Terminology Notes for FATMA
FATMA (fat transfer & mucosal advancement) are actually 2 procedures rolled into one. This surgery produces permanently fuller lips with your own tissue, combining rearrangement of the tissue just inside your mouth with fat transfer. These procedures act by working synergistically to create fuller lips that either technique cannot produce on their own. As we age, many people will notice that their lips tend to thin out. However, the situation is actually more complex than simple attenuation of lip tissue. The lips loose support from the teeth (since the actual bony skull retracts in shape pulling in the teeth along with it), invert or roll inwards in the process while the actual width of the mouth gets wider. FATMA directly addresses these very pathophysiological issues by rolling out the lips while narrowing the oral aperture.
The most appropriate candidates for lip reshaping and fat transfer are patients who have:
- A desire for more permanent results than temporary injectable fillers (which only address volume anyway)
- Lips that have become thin, inverted, shapeless or sagging with age
- Had other facial rejuvenation surgeries and want their lips to sync up with the rest of their face
- Had a rhinoplasty and find that their upper lip is too long
- Naturally unbalanced lips
- Naturally thin, inverted or flat lips that are nearly invisible, imparting an angry expression
Those who already possess ideally shaped lips but desire a bit more plumpness may only need added lip volume. Our practice offers both temporary (injectable filler) and permanent (fat transfer) augmentation.
Dr. Haworth reserves FATMA for those patients with very thin lips that tend to be inverted or roll inwards towards the teeth. No amount of filler in these types of lips can produce significantly fuller lips that appear natural. FATMA is performed under sedative anesthesia and takes about 1.5 hours to perform on both the upper and lower lips. “V” shaped flaps are first strategically planned on the outside of the upper and lower lip and their design then transposed to their mirrored position on the inside of the lips.
These are then delicately elevated as tissue flaps and rearranged from a “V” shape to a “Y ” shape to roll out the lip itself. The surgery does result in obvious swelling for 2-6 weeks, so patients choosing to undergo this must plan their schedule accordingly.
Operation and Recovery Logistics
SURGERY DURATION: 1.5 hours (for upper and lower lip)
ANESTHESIA: IV sedation (“twilight sleep”) or general
SUTURES: All sutures are dissolvable therefore none need be removed. You will be asked to rinse your mouth 3 times a day with dilute hydrogen peroxide
RECOVERY TIME: Obvious swelling for 2 – 6 weeks, so plan your schedule accordingly.
SCAR HEALING: No visible scarring since all the incisions are done inside the mouth.