There’s an old saying that advises – you have the face you deserve by the time you are forty. But many women in their forties would disagree with this and seek numerous ways to hold back the years. For those who feel that time has dealt them an unfair blow, there is a new procedure in the cosmetic industry that is gathering awareness and a more than a few fans. The so called ‘Organic Facelift’ is a new type of cosmetic surgery, in which the patient’s own body fat is purified and then replaced back into their face.
In this procedure, fat is harvested from typically bulky areas such as the stomach, thighs and bottoms via laser liposuction. After this fat has then been purified, it is re-injected into the face as a natural volume-enhancing filler. The term ‘organic facelift’ has come from the fact that patients are not injecting artificial or synthetic fillers into their faces.
People tend to look older when they lose fat from certain areas in the face, such as their cheeks, under the eyes and the temples. The face is rather like a deflated balloon, it has the structure of the bones to sit upon, but the fat that fleshed out a youthful appearance is disappearing and the skin starts to sag. This makes jowls appear loose and wrinkles and folds start to appear.
The standard way of using cosmetic surgery to combat these signs of ageing, would be to inject artificial fillers into the sagging areas. However, this can give a rather ‘puffed up’ and overdone appearance, with people looking swollen rather than younger.
This new technique of using a patient’s own body fat is gaining in popularity, in fact there have been over 4,700 face and neck lifts were carried out in Britain in 2011, and the numbers are expected to rise. There are less risk implications with this type of surgery as you are using your own fat, so rejection is not an issue., and early results are showing that the procedure can last for ten years or longer – compared to the usual six to 12 months for normal fillers.
However, at £2,500 a pop, it’s not cheap, but over the long term it can work out to be cost effective, as you only need one treatment.
One lady who tried out the procedure and was delighted with the results is married mother of three Rosetta Citton, 57, who works in the jewellery business. She says: “I saw it as an investment in myself. My appearance has always been important to me, but recently I’ve been unhappy with the way my face was ageing. I’m naturally slim and as I’ve got older, it has become increasingly gaunt. I work with luxury products and the saying is: “They don’t just buy jewellery, they have to buy you first.” In my line of work, I’m competing with women in their 20s and 30s, so it’s important for me to stay looking as good as I can.”
“I’d been having fillers and Botox, but I didn’t like having such regular top-ups. I asked for something safe but more permanent. When the organic facelift was mentioned I was very excited and wanted to sign up for it straightaway. Yes, this is more expensive than one treatment with fillers, but I hoped it would save me money in the long run.”
Rosetta’s procedure took 90-minutes, performed under a local anaesthetic, in which a surgeon made four or five 1mm to 2 mm incisions on each side of the face, and using a fine, blunt-ended needle, creates tiny tunnels deep in the muscles. Then the harvested fat is deposited into these tunnels, filling out gaunt cheeks, hollows under the eye and at the temple. It can also help to restore volume to the jawline.
Rosetta says: “After the treatment, my face was swollen. I had to sleep with my head raised on pillows for a week, and wasn’t allowed to rub my face in case I disturbed the fat. I didn’t have much body fat to start with, so I didn’t need liposuction. Surgeons simply removed a little fat taken from each of my thighs under local anaesthetic, which was purified and injected into my face. I had two doctors working on me, Dr Di Giuseppe and my regular cosmetic doctor, Dr Wolfe, who injected one side of my face each.”
Rosetta had the procedure on a Friday and actually went back to work on Tuesday. She says that she loves the subtle and more natural looking effect and her work colleagues simply said that she looked well rested. Rosetta is thrilled with the results: “My skin looks brighter and smoother. I’d say it’s taken five to ten years off my looks.”The disadvantages to the Organic facelift are that you cannot reverse the procedure, so if you do not like the effect you are stuck with it. Also as it is a cosmetic procedure, all surgery carries some element of risk.
For some women the procedure will not be suitable, as if you have a great deal of sagging skin, especially on the neck, you are probably better off considering a traditional facelift, where the skin is removed and tightened. You will also need to maintain a steady size – if you gain weight your face can bloat, and if you lose it, the fat can disappear. But Dr Di Giuseppe says: “Done in an operating theatre, with experienced surgeons, this is usually a straightforward treatment with very low risk.”
For more information on this procedure visit the theprivateclinic.co.uk website.