Having a facelift to rejuvenate the face is the traditional way to re-create a youthful facial appearance. However it is no longer the only way, and when combined with modern fat grafting techniques which employ a patient’s own fat taken from another part of the body, and yet further with PRP, incorporating the body’s own stem cells and growth factors, the result is a leading edge aesthetic cocktail at the forefront of contemporary facial rejuvenation capable of producing superlative results that are both more effective and long lasting.
The characteristics of an aging face include wrinkling of the skin due to sun exposure and loss of elasticity, sagging of the soft tissues due to the effects of gravity, and loss of volume making the face seem haggard and hollow. By combining a face lift with fat grafting, not only can the skin be tightened with wrinkles and folds being reduced, but also lost volume in areas of the face can also be replaced, thus restoring it to its overall natural, youthful appearance.
The benefits of facelift surgery have been well recognised for many years with millions of women, and more recently an increasing number of men, worldwide having undergone this procedure. Fat grafting is a more recent technique capable of enhancing the face yet further. But up until now a problem with fat grafting has been the tendency of the body to re-absorb some of the transferred fat meaning that there was always an element of uncertainty in the final result. However with the recent development of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) technology which uses a patient’s own blood cells containing stem cells and growth factors, much of the former uncertainty is removed, and the fat cells, stem cells and growth factors work together symbiotically to produce an enduring naturally youthful appearance.
Whilst many people are aware of the fundamental principles involved in traditional facelift surgery, it is likely that the vast majority know little or nothing about fat grafting. In fact facial fat grafting is in itself a minimally invasive technique that can be used for correcting or improving thin or asymmetrical areas of the face, sunken eyelids and tear trough hollows below the eyes, thinning lips, the soft tissues of the chin and cheeks, areas around the temples and jawline, and also facial scars caused by acne or trauma. It is therefore an ideal procedure to employ in combination with a facelift.
One of the United Kingdom’s foremost exponents of natural facial rejuvenation is Dr Allen Rezai, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon of Harley Street, London, and facial surgery expert. Dr Rezai explains that “fat grafting procedures are also sometimes referred to as free fat transfer, autologous fat transfer, fat injections and lipofilling. The procedure itself is minimally invasive and involves the patient’s own fat being harvested from one area of the body, typically the abdomen or waist, but sometimes also from the hips or the buttocks, and re-implanted where needed. In this case and most frequently, this is in regions of the face, but it can also be employed to correct atrophic aging of the hands and post-surgical and post-traumatic defects.”
Dr Rezai goes on to explain that “when combined with a facelift, facial fat grafting is typically performed under a general anaesthetic and the procedure is likely to last over two hours. One or two nights will also be required in hospital. For those not involved in physical work, as with a traditional facelift, they can expect to return to work within two weeks and resume normal physical exercise within three to four weeks.”
To further explain the details of the facial fat grafting component of the operation when combined with PRP, Dr Rezai elaborates: “The procedure essentially comprises three parts. The first part being the harvesting of the fat and preparation of the PRP, with the fat being harvested from regions of the body where it is most tightly packed, such as the abdomen or the buttocks, using a cannula connected to a syringe in a process very similar to that of liposuction. For preparation of the PRP, the patient’s own blood will be drawn and the plasma isolated in a centrifuge. The second part involves purifying the fat either mechanically or manually so as to obtain the necessary fat cells, and its subsequent combination with the PRP ready for transfer. The final part involves preparation of the areas for the graft and injecting the combined fat cells and PRP blend via another cannula. The injection will be repeated in each region to be treated until the desired correction is achieved.
“The fat grafting with PRP component of this combined procedure is very versatile and can indeed also be carried out either alone or in combination with other facial surgery procedures besides facelift, such as a browlift or eyelid surgery,” explains Dr Rezai. “It is also a procedure with relatively few risks and infrequent complications, firstly because it is only minimally invasive and secondly, since we are using the patient’s own blood and fat cells, the risk of an allergic reaction is almost negligible. Furthermore the PRP contains a concentrated amount of white blood cells, which are the body’s natural defense against infections.”
For more information about facelift in combination with fat grafting and PRP, and also details of other facial rejuvenation procedures performed by Dr Rezai, reference can be made to his website at http://allenrezaimd.co.uk
He can also be contacted directly through his London clinic at the following address:
Dr Allen Rezai
40 Harley Street London