The procedure | Lipofilling of the face

As we age, skin looses elasticity and tissues sag down. On top of that volume is lost in the tissues underneath the skin over time, making us look years older than we feel. Traditionally, the first two factors were always corrected by surgery, while the loss of volume was treated by the use of fillers. Permanent artificial fillers though give rise to many serious problems and should not be used. The solution was found in the transfer of (your own) fat cells by injection. Fat processing techniques have evolved rapidly over the last few years, making this technique one of the most efficient, safe and thus popular ways to restore volume and contour. The fat is obtained under local anaesthetic by conventional liposuction, which is an added benefit. Disadvantage of the method is that not all transplanted fat cells survive this process, and a slight loss of volume is seen in the first 6 weeks before the situation stabilises. In some cases a second procedure is therefore necessary. The fat cells that do survive though give a long lasting result.

Where will I be operated?

The operation will be performed in the fully equipped operating theatre at the Radetzky villa.

What can I expect of the operation?

The operation will be performed under local anaesthetic and will take between 30 to 60 minutes. Your surgeon will always see you before the operation and will talk you through the steps. Pictures will be taken for documentation. The procedure will start with prepping and draping of your face and of the area where the fat cells will be harvested (like your abdomen or your hips). Markings will be made on your face. Some small injections will be used to numb the skin, and an anaesthetic fluid will be injected under the skin. The fat will be taken out by liposuction, but only the fat cells and the stem cells will be isolated and used as a filler in the face.

What are the risks?

Lipofilling is considered to be a low risk procedure. Aesthetic surgery though is no exact science. In a small number of cases where both client and surgeon are not totally pleased, a touch up operation may be needed.

What can I expect after the operation?

When the anaesthetic wears off you may experience some slight discomfort, which however typically disappears after the first few hours. In the first few days healing will include some swelling, combined with a tightness of the areas involved in surgery, and (variably) some bruising. Prevention of bending down or lifting heavy goods in the first few days also helps. You may find it more comfortable to sleep with an extra pillow to elevate your head in this period. Initially some asymmetry may be present which will disappear as swelling subsides and healing occurs.

What will the scars be like?

The scars of lipofilling will be minimal and in most cases not noticeable.

How long before I can resume my normal life?

Most people manage to return to activities in the first few days after surgery. At one week after surgery an appointment will be made for you at the Radetzky villa for a check up. At this stage the swelling and possible bruising normally is reduced to a level where social activities can be resumed. We also recommend you to refrain from doing any strenuous activities in the first 2 weeks.

What is good to know about the long term?

Not all fat cells survive the transplantation process. A slight loss of volume is seen in the first 6 weeks before the situation stabilises. In some cases a second procedure is therefore necessary.

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