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San Francisco Bay Area

Facial Fat Transfer

Shapely fullness is one of the most telling characteristics of a youthful face. Not only does this plumpness help smooth the skin by filling it out, but it also projects a sense of vitality.

Unfortunately, facial fat diminishes as we age, leaving hollow and gaunt-looking features. Many men and women turn to facelift surgery to address aging signs; however, this surgery only works to tighten and lift the skin and underlying tissues. While you will have tight skin, you will still likely have an aged appearance unless the volume is restored.

Facial fat transfer (fat grafting) is a multi-step plastic surgery procedure that offers subtle, natural-looking fullness while highlighting your natural beauty. In addition, facial fat transfer can even help improve skin quality by bringing new cells into the area.

Am I a Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer?

Facial fat transfer is ideal for women and men who have started to lose volume in their faces and are looking for a natural way to restore youthful-looking fullness. This technique can be performed alone or in combination with a facelift or other facial enhancement surgery.

Candidates should be in good overall health, have realistic expectations of their results and have no severe pre-existing conditions that could impact their ability to heal.

Patients who combine their fat transfer with a facelift are usually between 45 and 65. This is considered the optimal time because patients are starting to lose elasticity in the skin.

Patients Choose Fat Transfer to the Face to Achieve:

  • Fuller, more youthful-looking facial contours
  • Added volume to the cheeks, nasolabial folds, temporal areas, and deep creases
  • Long-lasting results
  • Safe and natural-looking results
  • Subtle, beautiful changes to their facial shape
  • Fullness using a natural augmenting material

Why Choose Dr. D’Amore for Your Fat Transfer?

Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Tancredi D’Amore, believes that the partnership between surgeon and patient is essential.

He works with you to formulate a surgical plan and does everything in his ability to inform you of what your desired surgical treatment can and cannot accomplish. During surgery, Dr. D’Amore does not stop working until he has reached the best results that are possibly attainable.

Prioritizing patient safety and comfort, Dr. D’Amore and his skilled team want you to have a positive experience from beginning to long after you love your results.

How Is Facial Fat Transfer Performed?

Fat grafting to the face is performed in an operating room (often alongside other facial rejuvenation treatments).

The length of this treatment will vary depending on the number of treatment areas.

Step #1: Fat Harvesting

The first step of a fat transfer is to gather the fat cells. Dr. D’Amore harvests the fat from the abdomen (or another area) using a very small cannula with a syringe. Usually, Dr. D’Amore harvests 40 CCs of fat for the face.

Step #2: Fat Purification

Once the fat cells have been collected, they are placed in a centrifuge and purified. When this process finishes, Dr. D’Amore will have approximately 25 CCs of pure fat cells.

Step #3: Fat Injection

Dr. D’Amore injects the fat into the facial tissues using a continuously moving micro-cannula. By moving the cannula, the fat can reach different layers of the tissue, giving each cell a greater chance of surviving with its own blood supply.

Because fat grafting relies on the transferred cells surviving from one area of the body to the face, this blood supply is essential. Approximately 70 percent of the transferred cells will be viable after healing is completed.

Should You Combine Your Fat Transfer With Other Procedures?

Dr. D’Amore believes that plastic surgery procedures should restore youthful harmony to the face. Because of this, he commonly combines other facial plastic surgeries with his fat grafting procedures.

Many of Dr. D’Amore’s facelift patients undergo fat transfer to the face. This helps ensure that the lifted and tightened facial tissues also have youthful-looking fullness.

Facial Fat Transfer vs. Dermal Fillers: What Should You Know?

Injectable dermal fillers are most patients’ go-to approach for restoring facial volume. Dermal fillers do have several benefits. These injectable treatments are non-surgical, provide nearly instantaneous results, require no downtime, and can be repeated as necessary.

However, dermal fillers also have limitations. First and foremost, all dermal fillers (regardless of brand) will be absorbed by the body, and you will have to undergo repeated treatments if you want to maintain your results. You will usually require injections once a year.

Alternatively, fat transfer to the face is a more permanent solution to facial volume loss and will look and feel more natural since it is your tissue. Dr. D’Amore can also transfer a greater volume of fat during a transfer than the volume of a traditional filler injection. Most fat transfers to the face use 20 CCs of pure fat — most dermal filler treatments only use 1 to 2 CCs of filler.

Additionally, over time, the cost of these injectable dermal fillers treatments will greatly surpass the cost of fat transfer.

How Long Is the Recovery After Facial Fat Transfer?

Fat grafting to the face is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require much recovery time on its own; however, since this treatment is so often combined with other surgical procedures, such as facelift surgery, your recovery time may be lengthened to accommodate the other techniques.

Fortunately, when combining procedures, you are healing simultaneously, which will result in a shorter recovery than if you underwent the procedures separately.

Most patients experience some bruising and swelling in the injection sites. This is usually minor and can be alleviated with OTC pain medication and cold compresses. You may be prescribed pain medication if you are also undergoing a facelift.

Patients should refrain from any strenuous activity for one week. Most patients return to work within a week (for fat transfer alone) or two weeks (for combination procedures).

When Will I See My Fat Transfer Results?

Because some of the grafted fat is reabsorbed after the transfer, final results will develop over time. Once your results have stabilized, after approximately three months, you can expect to see fuller, more youthful features for years to come.

Unlike dermal fillers, grafted fat cells are not absorbed as readily, meaning that you will not have to undergo repeated treatments to maintain results.

How Much Does Facial Fat Transfer Cost in San Francisco, CA?

Facial fat transfer is customized to you to achieve the best possible outcome. Due to this personalization, pricing will vary between patients, and an estimate cannot be given until after you have met with Dr. D’Amore for a consultation.

Pricing will vary depending on the extent of the procedure (the number of areas being treated), whether fat transfer is being performed along with facelift surgery.

We will be happy to provide you with an accurate cost estimate during your consultation.

Interested in Learning More About Fat Transfer?

If you are looking to learn more about the benefits of facial fat transfer, contact Dr. D’Amore today by calling (415) 927-7660 or filling out our online contact form.