As the body ages, the face begins a gradual process of losing fat. While perhaps this sounds exciting for other parts of the body, reduced fat in the face that is the lost facial volume often leads to a sunken appearance in the cheeks, chin, and jawline. As the tissues begin to sag, our face loses both volume and elasticity. Fat loss in the face can lead to nasolabial folds (or ‘laugh lines’), marionette lines beside the mouth, and a gaunt, tired expression under the eyes.

Contrary to popular belief, the best method for tackling and rectifying this issue is not through lifting and pulling the loose skin. While facelifts are effective in addressing the sagginess of tissues, they do not prevent or treat the loss of elasticity and volume. To do this, the fat that has been lost needs to be replaced, creating a refreshed, youthful appearance. There are several ways to go about this, and interested patients should consider them before consulting with a surgeon.

What is a Facial Fat Transfer?

Also called facial fat grafting, a fat transfer is a procedure that utilizes a patient’s own fat to augment and/or rejuvenate areas of the face. Fat is taken from a donor site, such as the waist, inner thighs, or abdomen with a syringe or blunt cannula. Though simple sounding, the process of harvesting the fat is an extremely delicate one. A fat transfer requires more cells than ordinary liposuction, and as such the procedure and its subsequent results can be temperamental. Specific methodologies will differ from surgeon to surgeon, so be sure to discuss this with your doctor beforehand. After being purified in a centrifuge, the fat cells are re-injected into areas of the face necessitating plumping. When performed correctly, the normal distribution of the fat will allow the face to appear younger, refreshed, and more supple.

The results of a facial fat grafting session can produce very positive visual outcomes, such as revived youthfulness in defiance of the natural effects of aging. Fat transfers are actually considered to be the most versatile of the volumizing surgical procedures, and they also give surgeons more flexibility. Not all of your fat will remain forever, though, and the effects of the procedure may begin to dwindle after a few years.- at least until better tissue handling techniques are found. Distribution and proportion are also a key elements to a successful, natural-looking treatment, making doctor choice a key component for the success of your treatment. When conducting the procedure, the surgeon will take care to redistribute the fat accordingly in order to avoid an over-filled, overly-plumped look, giving patients aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting results.

What are Facial Implants?

Facial implants are another treatment option for those who have lost volume and structure to their faces. Unlike facial fat grafting, though, the materials used to re-shape and re-plump do not come from the patient’s own body. The implants are specially formed from materials that, though compatible with human tissues, are not made biologically in the body. They are also not able to be injected via syringe and must instead be surgically inserted. There are different types that come in different sizes, and deciding on which ones are best suited to the patient requires an evaluation by an experienced plastic surgeon.

Patients can choose to augment any area of the face, but implants are typically inserted into the chin, jaw, and cheeks- the most common sites to deflate and become misshapen. Implants, like fat transfers, allow for a more appealing contour as well as stronger or softer angles. Unlike other bodily implants, facial implants do not need to be replaced, as they are not encapsulated with silicone or saline solution.

Recovery Times

Both procedures will require at least a week of rest and relaxation after treatment. The main issue after both treatments will be swelling. Even if the area that was treated is small, a bit of swelling can create a disproportionate appearance. Facial implant surgery will also likely leave bruising in the affected area(s). After around ten days, your surgeon will typically clear you to return to physical activity and your normal routine, but a post-operation/post-transfer check-in should always occur to make sure that healing is proceeding as normal.

About PSI Miami

For facial fat transfer procedure in Miami, FL, you can rest assured knowing that you’re in the capable hands of the doctors at the Plastic Surgery Institute Miami. Dr Jason I. Altman has had a renowned career, training in New York City and working as the Chief Resident at the prestigious Mount Sinai Medical Center before moving to South Florida. Dr Marcelo Ghersi has also led an impressive career, with years of experience in the highly specialized field of aesthetic plastic surgery. With similarly diverse and extensive surgical experience, microsurgical enthusiast Dr. Oeltjen rounds out the PSI Miami lineup of all-star doctors. With decades of combined experience, these surgeons are top names in the Miami (and national) cosmetic enhancement industry.