Otherwise known as fat transfer, can either be done on its own or in combination with other surgical procedures such as face and neck lift. Done on its own it is possible to perform the procedure under local anesthetic as a day case, but is usually performed under general anesthetic.
Preparation before Surgery
The aims and expectations of surgery will have been discussed at consultation. Smokers have a high risk of developing complications, in particular wound healing and re-absorption and it is therefore advised that patients should refrain from smoking at least six weeks prior, and between two to four weeks following surgery.
Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided for at least the week before surgery and a week after surgery to help reduce the amount of bleeding and bruising.
Small incisions, less than 1 cm, are made in either the abdomen or inner thigh from where the fat will be harvested. This is done using a low pressure liposuction technique. Small dressings are placed on these wounds and occasionally an absorbable suture is used to close them. The fat that has been harvested from this area is re-injected into the required areas of the face again using tiny 3 – 4 mm. stab incisions which are covered with a Steri-strip sticking plaster.
The operation for lipofilling alone usually takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour and the patient is required to stay in hospital for a few hours following surgery to make sure there is not excessive bruising or swelling
You can expect to be swollen, possibly bruised and a little sore. This is all normal and should be realized beforehand. Patients who know what to expect are often better informed, and well balanced afterwards and recover more easily s opposed to those who are not told what to expect. You will be instructed to take all of your medications on time, keep you treatment area immobile and allow proper healing. This includes no high impact exercise or activities for approximately 2-3 weeks, depending upon the extent of the surgery.
Possible Risks and Complication
The risks for fat grafting are asymmetry, infection, fatty cysts, hematoma, fat embolism, seroma, permanent discoloration from the bruises and others.