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Collagen / Fat Injections - San Diego, Temecula, Inland Empire
Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS

Injections and Fillers Information provided by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon serving San Diego and Riverside County.

As a leading Inland Empire plastic surgery specialist, Dr. Stuart Kincaid is devoted to providing his patients with the latest technologies and techniques to help them achieve their aesthetic goals. Please read the paragraphs below to learn more about collage and fat injections.

Forehead Lift After

Collagen Injections

Collagen injections were approved by the FDA in 1981. They have proven to be a very popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure; see current American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) statistics. Injectable Zyderm and Zyplast collagen, natural substances derived from purified bovine (cow) collagen, essentially replace the natural collagen that the skin loses over time. Human collagen are also available. Collagen injections are most useful in the treatment of frown lines, "crow's feet," and nasolabial folds (smile lines). To improve deeper creases or enhance lip fullness, there also are filler materials, such as soft ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoro-ethylene) that can be surgically implanted.

Technique

Collagen, which contains local anesthesia, is injected with a tiny needle into the skin depressions being treated. Several injections may be needed, depending on the length and depth of the wrinkle. The procedure for both injections and implants takes less than an hour. Implantation procedures for the lips and nasolabial areas are done with a local anesthetic. A tiny incision is placed at either end of the site. Then the implant is inserted and positioned. Incisions are closed with a suture.

Benefits

  • Safe, time-tested, effective treatment that provides immediate results.
  • No downtime for injectables-patients can immediately resume work and all normal activities.
  • No need to obtain tissue from another part of the body.
  • Human collagen products do not require pre-testing

Other Considerations

  • Collagen is only temporarily effective. Repeat treatments are needed every three to six months.
  • There may be some slight bruising.
  • Pretreatment testing for allergic reactions is recommended. Allergic reactions can cause itching, redness, or other symptoms.

Fat Injections

Body fat makes excellent soft tissue filler material. Fat injection (also called autologous fat transplantation) transfers fat from one part of the body to another to recontour the face; diminish frown lines, crow's feet and nasolabial folds (smile lines); and provide definition to areas like the cheeks and chin. It can also be used to fill out depressed scarred areas on any part of the body. Fat injection is not permanent, and may require an effective maintenance program.

Technique

The donor site (for example, abdomen, buttocks or thighs) and the treatment site are injected with local anesthetic. Intravenous (IV) fluids also are injected into the donor site to facilitate fat collection. Fat cells are extracted through a small needle attached to a syringe. The fat is then processed to remove excess fluids and reinjected with another needle in multiple thin strands in the desired area. "Overfilling" is a necessary corrective due to fat absorption in the weeks after treatment. Fat also can be harvested during a lipoplasty (liposuction) procedure in one area of the body, and then reinjected in another. For longest-lasting effect, patients generally receive 3 to 4 treatments over a six-month period.

Benefits

  • Natural, non-allergenic.
  • Outpatient procedure that generally takes under an hour.
  • Injections may last from several months to permanently.
  • Little or no downtime.
  • Minimal discomfort, which can be controlled with medication.
  • Because fat is from the patient's own body, no pre-testing is required and the fat cannot be rejected.
  • Good alternative if the patient is allergic to bovine collagen.
  • Cost effective if combined with another procedure like lipoplasty (liposuction).

Other Considerations

  • Longevity of results can vary significantly from patient to patient.
  • Some swelling, bruising-usually about 48 hours. Patient should avoid the sun until the condition subsides.
  • Not every area is appropriate for fat injection. Injecting fat into the breast, for example, makes cancer detection via mammography more difficult and is strongly discouraged (see ASAPS' Position Statement, "Fat Injection for Breast Enlargement)."
  • Lasts longest when reinjected in relatively stationary areas (such as the cheeks).

In addition to helping San Diego plastic surgery patients, Dr. Kincaid also performs a variety of procedures, including helping San Diego breast augmentation with breast implants and La Jolla patients achieve their desired body contour.

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