Facial Fat Grafting: Here’s What You Need to Know

Fat grafting techniques are changing the way we address numerous cosmetic concerns. In our St. Louis office, the process of transferring fat cells from one area of the body to the face enables patients to regain the fullness that once gave them a youthful appearance.

Dr. Steitz completed the distinguished Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship program at the University of Illinois, Chicago under some of the most renowned plastic surgeons. We are proud to bring his experience to patients in the St. Louis area who are interested in the most natural-looking facial rejuvenation using precision fat grafting technique.

Some of the corrections that can be made using harvested fat include:

  • Deflation in the cheek area
  • Forehead lines
  • Creases between the nose and mouth
  • Marionette lines from the corners of the mouth downward
  • Thinning lips
  • Scars or hollowing along the face or eyes
  • Undereye bags

Knowing What to Expect

Fat grafting works similarly to dermal fillers; both techniques are used to restore volume and soften lines. However, the small variation in the substance injected into the face can make the recovery from fat injections much different than dermal fillers. Here are a few of the concerns expressed by patients during their first week after fat injections.

  • My face looks really full.
  • My eyebrows look like a caveman!
  • My swelling looks worse after several days of recovery.
  • My swelling looks bad one day, then better the next, then bad again.
  • My face looks unbalanced
  • The inside of my mouth feels lumpy
  • My cheeks feel really firm.

These are all very common sensations after fat grafting. They occur because fat is much more viscous than the average dermal filler. Fillers bind to water molecules and are generally smooth. Fat needs to integrate with surrounding tissue and this can take time.

Week One after fat grafting typically involves bruising and swelling. This includes both the harvesting site and the face where injections are administered. Discomfort is usually mild after treatment. Both comfort and swelling can be managed with cold compresses and keeping the head elevated when sleeping.

Week Two typically brings a significant reduction in swelling and bruising. This often happens between day 7 and day 10. All of those concerns that we listed; they should be virtually gone by the end of the second week. Residual swelling is barely noticeable and continues to diminish over several weeks.

Plastic surgeons are making the best use of unwanted fat these days. See how this can benefit you. Schedule a consultation in our St. Louis office at  314.475.3700 to discuss the benefits of fat injections.

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