For years, plastic surgery patients have wondered about the possibilities of using unwanted fat from one part of the body, such as the abdomen, to add youthful-looking volume to another part, such as the face, breast or buttock. This option, called autologous fat grafting or fat transfer, is available to Bellevue, Seattle, and other Washington-area patients from board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Braden Stridde.
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What Is Fat Transfer?
Facial aging is caused by a number of factors — some preventable, such as sun damage, and some outside of our control, such as fat atrophy and tissue displacement that leads to volume loss and sagging. Regardless of how well we take care of our skin while we're young, physical aging is inevitable. Although topical products and non-surgical treatments, such as injectable fillers, can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and mild volume loss, those with more significant complaints may benefit from the rejuvenating effects of fat transfer.
At Puget Sound Plastic Surgery, fat transfer is a procedure that uses unwanted fat from one area of the body, such as the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs, to add volume to the face, breast, or buttocks. Dr. Stridde harvests the fat via liposuction and purifies it in a special process that makes it suitable for placement in a new location. Dr. Stridde then injects the fat into targeted areas of the face or breast. Facial fat transfer can be performed on its own, but it is more frequently performed in combination with a facelift as part of a comprehensive facial rejuvenation. The result is a soft, natural-looking change that's safe and long lasting.
Why Choose Fat Transfer?
Although multiple options exist for replacing lost volume in the face, fat transfer might be the best option for you, especially if:
- You're in search of more significant results than what injectable fillers can provide
- You prefer a natural alternative to synthetic injectable fillers
- You're allergic or sensitive to an ingredient found in injectable fillers
- You wish to use one substance to fill various areas of your face
- You find the long-lasting benefit of fat transfer preferable to temporary injectable fillers
Fat transfer may not be effective for patients who don't have enough unwanted body fat to use, or for those who have only mild signs of facial aging.
See for yourself the results that make Dr. Stridde one of the most sought after plastic surgeons in the Seattle area.View Before & After Photo Gallery
Fat Transfer Enhancements
At Puget Sound Plastic Surgery, Dr. Stridde typically performs fat transfers as part of facelift surgery. However, it can be performed in conjunction with any facial rejuvenation procedure to enhance the results and add subtle, soft volume to areas including the chin, lips, and cheeks, as well as around the eyes. Fat transfer is also very effective for enhancing the shape and volume of the breasts and buttocks.
During your consultation, Dr. Stridde will review the procedure, discuss your concerns and goals, and assess your anatomy with special attention to your specific areas of concern. He discusses your lifestyle and desired results with you and helps you determine whether fat transfer is an appropriate choice for you, as well as complementary procedures that can further enhance your results. Using his unique combination of aesthetic vision and medical understanding, Dr. Stridde creates a completely customized plan that reflects your specific needs and desires.
As with any complex aesthetic surgical procedure, choosing a highly experienced, credentialed surgeon can ensure you have the safest, most effective outcome, and natural-looking results. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Stridde has ample experience with the latest fat transfer techniques and is enthusiastic about the results he can create.
Your Fat Transfer Procedure
Your fat transfer procedure begins with liposuction. Depending on the extent of this procedure, you may be under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Dr. Stridde makes a small incision on the donor site, typically your abdomen, buttocks, or thighs. Using a thin, metal tube called a cannula, he will aspirate or suction out the fat intended for transfer. Rather than discarding the fat as is done during a traditional liposuction procedure, Dr. Stridde will process the fat to separate and purify it, making it suitable for grafting. During your fat transfer procedure, he will place the purified fat into the areas you discussed during your consultation and pre-op appointments, shaping it to create a soft, natural-looking contour.
Dr. Stridde performs each fat grafting procedure in our on-site certified outpatient surgery center. You may return home the same day as your surgery, following a brief period of observation. Keep in mind that you'll need someone to drive you home and help you around the house for at least the remainder of the day.
Browse videos and before-and- after photos, and review your consultation using TouchMD, a free, personalized online tool offered by Dr. Stridde to enhance your patient experience. The secure, password-protected Web access allows you to share your experience with family and friends.
Recovery After Surgery
The recuperation process following fat transfer depends largely on the significance of your procedure. Dr. Stridde discusses your projected recuperation at length with you during your consultation, and he ensures you have a complete understanding of what to expect prior to your surgery date.
In most cases, recuperating after fat grafting is fairly comfortable and uneventful. If you underwent facelift surgery, you may require 10 days to 2 weeks of recovery before you feel comfortable being visible in public. Bruising and swelling are typical in the areas where you had liposuction, but discomfort is minimal with prescribed medicines.
In the long term, facelift patients enjoy a fuller, more youthful-looking face, without the overly tight or unnatural results that can be associated with facial rejuvenation surgery. With replaced volume in sunken or hollow areas, you'll look healthy and youthful. You'll likely see a noticeable reduction in the number and severity of your wrinkles and even a smoother, age-defying effect. The results of your fat transfer can last for years by practicing good skincare habits.