Facial Fat Transfer in San Francisco
Fat atrophy is a natural part of aging. Facial hollowing is just as expected as wrinkles and loose skin because fat deposits shrink and sink lower in the face, creating a gaunt or deflated appearance over time. Facial fat transfer restores a vibrant, full facial shape by filling in facial hollows and restoring volume where it is lost and provides a subtle lift in certain key areas. Amit Arunkumar, M.D., offers facial fat transfer in San Francisco. He is a board-certified, Park-Avenue-trained plastic surgeon known for achieving exceptional results for his patients and for his compassionate bedside manner.
“I consulted with other plastic surgeons before choosing Dr. Arunkumar to do my surgery. I am so glad that I chose him! He does amazing work, and he listened to exactly what I wanted. He is incredibly caring and kind. I am not easy to please, and I am thrilled with my results. The work he did for me looks so natural, no one knows that I had surgery, and that is what I wanted. I just keep getting compliments on how good I look. People keep asking: Did you lose weight? What is different about you? I just keep them guessing!”
– Christine Verna
What Is Facial Fat Transfer?
Facial fat transfer, also called fat grafting, uses fat from another body area to restore facial volume. Dr. Arunkumar gently collects the donor fat cells from the abdomen, thighs, or another troublesome area with stubborn fat — the patient helps decide the site that they would like addressed. He expertly transfers the fat cells into multiple places in the face to fill in sunken or wrinkled areas, including the cheeks, temples, or tear troughs.
Fat grafting adds more natural and longer-lasting volume than synthetic dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm. Dr. Arunkumar is a deep plane and revision facelift specialist with extensive experience with facial fat transfer; he is extremely selective and judicious about where he will transfer facial fat, always mindful of creating subtle but impactful changes that are never overfilled or overdone.
Facial fat transfer benefits include:
- No incisions, sutures, or scarring
- Long-lasting, durable results
- Fill in laugh lines, smile lines, crow’s feet, and other wrinkles
- Reduce the appearance of acne scars and pitted marks
- Increase lip volume
- Enhance the cheeks
- Improve skin tone and texture
This minimally invasive face procedure revitalizes the skin and lifts and fills the cheeks and other areas without surgery. Facial fat transfer can complement the results of a deep plane facelift, deep neck lift, and other facial plastic surgeries and is often recommended for facelift patients with visible facial volume loss or hollows.
Candidates for Facial Fat Transfer
Men and women with volume loss in the face, lines and wrinkles, or scarring from a skin condition or trauma may qualify for facial fat grafting. Patients must have sufficient fat stores to harvest for facial rejuvenation. People with good skin elasticity who are unhappy with the shape or fullness of their cheeks, temples, or under-eye region are often great candidates. Fat transfer may also be used to rejuvenate the appearance of the hands.
Prior to Your Fat Grafting Procedure
Dr. Arunkumar will discuss your facial concerns during your consultation and evaluate your facial features. He will examine your eyelids, nose, cheeks, jawline, and neck and determine which areas would benefit from fat grafting. Facial fat transfer requires harvesting of the fat, and Dr. Arunkumar will look at potential donor areas, such as the belly, hips, and thighs. After reviewing your medical history, Dr. Arunkumar may recommend facial fat transfer in multiple spots and combining the procedure with eyelid surgery or brow lift for more facial rejuvenation if indicated. You will review photos with Dr. Arunkumar and discuss areas that you would like addressed as well as his recommendations. If you are a good candidate for facial fat transfer, our team will schedule your procedure.
Facial Fat Transfer Procedure
Facial fat grafting is typically performed in the office with local anesthesia. However, Dr. Arunkumar also offers general anesthesia and local anesthesia with sedation (twilight anesthesia) when performed in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation procedures. If a patient chooses general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia, they will need a loved one to accompany them and cannot eat or drink after midnight the evening before their facial fat transfer.
The fat transfer process starts with harvesting the fat from the donor site using tiny holes the size of a pinprick. Dr. Arunkumar purifies and places the fat in the appropriate facial areas with even smaller marks. Patients may require multiple sessions to reach their desired result.
Facial Fat Transfer Recovery
Most patients report little to no discomfort after the procedure and may nap or rest when they get home. As the local anesthetic wears off, patients may feel some swelling or tightness in the donor location and face. Many patients rely on Tylenol alone to ease discomfort after their facial fat transfer. Patients should sleep with their heads elevated for several days and use cold compresses to ease swelling.
Most men and women feel comfortable returning to work or public appearances after seven days. Patients who work remotely may resume working within a few days. Women can wear makeup, and men may shave around this time. People 65 and older may require additional recovery time because this age group is more prone to bruising. Patients are generally fully healed after two or three weeks.
Facial Fat Grafting Results
The tiny pinholes heal quickly and are virtually undetectable after two or three weeks. Patients will immediately notice a fuller facial contour that appears natural with subtle but impactful enhancements. Final facial fat grafting results settle in several weeks after the procedure. Patients often rave about restoring volume to hollows along the temple or under their eyes, or highlighting features such as high cheekbones.
Why Choose Dr. Arunkumar in San Francisco
Facial fat transfer requires a skilled plastic surgeon who can expertly inject fat into strategic areas to restore lost volume and fill in facial hollows. Excellent results require knowledge of which sites are impactful, and which sites lead to an overfilled or unnatural appearance. Dr. Amit Arunkumar is a UCSF-Medical-School-educated, Columbia-University-instructed plastic surgeon with clinical training from one of the highest-volume facial rejuvenation practices in the world. He has participated in countless primary and revision cases and understands the subtle differences between good and outstanding results.
Dr. Arunkumar specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck, and his patients rave about their positive experiences and outstanding results. His surgical philosophy centers on always respecting patients’ individuality and using the most advanced techniques to provide youthful results.