Natural Facial Filler: Liposculpture Procedures
Your own fat can be used as a filler. These fat injections can be taken from any problem area and put somewhere more useful. Using your own fat is generally more permanent and can be a less expensive alternative to other fillers. Fat transfer is also known as liposculpture.
What is Liposculpture?
By processing the fat gently and carefully, and in select cases adding growth factors harvested from your own blood into the fat, we can enhance fat survival and minimize postoperative swelling. This technique is a type of lift that helps improve the quality and texture of the skin, while at the same time improving the hollows and drooping.
There are stem cells in harvested fat and it is controversial as to whether the fat that is grafted actually represents a stem cell facelift or merely is fat that is grafted that takes in its new transplanted location.
We have found that fat is not useful surrounding or inside the lips because it cannot survive in a host site where movement (e.g. swallowing, chewing and speaking) occurs. Fat may take in these locations, but it is associated with tremendous swelling which rarely justifies the outcome. We rarely put fat in the lips for this reason and suggest other temporary fillers.
Some common applications for liposculpture include:
- Filling out the brows, eyelids, cheeks, temples and any other hollows present in the face.
- Sculpting the jaw line.
- Filling out scars that were caused by injury, surgery, or acne.
Liposculpture is also effective in managing “unaesthetic aesthetic surgery” for patients who were victim to excessive fat removal due to cosmetic surgeries done elsewhere, such as prior liposuction or an aggressive tightening facelift. In this case, liposculpture softens the “pulled” look.
W Cosmetic Surgery® of Philadelphia has lectured nationally on liposculpture and taught our liposculpture techniques to other surgeons.
Your liposculpture procedure. What to expect.
Fat rejuvenates the face, which makes liposculpture an excellent procedure to balance and complement tightening procedures. In tandem, these procedures aid in adding volume to an aging face. Volume loss is a well-described, universally-recognized cause of an aged facial appearance. Fat is particularly useful if someone is resistant to the idea of permanent implants or doesn’t want synthetic fillers.
Liposculpture involves the liposuction of approximately 20–250cc of fat under local anesthesia from either the abdomen, the outer thighs, or the knees, with the intention of placing it in various areas in the face. Fat is a living graft. If handled carefully, much of it stays in place, particularly when placed in areas that are not especially mobile, such as the cheeks and areas under the eyes. Fat injections can be placed around scars, in the jawline, neck, temples, brows and forehead. There is more difficulty with fat retention in the lips than anywhere else. There is so much swelling associated with the lips that we prefer to use synthetic filler around and in the lips.
After fat injection, the abdomen or outer thighs from where it is taken are swollen and leak fluids for approximately 36 hours. 250cc represents a relatively small amount. Most patients notice little to no change.
In the face, however, the changes are dramatic. Initially, swelling is obvious and lasts for a period of 7-14 days. Within approximately one month, the fat settles.
Not all the fat stays. We can’t say how much is going to be present in any one patient for at least six months. Overcorrection and undercorrection are possibilities with fat injection. Undercorrection is preferable, and it looks more natural than overcorrection. Overcorrections are rare and they can be managed either by liposuction or by subcision (the removal of fat using a sharp needle under anesthesia). We have other means of addressing overcorrections as well. Some of these have been presented at national meetings and continue to be investigated in our practice.
Liposculpture Surgery Results
Liposculpture is a more natural treatment option, and it produces a natural look and feel. Some typical results of treatment using liposculpture are featured in our liposculpture gallery.