Autologous Fat Transfer
The Injectable Filler Alternative in the San Diego Area
Dr. Melanie Palm is a nationally recognized dermatologist and noted expert in the use of fat transfer as an alternative to injectable fillers for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and improving the contours in the face, hands, and buttocks. Her offices are located in Solana Beach, CA just north of San Diego.
Fat Transfer for Restoring Volume in the Aging Face
Fat transfer, sometimes referred to as autologous fat transfer, fat autologous muscle injection (FAMI), or micro-lipoinjection, is an alternative treatment to injectable fillers. This procedure is used to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and folds, replacing volume lost from the aging face.
Aging of the Face, Hands, and Buttocks
Collagen, elastin, fat and even bone is lost in the face as we age. The autologous fat transfer procedure can be used to reinflate sunken cheeks, revolumize temples, rejuvenate the eye area, sculpt the jawline, and soften nasolabial folds and marionette lines.
The hands, like the face, lose volume over time making veins and tendons more visible. Fat transfer can be used to replace volume to the back of the hand, camouflaging underlying structures and giving hands a more youthful appearance.
The buttocks region loses volume over time leading to sagging of the area or a change in contour. Modest to moderate amounts of fat can be transplanted to buttocks region to enhanced the heart-shaped area of the region. Proper placement of fat to the buttocks region lifts the area and restores a more youthful contour.
Other Applications of Fat Transfer – Correction of Prior Liposuction & Facial Deformities
Fat transfer can also be used to correct depressions or irregularities resulting from previous, overly aggressive liposuction. Facial deformities, including en coup de sabre, and hemifacial atrophy called Parry-Romberg disease, can also be treated with fat transfer. Traumatic scars with depression can also be improved by small amounts of fat judiciously placed in the affected area.
An Explanation of the Autologous Fat Transfer Procedure
Fat transfer is an in-office procedure performed completely under local anesthetic. A small amount of fat is harvested from a donor site, typically from the hip, knee, or abdomen, in a manner similar to tumescent liposculpture but on a much smaller scale. The collected fat is concentrated and processed in a sterile manner, and then transferred to small syringes for placement into areas of volume loss. The face (or hands or buttocks) is numbed before the fat transfer. Very small amounts of fat are placed in and around muscle, bone, and fat of the face, hands, or buttocks to restore youthful contours in these areas. Repeat treatments are encouraged and often necessary to ensure a long-lasting volumizing result.
Are There Any Side Effects with Fat Transfer?
Patients fare extremely well following fat transfer. Neither the harvesting nor the donor site is typically very sore – any discomfort is similar to muscle soreness (and is more common at the area of fat harvesting). Any pain is almost always well-controlled by extra strength acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Bruising or swelling may occur in the treated area for 2-7 days. If the lips are volumized, swelling may last up to 2 weeks – for this reason lip augmentation with fat is often better accomplished with temporary injectable fillers such as Restylane Silk or Volbella.
How Long do the Results of Fat Transfer Last?
Ideally, fat transfer is repeated on several occasions to build a long-lasting effect. There is much debate on how the volumizing effect of fat occurs, and how long it lasts. Roughly 50% of the transferred fat may be resorbed, therefore patients may be overcorrected or require multiple treatments for full facial revolumizing. Results may last years—reports in the medical literature include cases that have lasted a decade or longer. After an initial fat transfer session, a small touch up procedure may be repeated in 6-12 months.
Why Choose Autologous Fat Transfer to other Filling Products?
Fat transfer may be advantageous to other treatments (such as Juvéderm®, Restylane®, Radiesse®, and Sculptra®) for several reasons. The fat used for transplantation is your own, leaving no possibility for allergic reaction. Autologous fat transplantation is an economical choice when large volume replacement is needed.
If you are looking for the best fat transfer and dermal filler expert in the San Diego area to treat your face and hands, call Dr. Melanie Palm at 858.792.SKIN (7546) to schedule your appointment.