Wrinkles begin to appear as collagen and elastin fibers in the skin break down. This breakdown can also be attributed to excessive squinting, frowning and smiling.
Fat transfer (also called autologous fat transfer or micro-lipoinjection ), fills facial features with a patient's own fat. Because the fat comes from your own body, you cannot develop an allergic reaction. Fat transfer to the face is a safe procedure designed to recontour the face and provide definition to cheeks, chin, lips and lower eyes.
The fat used for fat transfer is liposuctioned from another part of your body like the abdomen or thighs and injected into another area that requires plumping.
Not every area of the body responds well to fat transfer. Fat cannot be injected into the breasts, for instance, because this makes it very difficult to detect breast cancer with mammograms.
Preparing for Surgery
2 Weeks Before Surgery
- Avoid all aspirin containing products, all anti-inflammatory medications (ie Ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin), all products containing 400 IU’s of vitamin E and all herbal products. These products can increase bleeding both during and after surgery and may lead to increased post-operative bruising, swelling and recovery time.
- Stop or at least cut down on smoking. Smoking constricts small blood vessels causing delayed healing, increased scarring and increased recovery time.
- Begin taking a multivitamin tablet daily, which can speed healing and shorten recovery time. It is recommended to continue your multivitamin for one month following surgery.
- Arrange for transportation to and from surgery. You must have someone responsible pick you up and remain with you for a minimum of 24 hours. You cannot take a taxi home on your own.
- It is recommended to restrict activity for approximately 2 weeks following surgery. It is advisable to make arrangements for assistance.
- Avoid dental appointments 2 weeks prior to your surgery as well as 2 weeks post operatively.
- Arnica capsules or pellets can be taken orally starting 2 days before surgery and can continue for 5 days post op. This homeopathic medication can assist in decreasing bruising and swelling due to surgery.
24 Hours Before Surgery
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your surgery (no water, no gum). If surgery is booked after 12 noon, clear fluids may be allowed up to 6 hours before surgery (ie: black coffee/tea, clear juice, water). Our nurse will advise you on this when you are given your time for surgery.
Day of Surgery
- Wear loose, comfortable button-up/zipper clothing (ie: jog suit, slip on shoes).
- Leave valuables at home (remove contact lenses, jewelry or piercing of any kind).
- Take any regular prescribed medications (ie. blood pressure medications) with a small amount of water.
Fat grafting is performed in our office on an outpatient basis. Both the area from which the fat is taken and the treatment site are anesthetized with a local anesthetic. Using a small needle attached to a syringe, fat is removed from a donor site where your fat is most tightly packed, such as your abdomen.
Once removed, your fat is processed to remove excess fluids and then reinjected using another needle, which is placed just under your skin beneath the wrinkle. This process may be repeated until the desired correction has been achieved.
Swelling is expected after fat injection and discomfort following the procedure can be easily controlled with medication. There may also be some bruising. Over the first few months your body will absorb about 65% of the fat. The remaining 35% will usually stay in place. For longer lasting results, patients usually receive three or four treatments over six months.
- Some pain and nausea can be expected. This can be relieved with anti-pain and anti-nausea medications. Take them as directed. If you are coming from out of town, please have these medications with you.
- Maintain a regular fluid intake during the day. Gatorade is a good option. Restrict fluids after supper; increased fluid intake will increase swelling.
- Rest is important to minimize pain, nausea and swelling.
- Keeping your head elevated after surgery will help decrease swelling.
- Begin a light nutritional regime and increase food intake as tolerated.
- Take Tylenol after surgery to decrease pain. 24 hours after surgery you may begin taking Advil.
Call (403) 228-1313 if you have any questions or concerns.
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Post-operative Day 1
- Be aware of any unusual swelling or a sudden increase in pain. If either of these are noted, phone the office as soon as possible.
- Continue to maintain an elevated position.
- Use cold compresses for 72 hours to decrease swelling.
- Be aware of decreased skin sensation. Do not apply excessive heat or cold to the operative areas.
- Do not smoke and rest as much as possible.
- A nurse will call you by noon to assess how you are doing. At this time, you will be given further post-operative instructions as well as an appointment for your first post-operative visit.
Risks & Safety Information
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk, and it is important that you understand the risks involved. An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit. Although the majority of patients do not experience the following complications, you should discuss each of them with Dr. Waslen to make sure you understand the risks, potential complications, and consequences of fat injection surgery.