This 54-year-old had a difficult year. She felt that her challenges made her suddenly look old. She noted dull, pigmented skin and facial hollowing – especially around the eyes and mouth. Dr. Duncan’s style is subtle yet dramatic. She conservatively filled hollows around the eyes and mouth – her face is slightly fuller. Dr. Duncan also corrected her sad and tired facial expression.
Many patients note that their face is aging, but are not sure what the source of the aged appearance is. This ‘aged’ appearance is often the result of facial volume loss. The average person loses over 200cc of volume in the face and jawline over a lifetime; facial fat grafting addresses this issue. Not all is fat loss: bone resorption, muscle atrophy, and changes in cartilage also contribute.
Most of us notice that the full, round cheeks we had at a younger age become more hollow. Perhaps the fullest part of your face descends into the nasolabial folds. Maybe the hollows under the eyes are your prominent mark of aging. Jowls may form, and a notched appearance of the mandibular bone behind and in front of the jowl can appear. Lips become thinner, and the region around one’s mouth can look sunken in. Finally, an aging chin can drop and become ‘flattened’.
Fillers are commonly used to address these problems, but they are not a permanent solution. This solution can rapidly become a financial drain when needing multiple syringes of filler every six months. A longer lasting alternative can be using your own fat. Taken from an area with extra volume, fat is then transferred to your face and jawline.
This statement is just not true. My colleague, Dr. Syd Coleman, pioneered fat transfer in the early 1990s. When done correctly, most of the injected fat will last a lifetime. It is true than only about 2/3 of the injected fat will take as a permanent graft. Motion at the graft site immediately following the procedure will reduce the amount that stays.
Some dermatologists have reported harvesting small amounts of patient fat and freezing it.
This process does not result in good long term take. Optimal survival of fat grafts is enhanced by injecting harvested fat immediately, not letting the fat dry out prior to injection, and avoiding motion at the site of injection for a while so that a blood supply can grow into the fat.
The procedure combines a smaller amount of fat harvested in the office OR under local anesthesia, mixed with a commercially available filler called Allofill. Allofill is created from donated tissue which has the fat removed; the framework for fat cells remains.
This product is mixed with nanofat –traditional microfat which is filtered down to a very small size. The small particle size help the fat cells mixed with the Allofill framework to create an injectable that is very versatile.
An average of 15 cc of this solution is injected in one sitting. The process takes a little over an hour. First, fat is harvested under local anesthesia from an area with excess fat. The fat is processed into nanaofat, then is mixed with Allofill. Injections with cannulas then proceed as if it was a regular filler.
Biopsies done about 3 months post injection show excellent fat take in the injected areas.
The nanofat plus collagen framework injections create a more defined shape than injecting fat alone. This outpatient procedure has very little down time—equivalent to filler.
Attention to detail is the secret of a beautiful outcome. First, an assessment of the target areas is performed. Each individual has different needs, so the analysis is the key to a successful outcome and younger appearance. Dr. Duncan has many years of experience; she has been performing fat transfer for over 25 years. A keen aesthetic eye is the final step towards a lovely aesthetic outcome. Knowing where to inject the fat, how much to inject, and when to conclude are all important aspects of this procedure.
We all have budget limits, so the best procedure is one that addresses what bothers you most. Many of my patients decline a traditional face and necklift because they feel there is risk and down time. However, if you have lots of extra skin, this may be the best solution for you.
If the goal is a younger, less tired appearance, the addition of volume with fat grafting is probably your best bet. If skin wrinkling, sun damaged, irregular pigmentation, or a crepey skin texture are the biggest concern, the laser resurfacing should probably be the top priority.
Dr. Duncan writes medical journal articles and speaks nationally and internationally about fat grafting and other minimally invasive procedures for facial rejuvenation. Her level of experience combined with a high level of attention to detail make her a top resource for volume restoration of the face.
Dr. Duncan’s artistic style results in dramatic, yet natural improvements. She works with each individual patient to create a personalized treatment plan based on his or her unique situation and desired goals. We would love to speak with you about achieving the best version of yourself. Call Plastic Surgical Associates in Fort Collins today at 970.493.7445 or click the button below to request a consultation. You can also email us any inquiries at [email protected].Contact Our Office