Fat grafting, or fat transfer, also referred to as fat injections, describes the procedure of transferring fat from the body (hips and/or thighs and other from other locations) to the areas that have lost fat through aging, e.g., most commonly the face and hands. The old method of looking at facial aging was based on a gravitational model: that all things fall over time. However, this is simply not the case. The new model of the facial aging process focuses on the primary importance of how the face deflates and loses volume decade after decade. What was once thought to be sagging has now been understood to be at least 80% if not more caused by facial deflation, as evidenced by a meticulous evaluation of the changes that occur in one’s own photographs from youth to senescence.
Fat Grafting Procedures:
Some of the myths that surround bad fat grafting are that the fat transfer will not last but only be short lived. With Dr. Lam’s results, he has seen not only that the fat transfer survives but also actually improves over a period of 1 to 2 years. Another myth of fat grafting is that it can look lumpy and not smooth. Unfortunately, this can be true in inexperienced hands, but Dr. Lam attains wonderfully smooth results by only placing micro-droplets of fat that are no greater than 1/5th of a rice granule. Layering these micro-droplets insures both smoothness but also longevity since these droplets can attain blood supply to nourish them so that they are permanent rather than a temporary filler. The other myth is that you will look fat or overfilled. By placing only small amounts of fat over targeted areas of aging such as the brow, lower eyelid, anterior cheek, outer cheek, buccal transitions, anterior chin, etc., Dr. Lam creates an overall balanced result that does not look disjointed or overdone as seen by many other practitioners of this procedure. In many cases, he can actually even slim a face by strategic placement of his fat grafts.
Fat Grafting Recovery
Because fat transfer is entirely without any incisions, many of Dr. Lam’s patients who fly in to see him are able to turn around and fly out very shortly after the procedure and choose to recover elsewhere. The recovery process can last about 1 to 2 weeks with possibly unnatural swelling during that time but there is minimal discomfort and for many they return to work in 10 days (with still some residual swelling). With sunglasses and maybe a hat, many patients go back out in public to do minor chores and errands even during the first week but obviously would not be suitable for any major social or professional encounters. In any case, the recovery process is variable and is based on how much fat was required for transfer and also based on one’s own personal perception of one’s healing.