Fat grafting, also called fat injection and fat transfer, involves removing fat tissue from other parts of the body, which is immediately processed into liquid to be injected into the soft tissue that requires additional volume. In facial rejuvenation surgery, this has completely revolutionized how surgeons eliminate or reduce signs of aging.
Leading Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently posted a series of Snapchat videos to demonstrate liquid facelift via fat grafting performed on a female patient.
“Liquid facelift is a non medical term used to describe fillers or volumizers that are used to correct the appearance of gaunt cheeks, poor transition between the lower lid and cheek, and other signs of soft tissue atrophy or shrinkage,” says Dr. Smiley.
The female patient shown in the Snapchat videos had sought liquid facelift via fat grafting to correct three specific problems: prominent lines below her eyelids, flat mid cheek, and pre jowl sulcus.
Pre jowl sulcus is different from “true” jowl, which is the appearance of slack flesh along the jaw.
Pre jowl sulcus is a subtle bulge on both side of the chin that is a precursor to a full-blown jowl. Instead of standard facelift, this early sign of aging can be concealed by liquid facelift, which can be in the form of fat grafting or traditional fillers such as Radiesse and Juvederm.
Some doctors call liquid facelift via fat grafting as a minimal downtime procedure because patients are back on their feet immediately afterwards; however, the social downtime is almost comparable to facelift surgery—i.e., the swelling and bruising will take about 1-2 weeks to subside.
Bruising particularly affects the tear trough in which the skin is the thinnest. But by the third week, most patients are happy with the results although that they would lose a bit of volume (as the swelling further subsides) over the next 3-6 months.
For most patients, the final results of their surgery become apparent after six months.
Aside from volume improvement, Dr. Smiley says fat grafting also provides some lifting effect although not as substantial as the standard facelift surgery in which long incisions are made behind the hairline and within the ear’s curvature.
Also, patients who receive fat grafting can expect some improvements in the texture and appearance of their skin as fats contain copious amounts of stem cells, says the celebrity plastic surgeon.