Facial fat grafting, also known as autologous fat transfer or simply fat injections, is a surgical process that extracts the patient’s fat and re-implants it into another area that requires smoothing or plumping (commonly around the facial features). The fat grafting process typically targets extraction areas around the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks.
Fat grafting is a highly individualized procedure that may be a good option if you are bothered by creased or sunken areas of your face.
Note: Success in fat grafting is greater if you are physically healthy and maintain a stable weight, you do not smoke, and you have realistic expectations for your surgery and potential outcomes.
The Initial Consultation
The success of your fat grafting procedure depends on the quality of your participation in the initial consultation at the Birmingham Cohn Plastic Surgery. You will need to be prepared to discuss why you want fat grafting, your personal medical history, drug allergies, use of medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and any family history of disease.
Dr. Cohn will perform a physical examination and take detailed measurements of your individual physical attributes. Photographs will be taken for your medical record. At that point, Dr. Cohn will be prepared to discuss your options, recommend a course of treatment, and discuss the use of anesthesia during your fat grafting procedure. The consultation consists of a thorough discussion to get a sense of what an anticipated final appearance might look like. Dr. Cohn is happy to assist with recommendations while using your personal goals to guide final decision making.
Preparing for a Fat Grafting Procedure
Before a fat grafting procedure, Dr. Cohn will discuss where your procedure will be performed – in our accredited, office-based surgical suite, outpatient / ambulatory surgical center, or in a hospital in Birmingham. Prior to your surgery, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical evaluation, receive a prescription for certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking, avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. Some special instructions you receive will cover what to do on the day of surgery and post-operative care and follow-up.
The Birmingham Fat Grafting Procedure
After preparing the donor site (abdomen, thighs, or buttocks) for excess fat removal with local anesthetic, Dr. Cohn will draw the fat using a syringe with a large needle or cannula. The transferrable fat will then be implanted into the new location and the process will be repeated until the desired effect has been achieved.
Risks and Complications
The decision to have a fat grafting procedure is extremely personal and not without risk. Dr. Cohn will fully review and explain the risks associated with your surgery. After you fully understand the procedure, you will be asked to sign consent forms.
Recovery for a Fat Grafting Procedure
Although many factors are involved in your recovery time, you will likely experience a very short post-surgical recovery period. You may be advised to refrain from using facial cosmetics and have a reduced activity period for a few days. During recovery, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks. Exercise and normal activity can resume at Dr. Cohn’s direction.
Following all of Dr. Cohn’s post-surgery instructions is crucial to the success of your surgery. Surgical incisions should not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during healing. Dr. Cohn will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions following a fat grafting procedure, which medications to take, how to reduce the risk of infection, and when to make a follow-up appointment.
Fat Grafting Costs
As with any elective surgery, the cost of a fat grafting procedure is a consideration for some patients. Cost may include a surgeon’s fee, hospital or surgical facility costs, anesthesia fees, prescriptions for medications, and any associated medical tests. Birmingham Cohn Plastic Surgery proudly offers patient financing plans, so be sure to ask if such a plan is of interest to you.
For more information fat grafting surgery in Birmingham, we invite you to call us at (205) 930-1600 – Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Friday from 8:00am to 12:00pm – to schedule an appointment. You may also use the Contact Form page to send us a message.