fat grafting can be used in the face for facial rejuvenation. It is commonly used to enhance the cheeks, chin and temples as well as to fill facial lines like the nasolabial folds and marionette lines. Fat grafting can also be used to enhance areas of the body like the buttocks, often referred to as the Brazilian butt lift, as well as the breasts. Fat grafting can provide an excellent natural alternative to synthetic fillers and implants.
Question: How long do the results of fat grafting last?
Answer: The results of fat grafting can vary. Oftentimes, some amount of the transferred fat is reabsorbed by the body, but what remains is generally considered long lasting if not permanent. When performed by a skilled surgeon using proper techniques, the results of fat grafting often can be permanent. Micro fat grafting or structural fat grafting techniques in which very small amounts of fat are injected in a series of layers tends to provide better, longer-lasting results.
Question: What are the risks associated with fat transfer?
Answer: As with any surgical procedure there are potential risks. These may include infection, asymmetry, hematoma, seroma, discoloration, calcification, bleeding, blood clots, fat necrosis, and adverse anesthesia reaction. The benefits and risks associated with fat transfer will be discussed in detail during consultation.
Question: I'm interested in getting injectable fillers in my cheeks. It seems like this is mostly done for aging reasons, but I'm 24 and just want more pronounced cheekbones without getting surgery. Would fillers be good for me?
Answer: Injectable fillers would be good for you. Yours is a great indication for non-surgical options such as fillers. For augmenting the cheeks, we do use surgical and non-surgical procedures somewhat more often to correct aging changes; however for those who naturally have poor cheek projection and shape these techniques can provide equal or even greater improvement. In my practice, the surgical options would include fat transfer, cheek implants or a mid-face lift. Among the injectable fillers, I prefer either Radiesse or Sculptra for cheek augmentation.
Question: What are the pros and cons of fat transfer vs. injectable fillers?
Answer: When comparing fat transfer with injectable fillers for facial rejuvenation, the benefits of fat transfer are: it is autologous tissue and not a synthesized product; it can provide large volumes at a more reasonable cost; the results should be longer lasting and even permanent. The downsides of fat transfer are: there is a risk of visible or palpable nodules or lumps if injected too superficially or in certain areas like the lips; it may be most comfortably performed under IV sedation for anesthesia. Fat transfer is best indicated for correction of deep facial wrinkles or folds and for restoring volume to the cheeks and other areas of the face, which has been lost as a result of aging and or weight loss.