Fat Injection

Autologous Fat Grafting

As the face ages, it begins to lose key volume that adds to its appearance of youthfulness-the only way to correct this issue is through intervention by a plastic surgeon. In his Tucson plastic surgery practice, Dr. Alfaro offers fat injection treatments.

By using your own excess fat stores from a harvest site on your body, Dr. Alfaro is able to smooth the skin of your face, eliminating many wrinkles and restore lost volume. Both of these benefits will help you take years off your apparent age.

Fat injection is a more natural alternative to the injectable fillers Dr. Alfaro also offers. These fillers may include Juvederm and Restylane.

What to Expect During Fat Injection

What is it?

Surgical procedure that removes fat from your body for reinjection into facial wrinkles, folds or depressions (also used for some body enhancement procedures).

In/Outpatient:

Outpatient

Surgery time:

1-2 hours

Recovery time:

up to 1 week

How Fat Injection Works

Before beginning your fat injection procedure, Dr. Alfaro's anesthesiologist will administer a local anesthetic with sedation. This will increase your comfort and help you sleep through the procedure.

The first step in the procedure is to remove a conservative amount of fat from the harvest site (often the midsection, thighs, or buttocks). To do so, Dr. Alfaro will make a small incision at the injection site through which he will insert a thin tube called a cannula. Using this cannula, Dr. Alfaro will remove the necessary amount of fatty tissue. Dr. Alfaro will then close the incision with sutures and a surgical bandage will be applied. This fat will then be purified and prepared for transfer.

Using careful techniques that may include threading or crosshatching, Dr. Alfaro will inject a specific amount of the purified fat cells under the top layers of your skin, where the wrinkle or other depression is present. He may then massage the site to ensure proper placement of the tissue. He will then repeat the same procedure on any other treatment sites.

When you leave Dr. Alfaro's practice, you may experience some swelling or redness. The application of an ice pack can help curb these side effects. After several days, you may return to Dr. Alfaro to have your sutures removed, unless dissolvable sutures are used.

You will see an immediate correction of the treated area, but your body will absorb some of the fatty tissue over time and it is not possible to predict how much. Many patients choose to return to Dr. Alfaro for touch-up treatments within the first year, which will help maintain the smoother appearance of the skin.

Fat Grafting FAQ

Where does the fat come from?

When your doctor extracts this fat with liposuction, it's possible that there will be more than is needed for one application. Most natural fat can be stored for touch-ups.

Why use fat grafting?

Human fat is harvested from your own body. Using your own fat requires a more extensive procedure than other injectable fillers because you first must undergo liposuction to extract the fat prior to injection. However, you eliminate the risk of allergic reaction or rejection by the body by using your own fat. The results can also last longer than temporary fillers.

How long will results last?

Fat grafting does not typicaly provide permanent results, but some patients achieve results that last 2-3 years, which is longer than most injectable fillers that are currently used.

Why are multiple injections needed?

You should know that not all of the live fat cells survive when transplanted into a new site. You can expect a fairly high rate of re-absorption. Because of this, your doctor will likely overfill the area being treated. At first you might look abnormal, but it will soon settle and you'll enjoy a new look.

In many cases, fat injections are performed throughout the course of several visits, because the fat has a tendency to become re-absorbed by your tissue. If necessary, the doctor can gradually create the desired outcome over several visits or a series of injections.

Where will the fat cells be collected from?

The doctor will collect fat cells from an area of your body where you have a dense volume of fat cells. In most cases, this will not be enough fat to create a noticeable fat reduction. Common harvest sites include the thighs, abdomen and buttocks.

Scheduling Your Fat Injection in Tucson

As an alternative to popular injectable fillers, we encourage you to find out about options for fat injection in Tucson. Please call our practice today for a consultation at (520) 323-9720.