Get Cheeky This Spring

One of the real crimes of aging is the way it makes our facial areas flatten and sag. This is especially true in the cheeks. What once were full, round cheeks are now sunken and flattened.

You can have silicone or Gore-Tex cheek implants placed, but many patients are leery of cheek implant surgery.

Dr. Amirlak prefers to augment our patients’ cheeks with fat transfer. He feels this returns natural-looking volume and fullness.

How does a fat transfer work in general?

These are three-step procedures at our beautiful offices in the UT Southwest Medical Center in Dallas. The process of harvesting and purifying the fat is the same no matter where it is then placed for the third step. Dr. Amirlak also does fat transfers to the breasts, buttocks, and the backs of the hands. The idea is to use the patient’s own fat to return volume to cheeks. These may have sunken, sagged, or otherwise lost volume due to declining collagen production and other issues involved with aging.

Here are the steps:

  1. Harvesting

Your unwanted fat is harvested from the donor site. Once selected, Dr. Amirlak uses tumescent liposuction to remove the fat from the area. First, a saline solution that also contains lidocaine and epinephrine is injected into the area. This acts to constrict the fat pockets, making them easier to remove. Plus, the lidocaine acts as a local anesthetic and the epinephrine constricts blood vessels for less blood loss and bruising.

  1. Purification

Once the fat is removed, the fat cells are separated from the blood, tissue, and other fluids. The purified fat is then ready to be injected back into the target areas on the face.

  1. Placement

The purified fat is now injected into the cheeks with a thin cannula. As Dr. Amirlak withdraws the cannula from an injection site, a line of fatty tissue cells is deposited. In a large facial area such as the cheeks, he will usually create a grid of grafted fat. The cheeks are then lightly massaged to even out the fat.

When fat is successfully transferred, it becomes permanent. Not all of the fat transferred by Dr. Amirlak “takes,” meaning not all of it acquires a blood supply and becomes permanent. But from 75 to 80 percent of the fat will successfully take and remain in place. That means when Dr. Amirlak returns volume to cheeks that have sunken and flattened they will remain fuller for many years. No need to return every nine months or so for more dermal filler.

Interested in augmenting your sunken cheeks? Call Dr. Amirlak at (972) 972-4708 and set up a consultation.

Posted in: Fat injection

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