WHAT DOES THE PROCEDURE ENTAIL?
The first step to the Facial Fat Transfer is the collection of the fat cells. Dr. Rice will select a site from which the fat will be gathered--this process is usually not a problem! It is typical for us to find a good supply around the central abdomen, or the outside of the thigh. The facial regions and the donor site will then be injected with a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
While we are waiting for the anesthetic to take hold on the donor site, we draw some of our a patient's blood and put it in a centrifuge to separate the clear plasma from the red blood cells--this process is how PRP (platelet rich plasma) is obtained. PRP is filled with growth factors and elements that support and stimulate cell survival and growth. Once the PRP is obtained, Dr. Rice loads it into the syringe that is used for the fat harvest. This means the fat cells are taken from donor site, directly into a syringe that has a host of supportive ingredients that stimulate and maximize the survival of the fat cells as they are transferred to the new location.
Once the anesthetic takes effect, we will make a very small opening in the belly button to access the fat layer, if the abdomen happens to be where we are pulling from. Through the incision, we will insert a sterilized cannula (tube) and, under suction, extract the fat. It should be noted that while this procedure can be a great add-on to a typical liposuction procedure, the standard Facial Fat Transfer procedure takes just enough fat to accomplish the volume enhancement in the face and is not designed to slim down the donor site.
After the harvesting takes place, the second phase of this procedure begins as we transfer the fat cells. Before this phase of the procedure takes place, we make sure the face is completely numb in order to eliminate pain. The fat placement is done after transferring the fat from the harvesting syringe into small 1cc implanting syringes. The cannula is carefully and precisely passed back and forth throughout the area to be augmented, each time placing a fine line of fat cells. This process will be replicated until a uniform grid of grafted fat is created.