Face & Skin
FAMI – Revolutionary Fat Transfer Procedure
Facial Fat Grafting
Also known as facial fat transfer, structural fat grafting, autologous fat grafting, FAMI™ (facial augmentation by muscular injection), lipoinjection, or simply fat injections, this procedure restores lost volume with your body’s own natural fat cells.
Who can benefit from this procedure?
Anyone who has lost volume, fullness, or suppleness in their face with aging. This essentially describes everyone.
What happens to our faces as we age?
Losing facial volume is a common side effect of aging. The face of a newborn is round, full, and youthful. Each day after childhood, fat cells are lost in the face. When this occurs, the result is a more tired, aged appearance.
Volume is lost due to several factors, including thinning of the skin. Sun damage leads to a process called elastosis where the skin loses it suppleness and the collagen in the skin begins to degrade. Facial fat starts to shrink and the cheeks and under-eyes become hollow. Facial bones also begin to atrophy or shrink, so there is less support for the facial structures.
Facial fat transfer delivers long lasting results that include a fuller and more youthful appearance. Many of our Livonia / Shelby Township medspa patients appreciate the naturalness of their own fat (as compared to other filler injections), especially because there is no risk of an allergic reaction or rejection.
Areas that benefit from fat grafting
Fat grafting techniques can be used anywhere on the body, but the face is the most common site for this cosmetic procedure. Areas that often benefit include the hollows under the eyes (tear troughs) that create shadows and dark circles, sunken cheeks, beneath sunken temples and eyebrows, along the jawline, and the lips.
Fat transfer can also improve the appearance of scars or dimples that have resulted from injuries or previous surgery. It can also improve facial asymmetries that are present at birth or develop over time (including hemifacial atrophy (Parry-Romberg Syndrome) and linear scleroderma).
The difference between fillers and fat transfer
Injectable fillers are composed of biocompatible substances not taken from your own body. There are many different types of injectable fillers that have different properties with results that can last different lengths of time. The most frequently used fillers are made of hyaluronic acid gel, as in Restylane®, Perlane®, and Juvederm®. Filler procedures are performed as an office procedure and have minimal to no downtime.
Fat transfer uses tissue from your own body to enhance your volume in another location. It can be thought of as the perfect filler. The risk of allergy is eliminated by using your own tissue. These fat cells are your own and they can live in the new location indefinitely. There tends to be one to two weeks of swelling and/or bruising after a facial fat grafting procedure.
How long will the fat last?
Fat cells that survive can last indefinitely in the new location. After the treatment, there is some variability in the percentage of fat cells that survive. Research shows that 50% to 90% of the injected fat will remain after three months. There are numerous factors that influence how much fat will be absorbed by the body and these include the type of harvesting technique used, the way in which the fat is handled, the manner of injection, your metabolism, and your own healing traits.
How the fat grafting procedure is performed
Facial fat grafting is a surgical procedure in which a minimally invasive approach is used:
- AnesthesiaA local anesthetic fluid is used to numb the donor site where the fat is gently removed. This anesthetic is called tumescent fluid and is the safest and most modern form of mini liposuction. The fluid consists of saline with small amounts of lidocaine (for anesthesia) and epinephrine (to prevent bleeding).
- Fat retrievalMini liposuction is used to gently and carefully remove fat for the fat transfer from another part of your body such as your waist or around your navel. A low-pressure suction is used for fat harvesting. High-pressures (as used in liposuction for body contouring) can potentially harm the fat cells. The downtime and recovery from the fat harvesting usually consists of minimal soreness and mild swelling for several days.
- Fat processingYour extracted fat is then processed into a consistency appropriate for facial transfer, to be performed in the same session. A special centrifuge spins the fat cells, separating them from surrounding oil, red blood cells, and residual anesthetic fluid. The speed of the centrifuge is important; if it is too fast, the fat cells can become injured. If it is too slow, the fat will not be adequately condensed and purified. The centrifuged fat cells are more concentrated and have a higher survival rate when they are treated in this manner. Oil and red blood cells can cause inflammation and may inhibit the overall success of the procedure. These components are removed while maintaining a closed system, so that the technique is sterile and no outside factors can affect the viability of the precious fat. Other fat processing methods are successful, including the use of specialized filters. A number of devices or “systems” are commercially available to assist in fat transfer, including LipiVage ©, Viafill ©, LiveFill ©, Adivive ©, and Tissu-Trans ™.
- Fat injectionsSmall syringes are used with special injection cannulas (or tubes) to artistically thread the fat cells in all the layers of the face, a very small amount at a time. This technique has been referred to as “structural fat grafting.” The fat cells can each maintain a good blood supply for enhanced survival, and the fat adds support and volume to the treated areas of the face, including the cheeks, under-eyes, temples, eyebrows, etc. An experienced surgeon is careful to gradually add fat to create a natural result. In areas of the face with thin skin, fat is placed deeply to avoid any visible lumps.
Recovery after fat grafting
Swelling and bruising are expected after facial fat grafting. These can be most noticeable for the first 1-2 weeks after the procedure, but may last longer. Discomfort is usually mild for the first week, and can typically be described as soreness. Usually patients can partake in social events 2-3 weeks after the procedure. It may take 3-6 months to achieve the final aesthetic result.
Fat grafting can be performed more than once. Patients may repeat the procedure because they want to achieve more fullness after the initial treatment. Other types of fillers can still be used if you’ve already had a fat transfer procedure.
Fat grafting with other procedures
Facial fat grafting logically complements other facial rejuvenation procedures. Facelifting, eyelid lifting, nose reshaping, and laser resurfacing can be combined with facial fat grafting for an enhanced, well-balanced, natural look.
Am I a facial fat transfer candidate?
Schedule a FREE consultation with one of our professional doctors. You will be able to assess whether you are a candidate and determine which treatment will help you achieve your desired appearance. Facial fat transfer may be an excellent procedure to provide a softer overall appearance.
Facial fat transfer is frequently combined with other procedures, such as laser skin resurfacing, an eyelid lift, and/or a facelift in Michigan. The addition of natural volume can enhance the results of surgical procedures, creating a more natural look.
Allure Medical Patients Before and After FAMI Fat Transfer*
Under local Anesthesia, fat was removed from the abdomen, processed and injected into the areas marked.
Before and 2 years later, Botox© for brow lift, crows feet and lip lines. Fat transfer for hollow eyes and cheeks, facial lines and lips. Filler lips and fine lines and topical’s for skin improvement.
Before and after fat grafting to tear trough, temples and upper cheeks.
6 days after fat grafting (FAMI) still swollen in the jowls and mild bruising.