One of the most remarkable advances in the past few years has been recognition of the "3rd dimension" in facial rejuvenation. In the past, plastic surgery has focused on mainly two dimensions – tightening skin and muscle, without sufficient thought given to volume. But consider the appearance of children and teenagers; there is a fullness that is associated with youth that we lose as we age. We now recognize that fat is not the enemy, but rather an essential component of a youthful appearance. In concert with this understanding have come new techniques for the harvesting fat and subsequent fat transfers that allow for long-lasting results.
By removing excess fat from areas such as the abdomen or thighs, carefully preparing it for placement, and meticulously injecting it into the face, you can achieve a result that will last years. The cosmetic result is often quite dramatic, with a youthful restoration despite a minimally-invasive procedure and remarkably short downtime. Multiple treatments are occasionally necessary to achieve optimal results. Double board-certified cosmetic surgeon and ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Brackup performs fat transfers at Cosmetic Surgery Specialists in scenic in Langhorne, Bucks County, PA, just north of Philadelphia. It can be performed by itself or may be combined with other procedures to achieve maximal rejuvenation.
"My search was over after being referred to Dr. Brackup!!!. My son's wedding was coming up in August, 2016. My eyes were horrible .When I smiled you saw know eye's. I met one surgeon that was scared to remove the lower bags. How would that look? Didn't make sense. With Time running out by chance I when to a new hairdresser, that had her eyes done and look beautiful. Even though Dr. had a busy schedule,he made it a point to fit me in for June 28th. I was assured my eye's would look beautiful by August 20th. Dr. Brackup was right. I had Upper and lower procedures done. Dr. sculpted my eyes to compliment my high cheek bones. They are beautiful. At 60 years old I look twenty years younger!! Dr. Brackup and his entire staff were kind and honestly the best experience I ever had. He is gifted with hands of gold. He only works from the neck up and is a oculoplastic surgeon. My confident's is through the roof. I walk with my head high for the first time in a very long time. Thank you, Dr. Brackup for setting this butterfly free!! Before pictures click on Rosemarie P. Thanks"- R.P. / Yelp / Apr 06, 2017
"Better than amazing! - I had a wonderful experience with Dr. Brackup. From the moment I met him, I felt instantly comfortable. He is very personable, professional and knowledgeable. The office staff was awesome as well. The morning of the surgery I thought, “what am I doing?” Well, I made one of the most lifechanging desisions ever and am estatic. Filling surgery, Dr. Brackup and his staff provided me with all..."- N. / RealSelf / Jan 19, 2018
"I was unhappy with the sagging skin on my neck and face and had been looking for a solution for a long time. I was reluctant to go "under the knife" -- it just seemed so frightening. I also struggled with the stigma surrounding a face lift. But then I met Dr Brackup and his nurse Michele. They both have a way of making you feel comfortable and cared for. Dr Brackup listened to my concerns and assured me he could give me the results I was looking for. He kept telling me ...how happy I would be. I felt immediate trust. Michele is a gem, and always there to answer questions or address concerns."- M.W. / Facebook / Jan 10, 2018
"You are in the best care with Dr Brackup and staff - I was unhappy with the sagging skin on my neck and face and had been looking for a solution for a long time. I was reluctant to go "under the knife" -- it just seemed so frightening. I also struggled with the stigma surrounding a face lift. But then I met Dr Brackup and his nurse Michele. They both have a way of making you feel comfortable and cared for. Dr Brackup listened to my concerns..."- M. / RealSelf / Jan 10, 2018
"Better than I expected!! - Dr. Brackup is an amazing an incredibly skilled surgeon. I have been going to his office for years for different laser procedures but knew when it came time to have blepharoplasty there would be no doubt who would be doing it. I had upper and lower blepharoplasty and full face CO2 laser done 3 weeks ago and the results are even better than I ever imagined. The office is beautiful and his staff..."- L. / RealSelf / Jan 08, 2018
During this procedure, fat is removed from the donor sites via liposuction. An antibiotic solution is used which allows for a complete separation of the fat so that only healthy tissue is used for reinjection. This fat is prepared in syringes and slowly reinstated into the body part where shape and contour are needed. During the injection process, the area will be slowly massaged so the fat deposits settle in compact layers for the best contour finish possible. Normally, multiple injections are necessary to create an even spread of fat and achieve an ideal outcome.
Dr. Brackup performs fat transfers at our facility in scenic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia. It can be performed by itself or may be combined with other procedures to achieve maximal rejuvenation.
Fat transfer treatment is performed with sedation when it covers larger areas while local anesthesia or IV sedation is used if the area to be treated is small. The procedure will cause swelling and bruising on both the removal and injection sites. These side effects will subside in a few days. Recovery time depends on several factors, including how many body parts were involved in the surgery, as well as how much fat was transferred. Scarring is generally minimal with this procedure as the incisions made are just big enough for the cannula to be inserted.
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Fat Transfer FAQs
How Long do the Results Last?
A fat transfer procedure can give results that will last for years. While the concern of fat reabsorption is something to consider, a skilled surgeon will be able to maximize the outcome by using the tested techniques in terms of fat layering. There is an ongoing research study that promises long-term stability of these grafted fat tissues, which involves platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy to enhance fat cells before transplanting them into the body.
Loss of Volume?
When properly performed, a fat transfer can last a long time. In areas where the fat does get resorbed, the area can continue to be tweaked. For patients who want to continue to have volume enhancement, but desire natural results (i.e., lip enhancement), this is an ideal procedure. This is especially the case for those who are not comfortable using an implant.
How About Scarring?
Scarring is minimal during a fat transfer procedure. Any scars that remain will be small (either where the cannula or the syringe was inserted for the transfer). The incisions are usually placed in areas where they can be concealed by clothing.
For loss of facial volume, there are treatments that may be considered that will also produce positive results. For wrinkle problems, an injectable filler may be suitable. These fillers may include collagen or hyaluronic acid. For long-term results, patients may consider PMMA, an injectable filler that offers a semi-permanent solution. Every option can be discussed in detail during the initial consultation.