Fat Transfer and Fat Grafting

Facial fullness between the cheek bones and lips provides a youthful appearance. Volume loss in this area and the facial compartments accentuates grooves such as the nasolabial folds and marionette lines and results in a concave facial contour. These areas can rejuvenated and facial volume restored with autologous fat grafting or fat transfer. Fat grafting can also restore facial symmetry or improve facial harmony. Other reasons for fat grafting include history of facial trauma or facial operations, history of breast cancer and desire for breast reconstruction and breast symmetry, surgical scars and desire for improved contour, history of radiation, or a history of congenital or craniofacial anomalies such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Taylor both have fellowship training in craniofacial surgery and have published extensively on their experience with facial plastic surgery. Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Taylor, top board certified plastic surgeons in the Cambridge and Boston Mass area, will carefully consider your goals and evaluate your potential for facial fat grafting. If they feel you are an appropriate candidate, they can tailor a minimally invasive procedure.

The procedure involves the transfer of small amounts of fat from unwanted areas such as the abdomen to the face, breast or body and restores the volume of soft tissues. With minimally invasive surgery through a very small incision in the belly button or creases such as the buttock, fat is removed using liposuction. Additional fat and body contouring can be removed at the same time if desired. The fat is then carefully washed and filled into the desired areas of the face, breast or body though micro cannulas and without making incisions. The transferred fat can restore face, breast or body contour and is the ideal method of minimally invasive rejuvenation.

Fat grafting can restore or  improve soft tissue volume by  gently removing fat from one area of the body and carefully introducing to another area. this image shows fat prepared for transfer to the face and hands for rejuvenation.

Fat grafting can restore or improve soft tissue volume by gently removing fat from one area of the body and carefully introducing to another area. this image shows fat prepared for transfer to the face and hands for rejuvenation.

Hand Rejuvenation, Fat Transfer and Wrinkles

Hand rejuvenation with fat transfer is another common procedure performed by Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Taylor. While surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation is usually considered to be the most common procedure with advancing age, the hands can also show signs of aging and betray how one feels. A beautiful manicure can be offset by the signs of aging on the back of the hands. Patients who have experienced facial rejuvenation with fillers or fat transfer may also be interested in hand rejuvenation. With the same methods used for facial fat transfer, and often in the same procedure, the hands can also be rejuvenated by filling the deep depressions, concealing the prominent veins and tendons, and restoring tone to the wrinkled skin. Adding volume with fat transfer softens the appearance of the back of the hands without the need to injure the veins with sclerotherapy or laser treatment. Micro liposuction is used to remove fat from unwanted areas such as the tummy and the fat is then carefully instilled into the back of the hand with micro cannulas so there is no need to make incisions or use stitches. Hand rejuvenation can also be performed in the office or med spa with hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane Lyft or Versa. Nevertheless, fat transfer offers the benefit of using your body’s own tissues and avoids the potential Tyndall effect, or bluish discoloration, that can be seen when hyaluronic acid is used with thin skin. Swelling and bruising are the most common side effects following hand rejuvenation, and these usually resolve within a few days.

Joint Pain, Fat Transfer and Liposuction

Recently, patients have reported relief of joint pain with fat grafting. This is a minimally invasive procedure where a small amount of fat can be safely and gently removed from an undesirable area using micro liposuction cannulas and transferred to a joint space where a patient feels pain. The procedure is usually performed with just local anesthesia - the liposuction area and the joint are numbed with medicine and the patient feels no pain. The fat can then be harvested through a micro incision placed in a wrinkle or crease. The fat is then gently transferred to the area of joint pain through micro cannulas that are not sharp, and no incisions or stitches are required. Patients recover with little to no discomfort or interruption in their usual activities and may find improvement in their joint pain or symptoms of arthritis. Dr. Sullivan, a top board certified plastic surgeon in the Boston Mass area, who frequently performs liposuction and fat transfer, can carefully consider your goals and evaluate your potential for treatment of joint pain with fat grafting and fat transfer.