ne component of aging in the face is the loss of volume…specifically the loss of fat and collagen in the cheeks. With this loss, comes the elements of sagging and drooping that start to create early howling. Dr. Blackledge often uses fat grafting and fat transfer to correct these early signs of aging. With the addition of fat, the face starts to get a more youthful appearance as the cheeks are volumized. This extra volume not only makes the face look more youthful, but also improves the texture and tone of the skin.
Fat transfer is performed by harvesting or taking fat from areas where there is excess (such as the midsection) and injecting it in to areas where there is loss of volume (such as the cheeks and hands.) The beauty of fat transfer is plentiful. First, because it is harvested from the patient’s body, there is no chance of an allergic reaction. Secondly, it is relatively inexpensive, typically there is an abundance of fat to be harvested and lastly, it gives a very natural look. As the skin is noticeably tighter over the injected fat, patients also enjoy the added benefit of an improvement of skin tone.
The areas that Dr. Blackledge most commonly uses fat transfer are in the hollows of the cheeks and lower eyelid troughs, temporal areas and the hands. Fat is soft, has a natural appearance and molds easily into its new position.
The procedure is done under a local anesthetic or in some cases a twilight anesthesia. The downtime is relatively limited as some patients may have a small amount of bruising or swelling. Patients are usually able to resume normal activities in less than a week. The results of fat transfer last up to ten years before patients desire further correction of loss of volume.