If you're soon to have a facelift performed, it's likely that your surgeon will be harvesting a small amount of fat from areas of your face that could use some toning. Since your own cellulite will be readily accepted by your body, your surgeon can use this fat to plump up your lips, reshape your eyelids, or even fill in wrinkles around your mouth. This process of taking fat cells from one place on your body and transferring them to another is called fat grafting. Here are 2 crucial things you should know about fat grafting if you plan to have it performed after your facelift.
1. It's Best To Get Both Procedures Done At The Same Time
If your facelift will be your first cosmetic surgery, you may think it wise to limit the amount of work you'll have performed until you know how your body will respond. While fat banks that offer individuals the opportunity to freeze and store their harvested cellulite for later use do exist, it really is best to just go ahead and have your surgeon perform your facelift and fat grafting at the same time.
Some experts are skeptical of fat banking because animal studies show that frozen fat doesn't remain viable for as long as non-frozen fat. Furthermore, the storage of fat allows room for human error in which a recipient could be injected with another person's sample. If you choose to have fat grafting done immediately after your facelift (usually, the fat must be transferred within one hour if there are no plans for fat storage), you know the fat being transferred into your body absolutely came from you, and you can recover from both procedures at the same time.
It should also be noted that it costs $900 to store a small amount of fat for one year. The price drops down to $200 a year after that, but this still equates to a substantial and unnecessary increase in your total cosmetic surgery costs.
2. You Have Better Odds Of Success If Your Fat Grafts Are Enriched
Human fat is typically composed of three to five percent stem cells. Stem cells can divide and develop into different cells with specialized functions. By increasing the concentration of stem cells in the fat that will be injected under your skin, you can boost the success rate of your fat graft.
When your surgeon performs a stem cell-enriched fat graft, they take a portion of the fat that has been extracted from your face during your facelift and use special equipment to extract its stem cells from it. Those stem cells are then mixed with the remaining portion of your extracted fat before the sample is injected under your skin. Because those stem cells can go on to divide and grow more fat cells or connective tissue, your fat graft is less likely to die or be absorbed back into your body. In one study, participants who opted for regular fat grafts retained only 16.3 percent graft volume after 120 days, while those who opted for stem cell enrichment showed 80.9 percent volume retention of their grafts.
If there is not enough fat removed from your face during your facelift to meet the needs of both the fat transfer and the fat needed for additional stem cells, then your surgeon may be able to use a syringe to extract the necessary amount from elsewhere on your body.
If you're having a facelift that will leave you with some harvested fat to reuse, keep the above 2 tips in mind. For more information on what you can do with fat cells that are extracted during your facelift or how to boost your odds of a successful fat transfer, contact a plastic surgeon or facelift specialist near you. You can also try visiting a site like http://www.myplasticsurgerygroup.com.