Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting, is a technique used to increase the fullness of a certain feature using the patient’s own tissue. Fat injections are commonly used to rejuvenate areas of the face that look prematurely aged or sallow. For example, facial fat injections can plump up hollow cheeks, hollows under the eyes, scars or depressions.
If you are interested in turning back the clock and restoring a plump, supple look to your skin, consider facial fat injections with San Francisco plastic surgeon Kenneth Bermudez. He is extremely well-versed in the applications of fat transfer and consistently delivers beautiful, natural-looking results.
Fat injections add volume and fullness to give you a younger and more radiant appearance. Specifically, they can be used to:
Plump up hollow or sunken-in cheeks
Fill in hollows under your eyes
Augment thin lips
Fill in scars or facial indentations
Fill in laugh lines and nasolabial folds (the folds between the sides of your nose and mouth)
Add volume to “deflated” looking features
Fat transfer to the face takes place in stages. During the first stage, Dr. Bermudez harvests fatty tissue from another area of your body, such as the hips, thighs or abdomen. Then, the fat is passed through a centrifuge to prepare it for re-injection. Finally, Dr. Bermudez injects small droplets of the fat into the areas of your face that need volume and fullness.
After facial fat transfer, you may have some slight bruising and discomfort in the donor and transplant area. You are strongly advised to rest and keep your head elevated for about 24 hours after the procedure. You will probably be able to resume work and your normal activities after about a week, at which point the swelling and bruising will have largely subsided.
The risks of fat transfer are fairly minimal and include uneven skin texture, abscess, infection and poor scarring. Also, there is the risk of over- or under-filling the transplant area, but an experienced provider like Dr. Bermudez can usually avoid that.
Facial fat transfer has many benefits. One of the most exciting advances discovered in recent years is that the transplanted fat is rich in stem cells. When transferred to your face, the stem cells trigger an improvement in your skin’s texture and tone.
Many patients also love the peace of mind that comes with fat transfer. Since the fat is your own tissue, there is no concern about a severe allergic reaction or other complications that, though rare, can occur when injecting a synthetic material like Juvederm or Restylane into the face.
And, fat transfer is a minimally invasive technique that does not require large incisions. There is very little chance it will leave noticeable scarring.
Finally, fat tends to last longer than fillers like Restylane and Juvederm. Once the fat develops a blood supply, it can remain in your body for a long time (perhaps even permanently).
If you would like more information about turning back the clock with facial fat injections, Dr. Bermudez invites you to book an informational consultation. Please call or email our office today to make an appointment.
Who is a good candidate for facial fat injections?
People who are undergoing facelift surgery and who also wish to address hollow areas caused by facial volume loss are good candidates for facial fat injections. Used in tandem with facelift surgery—which removes excess, sagging skin and tightens the remaining skin—facial fat injections can restore plumpness to hollow areas and fill in deep lines and folds on the face for an overall younger appearance.
Where does the fat come from for facial fat injections?
The fat used for facial fat injections is harvested from your own body: specifically, places with excess fat, such as the stomach, thighs, or hips. This fat is removed via liposuction, purified, and then injected with a needle into one or more areas of the face.
Is the facial fat injection procedure painful?
Because the procedure is performed with the patient under local anesthesia, any discomfort is minimal. Dr. Bermudez will prescribe pain medication to help with post-surgery discomfort.
How do facial fat injections compare to synthetic fillers like Juvederm and Restylane?
Both facial fat injections and synthetic injectable fillers like Juvederm and Restylane, are effective ways to get rid of wrinkles and smooth out deep lines and folds while filling in hollow areas like eye sockets and cheeks. However, the pros of facial fat injections are that they produce noticeable results quicker than other dermal fillers, and the results are permanent!
However, dermal fillers also have advantages over facial fat injections. For starters, synthetic fillers are administered as non-surgical, “lunchtime” procedures that, unlike facial fat injections, require zero recovery or downtime afterwards. And the results are easier to predict—unlike the results of facial fat injections, where some of the injected fat may not survive, and therefore may require more than one treatment to achieve the desired results.
To learn more about your facial rejuvenation and injectable treatment options, and to find out which is right for you and your aesthetic goals, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Bermudez.
What is recovery like after facial fat injections?
As Dr. Bermudez typically administers facial fat injections (as needed) during facelift procedures, and liposuction is used to harvest the injected fat, the recovery process will include recovering from both facelift and liposuction surgery.
Mild to moderate discomfort, as well as bruising and swelling of the face and liposuction treatment area, is normal. Dr. Bermudez will prescribe pain medication to help alleviate any discomfort. Liposuction recovery typically takes between two to six weeks, and facelift surgery recovery typically lasts no longer than 10 days.
Dr. Bermudez will provide more individualized post-surgery instructions for you during your pre-surgery consultation and post-operative checkups.
When will I see results from facial fat injections?
After the first few days, you should start to see a marked improvement in your facial volume. However, it may take up to six months after surgery to see your final results.
How long will my facial fat injection results last?
The final results of the facial fat injection procedure are permanent! However, aging, weight loss, and other lifestyle factors will still have an effect on your face and skin over time. Still, even with these additional factors, your face will continue to look much younger and smoother—and you will likely look up to a decade younger as you age.
Does the facial fat injection procedure leave scars?
Scars from the liposuction procedure are minimal and well-hidden in the body’s natural creases and folds. There will be no scars on the facial fat injection sites since the procedure doesn’t require incisions, but instead uses a needle to inject the fat.
How much do facial fat injections cost?
The cost of facial fat injections is generally between $4,000 to $9,000. Patients who wish to include facial fat injections as part of their facelift procedure (a common combination) will pay for their facelift procedure in addition to this cost.
What should I keep in mind when looking for a facial fat injection surgeon near me?
The facial fat injection procedure requires a skillful surgeon with an aesthetic sense for beautiful, yet natural-looking results. Since this procedure involves liposuction as well as (oftentimes) facelift surgery, the surgeon you choose to administer your facial fat injections must be familiar and highly trained at all plastic surgery procedures—for both face and body. For this reason, we recommend choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Bermudez, to perform this multi-layered procedure.
Unlike cosmetic surgeons, who are medical doctors with secondary training in cosmetic surgery, board-certified plastic surgeons have several years of extensive and focused training in plastic surgery. On top of this, they are also certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the highest honor that a plastic surgeon can receive, and one that ensures adherence to safe surgery practices and the highest level of patient care.