Scientific research has proved that, as a person grows older, fat tends to collect in the center of the body (hips and buttocks in women, abdominal area for men). Plastic surgeons, however, have found a way to bypass this issue and have created the “autologous fat transplantation” technique (a.k.a: fat injection). This process basically consists in surgeons removing fat from a donor area of the client’s own body (through a process called liposuction) and re-injecting the fat in the area which has been selected for improvement.
Body fat can be used as a soft tissue filler and a certified group of doctors can transfer the fat from one part of the body to another, enhancing the outlines of your face. Due to its consistency, body fat is perfect for this type of procedure and it will help enhance your lips, diminish the smile lines of your face, crow’s feet and frown lines and it can also help define your chin and cheeks, improving your appearance overall. Wrinkles can also be reduced using fat injections, as well as scarring caused by acne.
At the same time, it can augment depressed areas in any part of your body, but you must keep in mind that it might not be a permanent procedure and it might require for you to keep a maintenance program.
What Can I Expect
As people grow older, the dermis under the skin starts to thin out. The effect of this process can give a skin a “sagging” appearance and can make the face look too thin. This can happen to people of all body types: large, medium or small frame. Fat injections insert fat under the skin, in the areas were the dermis has begun to lessen and it literally fills out the face, giving you a more youthful appearance.
If you have scarring, wrinkling or sagging or are missing some of the plumpness and high contours of your face, fat injections are perfect for you. Whenever it comes to plastic surgery, you need to keep in mind that no procedure will ever provide an ‘ideal’ aspect to your face. The aim of cosmetic treatment is to achieve an improvement, to enhance your facial appearance. This can help you boost your self-confidence and make you feel better about yourself, while keeping realistic expectations
You must also remember that injected fat may not last as long as other materials do. The body slowly absorbs the fat, even though the rate of absorption varies from person to person and is hard to predict. Generally speaking, more than half the injected fat is absorbed six months after the surgery, however, most patients will retain it permanently. If a considerable amount of fat is taken in by the body, a second procedure may be necessary to improve the skin imperfections which were trying to be corrected.
This type of procedure is recommended given that it is completely natural, since the fat is taken from the patient’s own body and no pre-testing is needed to perform the transfer. It is a perfect alternative for people who are allergic to bovine collagen and implies minimal discomfort, which is easily controlled with certain medications.
As with every other procedure, HCR strongly advises patients to have a detailed discussion with their plastic surgeon before the surgery is performed. By doing your surgery planning, both parties have the opportunity to contribute in the whole process and to increase the client’s level of satisfaction. When speaking with your doctor, please feel free to talk openly and to express your doubts as well as your expectations. Your surgeon will help determine what isn’t or what is possible to accomplish, helping you to improve your looks in the best way possible.
In this initial discussion, your doctor will explain all that the surgery implies, from where it will be performed, the cost of the procedure, the risks it may involve, the recovery process and every other detail so that you are completely informed. All the different aspects of the surgery you are willing to undertake must be extremely clear to you.
Make sure to ask your doctor concerning the diverse details that the surgery entails. For example, you should know if you should stop taking certain medications or if you will need to refrain from drinking or eating for a certain time period before your surgery. It may be possible that you will need to wash your face constantly before your operation or you might need to stop taking certain vitamins.
Having a good communication with your surgeon at all times will help increase your level of satisfaction, therefore, please do not hesitate to contact HCR since we will be more than happy to help you with anything you need.
When preparing for your surgery in Costa Rica, HCR will make sure to provide the best possible services during your procedure. We will arrange for your transport and will offer the best commodities during your recovery. All this can be arranged previously with our organization.
This type of surgery may require full body anesthesia if large amounts of fat are to be extracted; however, it can usually be performed using local anesthesia. The donor area (eg: buttocks, thighs or abdomen) is sedated while at the same time injected with intravenous (IV) fluids so that the fat collection is facilitated.
Using a small needle attached to a syringe, HCR surgeons extract the fat cells, which are then treated in a special centrifuge to reduce excess fluids. With another needle and using a larger syringe, the fat is re-injected in the selected area in the form of various thin strands. Since the fat is bigger than other injectable materials, it is usually inserted deeper into the skin. The fat then tightens and plumps the skin, decreasing and eliminating scars, wrinkles and lines.
Doctors are aware that the body will absorb some of the fat and therefore, “overfilling” the problem area is a common practice.
The level of pain during the whole procedure differs from person to person. Although, the discomfort presented by this type of process if generally mild. Sometimes, the fat injection is performed without anesthesia, depending on the area. On sensitive areas, such as around the lips, sedation is usually applied. Injections on the chin, eye area and cheeks are less painful.
The whole process generally takes around an hour and half, depending on how many injections are needed to achieve the desired results.
Post-Op – After The Surgery
After the procedure, you can expect some redness and swelling for 24 to 48 hours. Mild discomfort and itching are common and your recovery time will depend on the extent of the injections. When the face has been injected with large amounts of fat, the swelling might last from several days to several weeks. Since recuperation is different for anyone, you can consult your doctor before the operation to discuss what he/she considers to be a reasonable period of healing.
Normally, it takes around a week to 10 days for a patient to recover completely. You will be able to return to work and normal activities after only a few days.
This procedure is completely natural, therefore, no allergic reactions are to be expected since the fat is collected from your own body.
As with any type of cosmetic surgery, complications are unusual, but they sometimes do happen. In the case of fat injections, infection is extremely uncommon, but in the case of its occurrence, it is treated with antibiotics during a five day period.