Move Volume to Where You Want It with Fat Grafting in the Philadelphia Area
Fat transfer at the Philadelphia area's Cross Plastic Surgery is using one's own fat to restore youthful volume in places where age or injury has caused it to be depleted. By taking the fat from one location and placing it in another, corrections can be made to such regions as the face, breasts, hands, torso, and lower extremities.
Dr. Kevin Cross can often perform this technically delicate, yet simple procedure in the office. By using multiple small doses during the fat transfer session, he can provide a more natural and longer-lasting correction. A high concentration of stem cells in the injected fat helps to improve the quality of the surrounding tissues and overlying skin, leaving the skin more youthful appearing.
What Is Fat Transfer?
Fat grafting was first described in the 1800s, but it rose to prominence in the 1990s, when a mentor of Dr. Cross, Dr. Sydney Coleman, pioneered modern fat transfer techniques. Over the past three decades, further refinements have led to greater precision and more predictable results with fat transfer.
The principle behind the use of fat transfer for facial rejuvenation is that, with age, the face often loses volume because the natural layers of facial fat start to thin. Dr. Cross equates this to a falling tide at the beach. When the tide goes out and the protective layer of water disappears, all of the irregularities of the rocks, stones, and shells of the beach are revealed.
Similarly, loss of facial volume causes wrinkles, folds, depressions, and shadows once hidden by youthful facial fat to become visible. When Dr. Cross gives back that volume through fat grafting, he replenishes soft, youthful fullness, correcting many of the signs of aging.
Currently, Dr. Cross performs more than 200 fat grafting procedures a year.
What Are the Fat Transfer Procedure Steps?
During facial fat transfer, Dr. Cross harvests fat cells from areas where excess fat may be present (some patients take this opportunity to do a little sculpting in their trouble spots at the same time). The incision used to acquire the fat is so small that it rarely even requires a stitch. Typically, it is just covered by a Band-Aid.
Dr. Cross then processes the fat in a number of different ways, depending on the needs and anatomy of the individual patient. For instance, fat can be thinned to make it easier to use in fine lines or to provide volume in the lips. Stem cells can be concentrated to help with the appearance of the skin on the surface of the face. It can also be thickened to help provide structural shape to deflated cheeks and weak chins.
The prepared fat is then placed in small syringes, and tiny cannulas are used to meticulously place the fat where desired. No incisions are necessary at this point in the fat transfer process. By customizing the preparation and placement of the fat, Dr. Cross radically minimizes the risk of contour irregularities and maximizes the amount of fat that becomes a living, healthy, long-lasting component of a patient's rejuvenation.
MEET DR. KEVIN J. CROSS
Dr. Cross is a board-certified plastic surgeon. His philosophy is to develop an individualized treatment plan for each of his patients while using his breadth of experience to ensure that his patients receive long-lasting, natural appearing results that reach their aesthetic goals.
What Is Recovery Like After Fat Transfer?
When fat transfer is performed on its own, recovery typically takes just a few days, and patients can resume normal activities very shortly after their procedure. The recovery is very similar to the recovery after BOTOX® and filler injections.
When fat transfer is performed at the same time as other procedures, those other procedures typically dictate the recovery time required.
Any swelling and bruising after the procedure is managed in the office using Dr. Cross's rapid recovery protocol, allowing patients to get back to social activities within days.
What Procedures Can Pair With Fat Transfer?
Fat grafting often complements surgical facial procedures. Adding volume made up of a patient's own fat cells can "fine tune" a facelift and can be a vital element of a natural-looking blepharoplasty.