3D fat transfer restores the youthful, three-dimensional contours of your younger face, helping you look years younger. Over time, your face will lose volume, primarily due to fat loss but also due to gradual bone loss, especially in the jaw area. We harvest your body’s own fat, primarily from the abdomen area, and carefully relocate the harvested fat cells to areas of your face where volume has been lost, rejuvenating your entire face.
A 3D facial fat transfer procedure begins with a mini-liposuction. Using small, three-millimeter incisions, Dr. Lensink will harvest fat from your abdomen, flanks and, less frequently, your chin. The harvested fat is then processed using a slow centrifuge where platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is added. The PRP, which is also drawn from your body’s own blood, helps enhance the survival rate of the fat once transplanted.
Once the fat has been processed, your doctor will inject it into areas of the face which need enhanced volume based on your desired look and what will work best with your existing facial anatomy. The injections will use even smaller, 1.2-millimeter cannulas similar to those used to extract your fat. The result of the injections will be a return to the youthful fullness of your face before age-related loss of fat and bone.
Dr. Lensink will perform the procedure in his office using local anesthesia. To enhance the anesthesia, you will also take some pre-prescribed pain medication and sedatives about an hour before the procedure. Leading up to your procedure, Dr. Lensink will also ask you to avoid any medications you might be taking which reduce the blood’s ability to clot. This will benefit the outcome of your procedure.
Immediately after your procedure, you will have significant facial swelling and bruising from both the anesthesia and fat transfer, and it will take approximately two weeks for all the swelling and bruising from your procedure to dissipate. However, these natural symptoms will rapidly decrease in the first couple of hours after your procedure, and you will be able to go out in public comfortably after about two or three or days. Bruising in isolated areas of your face may remain beyond this period, but they can easily be concealed with make-up until they resolve on their own.
Your fat harvesting sites will also need some time to heal. Dr. Lensink will wrap your abdomen in compression bandages after your procedure and recommend you continue to wear them for a few of days to minimize swelling and bruising and increase comfort. Many patients find it increases their comfort to wear these bandages for several more days, and it is perfectly safe to do so.
You should also plan to have one or more follow-up procedures. Depending on your specific needs you may need to have additional procedures to achieve the level of facial-fat restoration you desire. Dr. Lensink will recommend taking a conservative approach to fat transfer since fat transfers are permanent, and you will want to minimize any risk of adding too much volume to your treatment areas.
Also, fat transfer procedures experience natural attrition, meaning that generally only about 60 percent of fat transferred will survive in the recipient site. For this reason, many patients will need to have a follow-up procedure to achieve your desired results. To facilitate this process and for your convenience, some of your harvested fat may be stored for use in subsequent procedures.