Your surgeon will always discuss with you and recommend the treatment that is appropriate for you. During the consultation, the surgeon will also explain the treatment, the results and benefits, the duration of the result and the frequency of repeating the treatment.
Fat Transfer and Re-injection
Fat transfer is today’s number one treatment for loss of volume and creases on our faces. As we age the appearance of creases on our face is inevitable. Even though these creases are part of the normal ageing process and there is nothing we can do to stop it, we can fill out the creases with fat, making them decrease or appear less prominent.
As we get older, we start to loose fat from our upper face. This loss of fat and associated loose skin starts to show in the cheek area, giving us a sad, gloomy look. By placing the fat in the upper third of our face we produce an uplift effect, reshaping the face to the more youthful years.
As well as losing volume from the face, the backs of the hands can also loose volume. Therefore fat is the ideal filler to rejuvenate the back of the hands, as well as other areas of the face and body.
Since it is the patient’s own fat there is no risk of rejection and no possibility of allergic reaction. This procedure is mainly used to produce a more youthful look and for recontouring of the face, hands and other body contours.
Before your procedure
Two weeks before the surgery, you should not take any medications containing aspirin, since these products affect the bloods clotting mechanism and therefore may lead to excessive bleeding during and after surgery, hence resulting in increased bruising. Taking high doses of vitamin E preparations, eating large amounts of garlic and consuming alcohol can also produce the same result and should be avoided. If pain medication is necessary, we recommend you take ibuprofen/paracetamol.
It is in your own best interests to quit smoking, at least two weeks before and until two weeks after surgery. It is well known that smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels, which leads to a decreased blood supply to the skin, thus slowing and interfering with the healing process.
Fat transfer procedure
The fat transfer procedure is performed at our Harley St Clinic, either under local anaesthesia or light sedation. Sedation is a state in which you will be unaware of what is going on and pain free. If you are having the procedure under sedation, you must arrange for someone to come and collect you and stay with you overnight.
Your surgeon will determine where the fat will be removed from and the area is anaesthetised. Next the fat is collected with a 1-2 millimetre cannula. The fat is then washed, ready for re-injection. The area requiring rejuvenation is anaesthetised and the fat is placed with a blunt cannula.
The amount of fat put in each area is always more than needed. The reason for this is that we know that initially about 30% will be absorbed by the body, the rest will stay. A fat transfer will be required approximately six months following surgery and a further one six months after that.
After your procedure
After your procedure you will stay for about half an hour, (two hours when having sedation) during which time the nurse will explain your post-operative instructions and medication (painkillers and antibiotics). We may place some ice over the treated areas to minimise any swelling. You can expect some slight swelling for the first 48 hours. Occasionally patients develop bruising, which usually disappears within 5-7 days. Bruising may be covered up.
You will have a compression bandage on the area where the fat was harvested, which needs to remain in place for one week. You may remove the bandage after one week. There will also be a suture (stitch) at this site, which will dissolve within 7 – 10 days following treatment.
You will need to return to the clinic after six weeks for your post op review.
Risks and uncertainties
When performed by a qualified surgeon, complications from a fat transfer are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including reaction to the anaesthesia, infection, haematoma (bleeding under the skin), bleeding – resulting in increased bruising, temporary swelling and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
If you have any further questions or queries about this procedure, please call our office on 0207 636 4272 to book a consultation with Dr Roberto Viel. Please note that it is necessary to attend a consultation prior to your operation, this is also the case with existing patients, it may also be necessary to have a repeat blood test.