Lipografting™, a procedure developed by Dr. Tzikas, is used mainly to restore the lost or missing soft tissue volume of the face and body in order to create a healthier, softer, and more attractive appearance. Here are some of the more common uses Dr. Tzikas has made of Lipografting™:
- Rejuvenating by restoring fullness and softness to atrophied, aging faces and hands
- Shaping facial elements (lips, cheeks, eyelids, jaw lines, brows, noses, foreheads)
- Correcting acne or other depressed scars
- Restoring tissues removed by surgeries (too much liposuction, facelifts, eyelid procedures, etc.)
- Restoring lost volume due to thermal heating from misapplications of certain lasers or radiofrequency devices
Dr. Tzikas’ Lipografting™ procedure starts by carefully harvesting fat cells from a donor area, usually the abdomen, hips, or thighs. These cells are then cleaned and separated into pure fat cells, which are then carefully sculpted via injection into the recipient area to be treated. The aging process is better explained by the loss of supporting fat underneath the surface of the skin rather than the skin itself stretching. This loss of volume and fullness creates the appearance of sagging skin even though the skin remains essentially the same size. Filling of the underlying tissue with the living, harvested, purified fat cells makes a perfect material to sculpt and support the surface skin, thus giving patients a more youthful appearance.
Unlike some previous fat injection procedures utilizing less advanced techniques, a Lipografting™ procedure is a permanent augmentation as the living, purified fat cells take hold in their new environment and are nourished by the surrounding tissue’s blood supply. The primary difference between the older techniques and the advanced Lipografting™ technique is the care Dr. Tzikas takes in handling the fat cells during the harvesting, purifying, and injecting phases of the process. Less pressure is applied to the fragile cells increasing their viability. The second key aspect to the procedure is the careful placement of the fat cells within the deep structure of the facial tissue. These cells have a high percentage of adipose derived regenerative cells (ADRC) attached to them. They are then nourished by the host blood supply to attain long term sustainability. Correct placement in proper volumes is of utmost importance and comes with artistic skill and experience. This is by far the most artistic procedure performed on the face and requires a great sense of three-dimensional vision by the surgeon.
Both the areas from which the tissue is taken and the recipient area are anesthetized with local anesthesia.
Following the procedure, patients will experience swelling in the areas of the injections that usually subsides within 7 to 14 days. Discomfort is rarely experienced in the augmented areas but can be present in the donor area for a few days. Bruising is also rare, but if it occurs, it will resolve in one to two weeks. Patients are also instructed to avoid several items prior to their procedure in order to avoid an increased risk of bruising.