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lip augmentation - fat grafting
I have heard that fat grafting is a process that allows more fat to survive after it has been put in your lips. Does this process really work so that the fat survives over years? And a larger % than the old fat transfer method?
Do you know anyone who is artistic at doing this?
Are the outcomes predictable?
There are many options for plumping the lips: injectables, lip implants, and fat grafting. All have pro's/con's. Fat grafting is a nice alternative if it is done by a plastic surgeon experienced in the technique. The fat must be harvested properly, prepared correctly, injected into the correct place in the lips and then you must be given the best things to do after surgery to help it survive. I usually recommend patients to stay well hydrated, avoid smoking, avoid kissing and here's the tough one, avoid talking and chewing for 2 weeks. The fat cells need to "grow" new blood vessels in order for them to live and everytime you move your mouth more of them will die until those blood vessels have formed. Patients who follow these guidelines have about 60-70% of the fat live. Best of luck to you!
The "father" of modern fat grafting is Dr Sydney Coleman in NYC. Most of us have either trained under him or are using his "micro droplet techniques. But there are NEVER longevity guarantees to fat survival.
Dr. Dauria's answer is quite accurate - and it is the reason why I recommend hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers for lip augmentation over fat 9 out of 10 times.
Aesthetic improvements are measured in millimeters. Precision is absolutely critical. A technique that is somewhat invasive, where you have to recover for 2 weeks with bruising and swelling and where (most importantly) the surgeon cannot predict the results down to the millimeter because you only get 60 to 70% fat survival is just not good enough.
HA takes 5 minutes to inject, you can sculpt it perfectly, bruising can happen, but is usually not too bad and the filler lasts for about 8 months. Most interestingly, I am seeing the filler stimulate natural collagen growth in some of my patients, where they need less and less over time and it lasts for longer and longer. Also, HA is reversible at any time by injecting hyaluronidase.
Fat is not reversible and if there is a miscalculation and you retain more than anticipated, there is no way of removing it other than surgery, which leads to scarring and a poor aesthetic result.
When using stem cell augmented fat placed using a fine blunt cannula, the process becomes much more predictable, the shape can be very beautiful, and it is quite long lasting. That being said, it does not work as planned on every person who undergoes this procedure, and individual results do vary. However, I would recommend giving it a shot if you are tired of repeated hyaluronic acid injections, and although there is more cost upfront, over time it becomes much more cost effective.
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