Fat Transfer in the Bay Area

How A Fat Transfer Can Dramatically Enhance Your Youthful Contours

Fat Transfer (Fat Grafting) for Patients in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose and Palo Alto

Fat transfer, or fat grafting, is the process of harvesting fat cells from one area of the body and adding them to areas of the face to restore youthful contours. It is a very effective procedure that requires a deep understanding of the underlying facial structures, as well as the principles of facial beauty. Only a handful of surgeons who specialize in facial reconstruction, such as Drs. Lieberman and Parikh, are able to perform a fat transfer that achieves a natural-looking result.

As we age, we lose volume in our faces both because of skeletal changes - our cheek bones and maxilla get smaller - and tissue that once created rounded or heart-shape contours begins to look gaunt. In our office, we address minor volume loss with dermal fillers like Juvéderm®, Juvéderm XC®, Voluma®, Restylane®, Radiesse® and Sculptra®, but sometimes, a fat transfer is a more effective rejuvenation option.

A Fat Transfer with the Puregraft System

A fat transfer involves carefully taking a small amount of fat cells from the abdomen or inner thigh and purifying the cells with a specialized Puregraft System. The Puregraft System removes impurities from the nutrient-rich products, the stem cells and plasma.

Once the fat has been purified, Drs. Lieberman & Parikh use blunt cannulas to inject the fat as little droplets in the appropriate areas of the face - generally at the jawline, under the eyes or in the cheeks. Grafted fat has a much higher blood supply which helps the tissues survive in the new area, With a fat transfer, the overall result is generally smoother and more refined.

Volume Loss With Age

Volume loss is due to a depletion of facial fat in key areas. Currently, a lot of time in cosmetic surgery is spent addressing unwanted fat. However, in certain areas of the face a healthy amount of fat conveys a sense of youth and health. Areas like the high cheeks, temples, smile lines, edge of the jawline and precise locations around the eyes are particularly susceptible to looking gaunt or hollow, with a minimal amount of fat loss.

Facial aging occurs on multiple fronts. Attention is often focused on the changes associated with gravity especially as we watch the once tight skin of the neck and face begin to droop and loosen. We also look carefully at the texture of the skin, focusing on the wrinkles and color changes that develop over time. Over the past 20 years, innovators in facial plastic surgery have turned their focus on the volume loss that occurs in key areas of the face. This loss of volume can make a person look drawn, older or skeletal. The full cheeks and soft contours of youth are replaced with a more bony appearance that draws attention to shadows and depressions, making a face look harsher and aged.

Am I A Candidate for A Facial Fat Transfer (Fat Grafting)?

During a consultation we will take time to review all of your concerns regarding facial aging. Sometimes volume loss is an overlooked component of the aging process as attention is so easily drawn to the loose skin in the neck and the jowl area. A lifting procedure such as a facelift, blepharoplasty or neck lift can make an improvement for any patient with gravity changes. However, a lift alone will not replace the loss of fat that significantly contributes to an aged appearance. Fat transfer (or Dermal fillers such as Sculptra®/Voluma) is a wonderful complement to all lifting procedures, as well as procedures such as skin resurfacing, peels or dermabrasion.

Throughout childhood, adolescence and even into the 20's, people generally have rounded shape face. During the early 30s, however, we begin to lose volume and start to have more of a triangular or heart shaped face with the forehead being the base and the chin being the tip of the triangle.

Fat Transfer

As we approach the 40s, loss of fat in the temples becomes more pronounced, and as we approach the 50s, the tissue in the cheeks and jawline begin to droop. During the aging process, and with the possibility of potential weight gain that accumulates in the lower face and neck, this triangle becomes inverted so that the base of the triangle is now at the bottom of the face. Through a fat transfer, Drs. Lieberman and Parikh are able to reposition tissues and resculpt the face for a more youthful and natural-looking heart-shaped face.

Drs. Lieberman and Parikh will discuss your individual needs to help formulate a balanced, refined plan that allows for natural, long-lasting results. The doctors combine their artistic vision with a deep understanding of facial anatomy to create a refreshed appearance.

Common areas for fat transfer include the upper portions of the face including the marionette lines, temples and cheeks.

Common Reasons For Seeking Out This Type Of Surgery:

  • Loss of volume in the face
  • Skeletal or gaunt appearance visible bony ridges and contours
  • Sunken cheeks
  • Sunken temples
  • Hollowing of the upper eyelid region
  • Deep shadows and grooves under the lower eyelid
  • Flattening of the cheek bones and hollowing of the cheek region
  • Shadows along the jawline and jowls in the lower face
  • Deep folds along the smile lines and marionette lines

Fat Transfer In Combination With Other Procedures

Our philosophy is to never have our patients look "over-filled" or "over-done." It is always better for our patients to age gracefully and appear natural. It is vital to us to obtain a result that balances all your facial features in harmony.

At For The Face, Drs. Lieberman and Parikh often perform a fat transfer along with other procedures such as facelift or blepharoplasty to enhance the overall rejuvenation results.

In many patients, a facelift alone will lift the skin but usually additional volume is needed in certain areas to restore the natural curvature of one's face. Incorporating a fat transfer during another operation not only produces a more balanced result but is also more convenient.

Adding fat back into the face can also even out skintone and make the overall appearance more radiant because the added volume enhances the curves of the face and allows more light to be reflected off the skin*.

Postoperative Recovery Process

What should I expect after my fat transfer (fat grafting)?

When you wake up the sites used to harvest the fat will be dressed, but there will be no dressings on the face unless you have elected to have other procedures done simultaneously. We work with the anesthesiologist to minimize any nausea or pain after surgery. After one to two hours of recovery you can be discharged from the surgery center with a family member or friend. We ask that someone drive you home, and stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. You will return to the office the following morning to be seen, and we will check your face and donor sites and go over your postoperative instructions in detail.

Recovery after fat transfer will likely involve a few days to up to 2 weeks of swelling. Bruising is common but does not occur in every patient. The injection sites are no bigger than a needle stick and heal extremely well. Makeup can be used to camouflage any bruising and we are happy to assist you in choosing an effective cover-up regimen. Most daily activities can be resumed within a few days after surgery. All activity, including full exercise, cantypically be resumed at three weeks. Usually, during this recovery period patients are up and around, and pain relief is manageable with Tylenol. Depending on patient preference, work may be done from home for a period of 1-2 weeks to avoid social situations while healing occurs.

While fat transfer is more involved than dermal fillers such as Restylane®, Juvederm®, Voluma, Radiesse® or Sculptra®, the results tend to last much longer. Additional fat transfer sessions may be performed if deemed appropriate for a fully rejuvenated appearance. Typically, the final "after" photographs are taken at 12-18 months following surgery. We have provided fat grafting (fat transfer) photos of our patients to help you visualize the possibilities.

  • Learn more about a fat transfer in the Bay Area, available at For the Face - Lieberman & Parikh Facial Plastic Surgery. Call 650-327-3232 or email us to set up your consultation.