- Length: 1-2 hours (generally outpatient)
- Anesthesia: Local with sedation
- Normal recovery: Return to work in 2-3 days days, Resume light exercise after 2 weeks, swelling resolves completely after 2-3 weeks
- Possible side effects: Swelling, Bruising, mild discomfort
The terms fat transfer and fat injection refer to the process of taking fat from one area on your body (for example your stomach or thigh) and injecting it into another area to augment the volume. They have become a popular alternative to the more temporary fillers and have been used to improve the appearance of hollow cheeks and tear troughs, thin lips, aging eyes and foreheads, hands, as well as scars and reconstruction deficits. The appeal of the fat transfer is that the results have the potential to be long lasting (many years if not forever), and there is no host response to any foreign materials because the filler comes from the patient’s own body.
How Does Fat Injection Work?
Fat cells are harvested using a small cannula and syringe, usually from the torso or hips, and processed/purified using a variety of techniques. The fat is then redistributed to the problem areas in a small micro droplet fashion.
Dr. Min’s Approach to Fat Injection
Dr. Min’s focus is on natural results that give patients a balanced appearance. Dr. Min works with patients to understand their needs and help them create a treatment plan that will look and feel beautiful.
Dr. George Min is a board certified plastic surgeon with deep experience in facial sculpting procedures and a reputation for delivering beautiful, balanced results. He takes a conservative approach that focuses on patient safety and a natural appearance. Dr. Min does not believe in cutting corners, and our state-of-the-art Bellevue facility is unlike any you will find in the Seattle or Bellevue area. Our on-site surgical suite is equipped with the latest technology and is one of only a handful of locations to meet the stringent new safety certification standards.
We pride ourselves in being the best, not only in surgery, but also in patient care and education.
Your Initial Fat Injection Consultation
The role of the consultation is to ensure that patients feel informed, confident and excited, and we’ll take as much time as we need to get there.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Min will ask you about your desired appearance, as well as questions about your general health to determine if he can meet your expectations. He will analyze the areas in question and evaluate the shape, the quality of skin and underlying cartilage or bone structure. After your consultation, photographs will be taken for your medical record and additional analysis. He will walk you through your options, explain the details of the Fat Injection procedure, and answer any questions you may have. You will have an opportunity to view extensive before and after photos.
Dr. Min share and explain his opinions with you about what is most appropriate for your face and what results you can expect. Together you will decide on the details and timing of your procedure. Finally, Dr. Min will make sure you know exactly what will happen on the day of your procedure, what you will experience while you recover, and what you can expect in the months and years to follow.
Safety & Risks of Fat Injection Surgery
Our approach at Newvue is always to put our patients’ safety above all other concerns, and Dr. Min is a recognized expert with an impeccable track record for facial sculpting. We have invested in absolutely state of the art tools, and our on-site surgical suite is one of the first in the region to be fully approved under the stringent new safety standards.
Fat Injection is a very common and safe procedure, and it is made safer by the fact that it is the body’s own tissue—not a foreign substance—that is being injected. Nonetheless, we feel it is important that all our patients fully understand the risk associated with this—or any—surgical procedure. The most important thing to know is that Dr. Min and Newvue will stand by you should any complications arise and do everything we can to help you achieve your desired result.
Risks associated with Fat Injection include:
- Reaction to Anesthesia: Some patients experience an adverse reaction to anesthesia that may result in nausea or vomiting, allergic reactions and in very rare cases death. Be sure to discuss any medical allergies with your surgeon.
- Infection: as with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. Infection will generally occur within days or weeks of your procedure, and in most cases can be treated with medication. In rare cases, and additional surgery may be required to treat severe infections
- Bleeding & Hematoma: Some patients are more prone to bruising than others and, in extreme cases, may experience excessive bruising, bleeding or skin death.
- Asymmetry: Some patients may experience asymmetry in their results over time due to the body’s natural aging or partial rejection of the surgical procedure, which can generally be addressed with an additional correctional surgery.
Your Fat Injection Procedure
We will do everything in our power to help you feel informed and relaxed on the day of your procedure. After you arrive at our Bellevue office, you will meet with Dr. Min and with your anesthesiologist. Once any questions you have are answered, you will be given medication to help you relax.
You will be brought into the surgical suite, where you will be prepped for surgery and given a general anesthetic or a local with sedation. The procedure usually takes 1-2 hours.
You’ll want to be sure to arrange for someone to pick you up after your procedure.
After Your Fat Injection Procedure
You’re still our patient after you leave, and we will be there for you as you recover to answer any questions you may have and advise you on any side effects you may be feeling. Patients can generally return home within a matter of hours.
Patients can begin moving around right away and resume light exercise after a few days. Most patients return to work after a day or two days, but you should avoid strenuous activity for 3-5 days.
Your results will be visible immediately, and will improve as swelling diminishes (1-2 weeks). Dr. Min and the Newvue staff are always available to help you with any questions or concerns you may have, during your recovery and after. We want to ensure that you are completely thrilled with your new look, and we’ll consider you our patient for life.