Fat grafting, also called fat transfer or fat injection, is offered at our Virginia Beach practice to help restore volume to the face for a more youthful appearance. Fat grafting uses a person's own fat, removed from another area of the body, to create the subtle, natural-looking contours characteristic of a younger face. Dr. Hubbard performs fat grafting as a stand-alone procedure and as part of his modern approach to facelift.
To discuss fat grafting and your other facial enhancement options, request your consultation online or call our office at (757) 687-1900.
What Is Fat Grafting?
Fat grafting involves removing excess fat from an area of the body where it is unwanted – such as the abdomen, hips, or thighs – and carefully transferring it to the face. The technique has been used for decades, but recent years have seen major advances as researchers have developed better ways to precisely process and inject fat cells.
Dr. Hubbard has performed hundreds of fat grafting procedures using the latest technology and techniques. His years of experience in facial plastic surgery help him determine the optimal volume of fat to inject and the best placement to produce the desired results. He frequently performs fat grafting on its own to help patients fill hollows and restore lost volume in the face. However, it is commonly combined with other facial plastic surgery procedures for more comprehensive results.
See the beautiful results of non-surgical treatments for yourself with our before & after gallery of real patient photos.
Is Fat Grafting for Me?
Fat grafting is a safe way to correct facial volume loss, one of the most common signs of aging. To undergo fat grafting, you should be in good general health, and you must have enough extra fat to harvest for grafting. Dr. Hubbard does a physical examination during your consultation to determine whether fat grafting might be a good choice for you.
Most patients are interested in achieving one or more of the following improvements:
- Filling in hollows beneath the eyes for a more rested look
- Plumping up the cheeks or lips
- Filling in the nasolabial folds, or the lines that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth
- Filling in sunken temples
- Restoring firm contours around the chin and jawline
- Minimizing the appearance of jowls
Dr. Hubbard can use photo imaging during your consultation to illustrate the kinds of changes you can expect to see.
What Is the Procedure Like?
Fat grafting begins with the removal of fat from an area where there is excess. This is done with traditional liposuction from a donor area such as the abdomen, thighs, or hip rolls. Together with Dr. Hubbard, you can discuss areas that you would like to have suctioned and the amount of fat that will be needed to accomplish your goals. Fat grafting is a very individualized procedure requiring lots of pre-surgical planning.
Following the liposuction, he puts the fat through a purification process to ensure optimal cell health and viability. Then, using a very fine needle, Dr. Hubbard injects the purified fat cells into your face in the areas you'd like to target. He can use a numbing anesthetic, but most patients choose general anesthesia or IV sedation.
Dr. Hubbard will describe the specifications of your procedure in greater detail during your preoperative appointments. He'll also talk about any other treatments that you may want to incorporate into your procedure. He commonly uses fat grafting as part of facelift surgery or other facial procedures.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
Fat grafting is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can return home immediately following your treatment. You should have a friend or loved one drive you home and help care for you in the first day or 2 after your treatment. Although your recovery will depend on how much liposuction is done, most patients return to their normal activities in 7 to 10 days. You will experience some soreness and swelling at the liposuction sites, but this is normal and should resolve quickly.
Your face will likely be swollen in the areas of the fat injections. Most of the swelling will dissipate in the first week or so, but some residual swelling may remain for a few months as the transferred fat integrates with your facial tissues and skin. Most patients enjoy a rejuvenated, youthful look within a week or 2 of their treatments. Some extensive grafting procedures could require another week of recovery. Changes after 4 months are usually minimal if a stable weight is maintained, and improvement often lasts a lifetime.