Facial Volume Changes and Lipografting
Facial volume changes over time. Most of us gradually lose soft tissue volume in the temples, tear trough areas, cheeks, lips and soft tissues around the mouth. In addition some of our existing youthful soft tissue volume naturally falls downward over time – both in the midface and at the jawline – leading to gradual development of nasolabial (smile) folds and jowls.
Adding volume (eg filler injections or fat grafting) may temporarily camouflage the nasolabial folds and / or jowls but many of us reach a point where much better results can be obtained by also removing some of the fullness associated with the nasolabial folds and jowls (via Laser Assisted Facial Contouring aka the AccuLift™ procedure). In addition, if there is significant skin laxity then fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing (eg eCO2) and / or facelift surgery may be necessary for optimal results.
For patients that do need volume enhancement current techniques with fat grafting (aka lipografting) give predictable, long lasting results. Fat is the ideal soft tissue augmentation (filler) material since it is from your own body and because it is soft and gives very natural results if done conservatively and with proportional balance throughout the face.
How Does Lipografting Work and How Long Does Lipografting Last?
Lipografting involves transferring one’s own living fat cells from one part of the body to areas of volume loss in the face. Lipografting replaces and /or enhances the existing structural framework that supports the skin soft tissue envelope of the face. Fat (adipose) tissue is delicate and the fat cells can be damaged during harvest (removal from the abdomen or other body areas) or during re-injection into areas of volume loss in the face – the damaged fat cells will dissolve and be removed by the body. After the fat cells are injected the remaining undamaged fat cells must obtain enough oxygen to be sustained – those that do not will also dissolve and be removed by the body. So the goal with lipografting is to use enough fat in each area to have a substantial improvement after the body clears the damaged and oxygen deprived fat cells. Dr. Holcomb uses state-of-the-art fat harvest, purification and injection techniques to increase survival of the injected fat cells. While lipografting results can last for years touch-up procedures are sometimes necessary.
What is the Typical Recovery?
Most patients develop swelling initially after the procedure that peaks in 3 or 4 days and then gradually subsides. Most of the swelling resolves within 7 to 14 days but mild swelling may be present for up to 4 weeks following the procedure. Some patients develop bruising at the donor and /or recipient site. We advise patients to discontinue any medications or supplements that may promote bleeding (eg vitamin E, fish oil, aspirin).
Who is a Candidate for Lipografting?
Candidates for lipografting include those with facial volume loss in one or more areas (eg temples, tear troughs, cheeks, areas around the mouth, jawline, lips) or areas that may not be obviously volume deficient but in which they desire enhancement (eg tear troughs, cheeks, areas around mouth, lips). Lipografting also requires the presence of a suitable layer of fat at the donor site (eg lower abdomen, love handle area, hip).
When Other Procedures are Combined with Lipografting?
Lipografting may be a standalone procedure for many patients but it is also frequently combined with other procedures. Combining lipografting with other procedures enables Dr. Holcomb to address other problems (eg heavier smile fold, jowl, skin aging, skin laxity) at the same time so that results are even more pleasing. Examples include:
- Lipografting and Laser Assisted Facial Contouring (LAFC, also known as AccuLift™ – click here to learn more)
- Lipografting and fractional CO2 laser resurfacing (eCO2 – click here to learn more)
- Lipografting and facelift (click here to learn more about facelift surgery)
For some patients lipografting may be combined with all of these procedures (Laser Assisted Facial Contouring, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing and facelift) in a single session.
Schedule your Lipografting consultation today by clicking here!
The Natural Filler for Natural Results
As people get older, fatty tissue tends to migrate downward in the face often leading to a hollow appearance of the area under the eyes along with flattening and deflation of the midface and deepening of the folds near the mouth.
Adivive™ Fat Transfer is a revolutionary procedure designed to maximize fat graft viability during harvest and transfer to enable safe and reliable restoration of facial features with a healthy shape and contour. Fat Grafting is designed to plump up soft tissues and to soften the appearance of deeper facial folds. Results are long lasting, as the fat’s stem cells will thrive, and continue to provide benefits over the following months and years.
Recovery after Adivive™ Fat Transfer Procedure:
The results from Fat Grafting are immediately noticeable, and are long lasting. Minor discomfort usually resolves over several days while swelling may take several weeks to fully dissipate.
Holcomb – Kreithen Plastic Surgery is located in the heart of Sarasota, Florida. We provide a wide range of surgical and noninvasive procedures for the face, neck, and body. Contact our office at (866) 218-4810 for more information on the Adivive™ Fat Transfer procedure, or any other service offered.