Facelifts are among the most common types of plastic surgery Americans undergo each year. Both women and men get fat injections with their facelift, and there is no age limit for getting one.

The benefits of a facelift vary from patient to patient, though generally speaking, a facelift removes loose skin, tightens tissues, and literally “lifts” the lower half of the face for a younger, tighter appearance.

However, you should know that all facelifts are not the same. Some patients choose additional procedures to target their specific goals (such as restoring facial volume).

One such option is fat injection, or fat transfer, surgery. Today, we will discuss fat injections and why some patients choose them along with their facelift. 

What Is a Facelift?

A facelift involves incisions at the temples and around the ears, removing excess skin and fat, and then stitching the incisions closed.

A facelift only addresses the lower portion of the face, including the jowls.

What Are Fat Injections?

Fat injections — sometimes called fat transfer — are a method of using fat from one part of your body to fill out another part of the body.

For this procedure, liposuction is utilized. Fat is removed from a part of the body, such as the abdomen, hips or thighs, using a sterile tool called a cannula. It is then purified and injected into another area.

Why Do Some Patients Choose Fat Transfer Along With a Facelift?

A facelift can do wonders to make you look younger and less tired. However, a facelift does not replace volume that is lost through the aging process.

Fat can be added to the cheeks, temple areas, chin, jawline, tear troughs, and deep creases (nasolabial folds, marionette lines, etc.)

How Is a Facelift Performed?

Facelift procedures vary. Usually, the steps are:

  • You are placed under anesthesia. Often, a facelift is performed under general anesthesia (“sleeping” anesthesia). However, IV sedation may be used in some cases.
  • The plastic surgeon creates an incision (cut) along the hairline, where the scar will later be hidden, and usually, behind the ears, another spot where scars are harder to detect.
  • Excess, lax skin is incised (cut away). 
  • The surgeon lifts and repositions the remaining skin and tissue for a firmer, but natural look.
  • The surgeon closes the incisions with sutures (stitches).

What Can a Facelift Do for You?

People choose a facelift procedure because it addresses signs of aging or laxity (looseness) on the lower part of the face.

A facelift that is performed by an experienced, reputable plastic surgeon can give you:

  • Fewer lines and wrinkles, or a reduced depth of wrinkles
  • Better-defined, younger-looking facial contours
  • Reduced jowls (skin that sags under the jaw)
  • Tighter overall appearance to the lower facial skin

Can You Have Fat Injections Without a Facelift?

Yes. Patients who are experiencing a loss of volume, but who are not ready for a facelift, can have a fat transfer via fat injections to those areas.

Often referred to as liposculpture, this technique can give a more filled-out appearance and can result in the patient looking younger.

How Do You Know Which Method Is Right for You?

You could be a candidate for a facelift, fat injections, or both. Or perhaps a different procedure than either of these is your best option.

Set up a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon to discuss what plastic surgery procedure or set of procedures can deliver the look you want.

Will Recovery Time Be Longer if You Get Fat Injections With Your Facelift?

While they’re less invasive, fat injections are still surgery. Even if you get fat injections alone, you will need some time to recover.

However, if you have your fat transfer at the same time as your facelift, your total recovery time should not be longer than it would be for a facelift alone.

If you have certain medical issues or if you experience complications, it may take you longer to recover than it would take the average patient. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have and have had in the past, your smoking and alcohol habits, and your family medical history.

Your doctor can then advise you on your own do’s and don’ts for recovery from a facelift with fat injections.

Still Unsure? Set Up a Consultation

You’re an individual, so your own goals, along with your medical history and current state of health, will all affect your surgery.

Sit down with your plastic surgeon for a consultation. They can give you all the specifics and can help you decide what procedure, or procedures, will give you your best result.

With careful planning and a great plastic surgeon, you can have the face of your dreams for years to come.