As we age, our faces tend to lose volume. This creates lines, wrinkles, and sometimes a hollowed or sunken appearance, leaving the face looking gaunt and aged. Dermal fillers are often used to restore lost volume. Fat transfer offers a more lasting result using fat harvested from another body area rather than a dermal filler, which must be reinjected regularly.
How it works
Excess fat can be harvested from an area of the body with liposuction, processed and purified, and injected into the area of the face or neck that needs additional fat to achieve rejuvenation. More than one session of fat harvesting through liposuction followed by fat transfer injection into the face or neck may need to be performed in some cases, varying from patient to patient.
What does fat transfer do for facial rejuvenation?
Fat transfer can be used to correct fine lines and deep wrinkles such as nasolabial folds and marionette lines, skin depressions, hollow temples, or sunken cheeks. It can also be used for lip augmentation to plump lips. The fat is usually harvested from areas such as the stomach, love handles, thighs, or buttocks.
Before & AftersView All
Let our experience guide you.
At Cheng Plastic Surgery, our double board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons will spend time with you to understand your aesthetic goals, and they will examine you carefully to determine the best fat transfer plan to achieve a refreshed, rejuvenated look that lasts.
We have performed many successful fat transfer procedures at our luxury private clinic, serving San Jose,Palo Alto and the entire Bay Area. With two double board-certified facial plastic surgeons in our office, you have the option to receive a second opinion, right in one office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many sessions do I need for optimal results?
A: Fat transfer for facial treatments usually only necessitates a single procedure. However, in some cases, you may benefit from a second procedure. Larger treatment areas, like the breasts or buttocks, may benefit from 2 to 4 fat transfer sessions, with intervals of 3 months between each.
Q: How long does a fat transfer procedure last?
A: A fat transfer procedure lasts 15 minutes to two hours, depending on your cosmetic expectations and the treatment area. There’s no downtime, and you can resume most daily activities immediately after the treatment.
Q: Does a fat transfer hurt?
A: We provide local anesthesia and, in some cases, a light sedative to ensure physical and emotional comfort. You’ll be perfectly relaxed, and you’ll experience little to no pain and discomfort.
Q: What’s the survival rate of the transplanted fat tissues?
A: Over time, your body will absorb and expel a considerable portion of the transplanted fat cells. This usually happens because not all the transplanted fat cells maintain their blood supply when taken out of your body. However, you can expect an overall long-term survival rate of 40 to 50% — furthermore, we often transplant extra fat to offset any potential loss of fat cells.
Q: How long do the fat transfer results last?
A: The fat transfer’s results can potentially last several years or even a lifetime. However, you should avoid drastic weight fluctuations to maintain your contours.
Fat transfer recovery
- Within an hour or two of your surgery, you can return home under the care of another person. You will not be able to drive right away.
- Most people take about a week off from work after liposuction and fat transfer.
- You will wear a compression garment over the areas where the fat was harvested. This will reduce swelling. You should be able to exercise in two to three weeks.
- There will be some bruising, swelling, itching, and mild discomfort for 1-2 weeks.
- You can take pain medication to ease the discomfort, and we will provide you with oral and topical medication to speed healing.
When will I see results?
Results can be seen within a few days as any puffiness subsides. You should be able to see the complete results of the fat transfer in about four months. At that time, you will be able to tell if a subsequent procedure will be necessary. We will, of course, see you in post-operative appointments to monitor your healing.
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