Your surgeon will always discuss with you and recommend the treatment that is appropriate for you. During the consultation, the surgeon will also explain the treatment, its results and benefits, the duration of the result and the frequency of repeating the treatment.
Autologous fat (one’s own fat) transfer is today’s number one filling agent for loss of volume and creases on your faces. As we age the appearance of creases on our face is inevitable. Even though these creases are part of the normal ageing process and there is nothing we can do to stop it, we can fill out the creases with fat, thus making them decrease or appear less prominent.
As we get older, we start to loose fat from our upper face. This loss of fat and associated loose skin starts to show up in the cheek area, giving us a sad, gloomy look. By placing the fat in the upper third of our face we produce an uplift effect; thereby we reshape the face to the more youthful years.
As well as losing volume from the face, the backs of the hands can also lose volume. Therefore autologous fat is the ideal filler to rejuvenate the backs of the hands, as well as the nasal labial fold (mouth to nose grooves) or any body depression.
Fat transfer to the breast area was formally approved by The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery at their annual meeting in April 2006, in Orlando, Florida. This technique is used in patients with smaller busts or older women whose breast have reduced in size or drooped, after having children. The average increase in bust volume is generally one-cup size, therefore, implants are the best option if you want larger breast.
Since it is the patient’s own fat there is no risk of rejection and no possibility of an allergic reaction. This procedure is mainly used to produce a more youthful look and for re-contouring of the face, hands and for creating volume in the breasts. Other parts of the body may benefit from the fat transfer, such as perfecting indentations in the legs or bottom.
Before your procedure
It is a requirement under the Human Tissue Act 2004, that all patients wishing to have their fat stored have a detailed blood test prior to the procedure. This blood test must include the standard profile of a Full Blood Count, Biochemistry Profile, ESR & INR together with the legislation requirements of; HIV 1 & 2, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphillis. Each patient will be asked to sign a consent form for this test to be completed and will be offered the counseling services of Number One Healthcare, should this be required.
Two weeks before the surgery, you should not take any medications containing aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid), since these products affect the blood’s clotting mechanism and therefore may lead to excessive bleeding during and after surgery, hence resulting in increased bruising. Taking high doses of vitamin E preparations, eating large amounts of garlic and consuming alcohol can also produce the same result and should be avoided. If pain medication is necessary, we recommend you take buprofen/paracetamol.
It is in your own best interests to quit smoking, at least two weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery. It is well known that smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels, which leads to a decreased blood supply to the skin, thus slowing and interfering with the healing process.
Your Fat Harvest Procedure
This procedure is performed at our Dubai Healthcare Clinic, either under local anaesthesia or light sedation. Sedation is a state in which you will be pleasantly unaware of what is going on and pain free, however this is not a general anaesthetic so you will not be “put to sleep”. If you are having the procedure under sedation, you must arrange for someone to come and collect you as well as to stay with you overnight.
Once the harvesting site (area) has been determined (generally the abdomen, but fat may be harvested from the hips and thighs), the area is anaesthetized. Next the fat is harvested with a 1-2 millimeter cannula. The fat is then mixed with a solution called albumin to clean and preserve the fat, and then injected into the area that needs the improvement. The area requiring rejuvenation is anaesthetized and the fat is inserted with a blunt cannula.
The amount of fat put in each area is always more than needed. The reason for this is that we know that initially about 40 – 50% will be absorbed by the body, the rest will stay. We always keep some of the patient’s fat in our fat bank freezer. Therefore if in the future you need more rejuvenation to an area, we already have the fat ready to apply. Most patients need around two to three sessions, but by having the fat stored in our fat bank there is no need to harvest it again. Pathological studies have shown that we can still use the fat for up to two years after harvesting. The cells of the adipose tissue (fat) maintain all their anatomical and physiological properties for this duration.
After your procedure
After your procedure you will stay for about half an hour, (two hours when having sedation) during which time the nurse will explain your post-operative instructions and the tablets which you will need to take (painkillers and antibiotics). We may place some ice over the treated areas to minimize any swelling. You can expect some slight swelling for the first 48 hours. Occasionally patients develop ecchymosis (bruising), which usually disappears within 5-7 days. They are very easy to cover up with make up.
You will have a compression bandage on the area where the fat was harvested from, which needs to remain in place for one week. There will also be a suture (stitch) at this site, which is removed after one week. You will need to return to the clinic after one week for the nurse to remove the bandage and suture, as well as to check that everything is healing well.
All Surgery carries some uncertainties and risks
When performed by a qualified surgeon, complications from a Fat Harvest are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including reaction to the anaesthesia, infection, haematoma (bleeding under the skin), bleeding – resulting in increased bruising, temporary swelling and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
If you have any further questions or queries about this procedure, please feel free to call and speak to either Dr. Roberto Viel, Dr. Maurizio Viel or any of our nurses. Please note that it is necessary to attend a consultation prior to your operation, this is also the case with existing patients, it may also be necessary to have repeat blood tests.