Aging causes significant changes to the skin across our body, and particularly on our faces. We lose elastic tissue, specifically elastin and collagen, which can cause our skin to hang loosely or look transparent. Your facial bones may seem to protrude and the skin around your eyes may seem to sag. This can result in looking significantly older than you feel!

Dr. Elizabeth Hernandez offers patients in San Antonio a range of options to restore a youthful appearance to their faces and feel more confident. In particular, Facial Fat Transfer is an excellent option if you are looking for natural results.

What is Facial Fat Transfer?

Facial fat transfer, also commonly referred to as fat grafting, is a non-surgical procedure that is used to improve facial structure and volume using a patient’s own fat, without scarring. Facial fat transfer is commonly used in the nasolabial folds (the smile lines between the nose and the lips), marionette lines (lines from the corners of the mouth down), cheeks, jaw, and under the eyes.

Who is an ideal candidate for Facial Fat Transfer?

You should have enough fat to harvest from another part of your body in order to be an ideal candidate for facial fat transfer. Patients should also be in good general health, and either do not smoke, or are able to stop smoking for several weeks before and after your procedure.

You should have ideal expectations for the procedure, which you’ll discuss with Dr. Hernandez during your consultation at Eterna Cosmetic Surgery. Patients should also be at or near their ideal weight, as a significant amount of weight loss after the procedure has the potential to affect results.

What happens during Facial Fat Transfer?

During facial fat transfer, Dr. Hernandez will use liposuction to obtain fat from your own body. Dr. Hernandez will conduct a physical examination during your consultation and will consider your goals to determine the exact location.

Typically, the fat removed will come from your thighs, buttocks, stomach, or other areas that typically hold excess fat. The fat cells will be purified, and carefully injected into your face. Once they are accepted by your facial tissues, the transplanted fat cells will obtain their own blood supply.

How is Facial Fat Transfer different from treatment with fillers?

Dr. Hernandez also offers treatment with hyaluronic facial fillers, including Juvederm Ultra XC and Juvederm Vollure, Revanesse Versa. Facial fat transfer differs from these treatments, as it offers a more natural option for patients who do not wish to use synthetic fillers.

Traditional fillers can vary in the length of their results, with many fillers delivering results for 12 months (or longer). Results from facial fat transfer have the potential to last for years in patients. Dr. Hernandez will discuss these benefits and differences with you during your initial consultation to help you make the best decision.

How do I prepare for Facial Fat Transfer?

Avoid taking Aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve, and other vitamins or supplements that may increase bleeding for two weeks before your procedure. Dr. Hernandez will review your medications and supplements to determine what other medications may need to be stopped prior to your procedure. Eat healthy foods and stay hydrated in advance of your procedure so that your body is in its best condition to heal.

What can I expect after Facial Fat Transfer?

You should take two to three days to rest and recover after facial fat transfer. Dr. Hernandez will prescribe you pain medication to help alleviate any discomfort. While you will notice an initial difference after your procedure, you’ll enjoy final results in several weeks.

Mild bruising or swelling at the liposuction site and on your face is normal for several weeks following the procedure.

Dr. Hernandez recommends sleeping on your back for 6 weeks so that you avoid pressure on your face during healing. Once you return to work and most normal activity, you’ll want to avoid strenuous exercise for 6 weeks. Dr. Hernandez also recommends patients wear a compression garment on areas treated with liposuction for 6 weeks.