What is it Like to Recover from Fat Transfer?
- Posted on: Oct 30 2020
One of the changes that happen as we age is that the mid-face flattens. This is because the fat pads that live here gradually degrade without a strong matrix of collagen and elastin in the dermis. Historically, facial aging has been addressed only with facelift surgery. This procedure can be beneficial but, as we have seen, may not resolve all of the issues that age the face. Fat degradation is one of them. To address this, we may perform fat transfer.
Fat transfer, or fat injections, is a convenient process that involves two steps. First, the surgeon removes fat cells from a part of the body such as the thighs, buttocks, or abdomen. The liposuction procedure may be very conservative or may be done to also sculpt the body. Since fat is being removed anyway, why not slim down a bit? After the fat is harvested, it is processed to separate out fluid and blood cells. This way, pure fat cells can then be injected beneath the dermis in the mid-face or temple area. The procedure typically takes about an hour. Here, we discuss what happens after.
Recovering after Fat Transfer
There are two areas that need to recover after a fat transfer, the harvest area and the recipient area.
After liposuction is performed to obtain fat cells, a compression garment may be applied. This helps fluid disperse from the surgical site. Compression also helps to manage the common side effect of swelling, which can last 2 to 3 weeks depending on the extent of fat reduction that has occurred. Bruising is also a common side effect after liposuction. This is also expected to improve over the course of about two weeks.
Bruising and swelling may also be visibly apparent in the area of the face that has been treated. Cool compresses may be applied to help reduce both. Some say that nothing feels better than a cool gel pad for the soreness that may occur in the face or in the area liposuction was performed. Care must be taken, though, to avoid getting the recipient site too cold. The fat that has been injected is somewhat delicate and we want it to have the best chance of survival.
Posted in: Fat Transfer