Fat Transfer FAQs
Q-What is fat transfer?
A-Fat transfer, also known as fat injection, is a cosmetic procedure in which fat is removed from one area of the body (usually the waist, abdomen, or legs) and then reinjected into very specific areas of the face in order to restore the volume that gives the youthful glow that all of us lose with age or with athletic activity. Also, some individuals have a naturally gaunt or thin face, with little definition, and fat transfer can greatly improve the contours and balance of the face in these patients. While this youthful, healthy glow can also be restored with injectible fillers, the advantages of using fat are that it is your own tissue, which eliminates the chance of an allergic reaction, and that it lasts for many years, if not permanently, as opposed to fillers which typically last one year or less.
Q-I already had a facelift - why would I need a fat transfer?
A-While facelifts are excellent procedures for removing excess skin and redraping the facial soft tissue, they do nothing to replace the volume of soft tissue and bone that we all lose with age. The primary benefit of a facelift is along the jawline and in the neck. Fat transfer addresses not only the jawline, but the cheeks, around the eyes, and the temples, giving a truly rejuvenated appearance which is much more natural-appearing than a facelift alone.
Q-Can any doctor perform a fat transfer?
A-Dr. Donath is the exclusive surgeon in the Tristate Area to have been personally trained by the experts in this revolutionary technique of Complementary Fat Grafting-those same surgeons that wrote the book on the technique. This technique maximizes the survival of fat that is transferred and can combine fat transfer with other surgical procedures to give you the best total facial rejuvenation, and one that is more natural appearing than ever before. In addition to this exclusive training, Dr. Donath recently published a landmark article on state-of-the-art facial rejuvenation in an internationally renowned journal. Dr. Donath was honored to be chosen to write this article as an expert in fat transfer and volumetric rejuvenation of the face. To read excerpts from this article, click here
Q-Is fat transfer right for me?
A-If you are looking to gain or restore the healthy glow of youth, then fat transfer may be right for you. Dr. Donath is happy to meet with you for a complimentary consultation to show you what results you can expect from a fat transfer and help you decide if fat transfer can address your needs.
Q-What happens at the consultation for fat transfer?
A-During the consultation for fat transfer, Dr. Donath will meet with you to examine your face, discuss your goals, and take a thorough medical history (if you would like to save time, you can even fill out your medical history form from this website and bring it in with you for your visit). He will weigh other factors like age, facial structure, and skin type in determining if fat transfer is right for you. The technique, anesthesia, risks and costs will be discussed along with any questions or concerns that you may have.
Q-What anesthesia is the fat transfer procedure performed with?
A-Fat transfer may be performed with local anesthesia which is used on both the donor and recipient sites. Patients frequently also opt for a light sedation which can be achieved with nothing more than a pill.
Q-How is the fat transfer procedure performed?
A-Once anesthesia is administered, Dr. Donath will remove fat from the donor area with methods somewhat similar to liposuction, but with much more attention to keeping the cells alive. The abdomen, hips, and thighs are common donor sites. The fat is then prepared and carefully and methodically reinjected into the recipient sites in the face.
Q-How long is the procedural time for fat transfer?
A-Fat transfer may take about an hour to perform.
Q-Does fat transfer involve much pain?
A-Patients may experience some minor irritation and discomfort which tends to fade quickly, and which responds extremely well to oral pain medication.
Q-What is the recovery from fat transfer like?
A-Patients may experience some minor discomfort after the fat transfer procedure, though this tends to resolve quickly. Redness, bruising, swelling are variable but are greatly improved within one week. . In general, the recovery is relatively minor and patients report that the results are absolutely worth it.
Q-When will I be able to resume work after my fat transfer procedure?
A-The time to return to work and other activities is variable and mostly dependent upon the individual. For the first week, most patients feel that they look too swollen to be in a typical work environment. However, patients that can work from home frequently return to this work the very next day.
Q-How long do the results of fat transfer/fat injection last?
A-While the results of fat transfer can vary from patient to patient, most patients see a truly remarkable effect for years, if not permanently. As much as 40-70% of the fat transferred appears to last indefinitely.
Q-What if another doctor has told me fat that is transferred to the face does not last?
A-Many surgeons are only familiar with the old-fashioned methods for transferring fat which were harsh on the fat cells and did not transfer them in a delicate, methodical, layering fashion. This prevented the fat cells from surviving optimally. With Dr. Donath's technique, fat is handled with great care so as not to injure the cells, and it is placed carefully in the face with multiple small passes of a special instrument that maximizes survival and the most natural effect.
Q-What if I want more filling later?
A-The approach we take at Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgery is one of complete patient satisfaction. While we are careful not to make you look overinflated, and most patients are pleased after their first procedure, if you feel that you would like additional enhancement after approximately 6 to 12 months from your first transfer, we will perform the second at no additional procedural cost.