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Westminster CA 92683
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Sony Truong MD 714-839-9999
Fat Transfer / Fat Grafting
Fat transfer to face, buttocks, hands and breast are increasingly popular in Orange County, ie. Newport Beach, Irvine, Huntington Beach and more. As the face ages it gradually starts to lose volume, a process known as fat atrophy. This tends to accelerate as time passes and can result in an unhealthy, fatigued or prematurely aged appearance. Fat transfer uses one’s own fat cells to reverse this effect, providing both structural support to soft tissues and restoring fullness to the face.
The procedure involves transfer of fat cells (adipocytes) into areas of fat atrophy. Adipose tissue is gently harvested from the lower abdomen, hip or inner thigh using small syringes, processed to garner viable cells and these are then transplanted in thin layers to areas of thinned and sunken tissue. Fat transfer is especially useful for restoring cheek contours and minimizing creases and hollowness around the eyes.
Fat transfer has many applications. Cosmetically it is used to contour and volumize the soft tissues of the face, but it is also used all over the body to improve the appearance and skin flexibility of trauma/acne scars, surface depressions, accidental damage/burns, and certain congenital conditions.
Aesthetic and structural advantages
By restoring volume to specific areas of the face (the midface, periorbital, perioral and temporal regions respond particularly well), fat transfer not only expands the skin and provides a lift, but also re-establishes the structural support of adjacent tissues. For example, a balanced revolumisation of the fat compartments of the cheek will stabilise the lower eyelid by restoring underlying layers, thereby reducing the tendency for hollowness and the formation of eye bags.
Other physiological benefits - the stem cell effect
The fat grafting procedure also has a number of physiological benefits. For example, there is no risk of rejection or allergic reaction as the fat is taken from the patient’s own body.
There is also evidence that grafted fat contributes to the healing process and improves the condition of the overlying skin, properties which are attributed to the fat’s high stem cell content and its ability to form new blood vessels. Additionally, the effects of fat grafting can last for many years - although the procedure can be repeated if required.
Moderate to significant swelling may be experienced for 2 weeks following the procedure until the grafted fat cells integrate with the surrounding tissue. It is not possible to predict how many of these cells will survive, the extent being determined by genetic factors as well as the inherent characteristics of the tissue into which it is transplanted.
Usually, a 20-60% survival rate is expected. It is Dr Truong's opinion that in order to achieve the best possible results and to avoid overcompensating, it is best to estimate conservatively in the first instance and to follow on with a secondary top-up procedure later if necessary.