Why Choose Dr. Zenn?
- Dr. Zenn’s primary focus is on facial rejuvenation procedures
- Facial fat grafting is one of the most important developments in facial cosmetic surgery in the last 5 years
- Dr. Zenn has been performing fat grafting with beautiful results for more than a decade
- Taught his cutting-edge techniques to hundreds of plastic surgeons
- Dr. Zenn is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for Cosmetic Surgery
- Dr. Zenn holds board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
What is Facial Fat Grafting (Fat Transfer)?
Fat grafting is a surgical technique that harvests fat cells from one part of your body, processes those cells, then places them in another area of your body for a cosmetic benefit. The purpose of fat grafting is to augment or fill-in volume-deficient areas, commonly seen in the aging face.
Many patients are familiar with dermal fillers (i.e. Juvéderm®, Restylane®) which also add volume to deficient areas of the face – but are temporary. Autologous fat (from your own body), as opposed to dermal fillers, replaces “like with like,” and replaces lost fat in your face. In fact, placement of fat is possible in many more places on the face in comparison to injectables. Fat creates an incredibly soft, natural, and youthful appearance that fillers alone cannot accomplish. Fat transfer uses your own living cells and therefore is long lasting and safe. The amount of fat that survives the transfer is dependent on experience.
Our goal at Zenn Plastic Surgery is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results possible, while offering a positive and easy patient experience.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Fat Transfer?
Loss of facial volume is a common component of facial aging and fat grafting restores that youthful-looking volume. Therefore, almost every facelift patient is a candidate for facial fat transfer. That is, as long as there is a good donor site from which to harvest the fat. Facial fat grafting rarely requires more than 100cc of fat harvest. By comparison, cosmetic liposuction removes hundreds or thousands of cc’s of fat. If you’re in good health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate.
The Facial Fat Grafting Procedure
Fat is harvested from one part of your body and then centrifuged to purify it. Finally, Dr. Zenn carefully reinjects these purified cells with cannulas into the areas that need augmentation.
(1) harvesting (2) purification and (3) placement, performed under sedation or general anesthesia in an ambulatory surgery facility.
Dr. Zenn will consult with you to select a site for fat removal before surgery. During surgery, he will create a small puncture in the area for fat removal. Then Dr. Zenn inserts a cannula connected to a syringe and carefully extracts fat (liposuction).
Dr. Zenn obtains the correct amount of fat from the donor area. He then will use a centrifuge to spin the fat to remove non-viable cells, blood, and other impurities. Next he will transfer the fat cells to small syringes for injection.
The placement of fat is where experience and artistry set Dr. Zenn apart from other plastic surgeons. After marking the area to receive the fat graft, Dr. Zenn will insert a small cannula into a small incision point near the site. He then passes the cannula in and out of the areas he is augmenting. Dr. Zenn does this multiple times, using his artistic eye to sculpt the face. The sites of entry are so small that they often require no stitches and heal beautifully.