Dr. Stephen Schendel
Craniofacial and Maxillofacial Surgery
650-353-7352

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Fat Transfer

Fat Transfer – Palo Alto, CA

26 Procedures ( View All )

Overview

Over the years as people age, a natural loss of volume under the skin occurs. Many will turn to facial derma fillers to help fill hollow areas on the face and create a smoother, younger appearance. For patients who may be allergic to collagen or other substances (such as hyaluronic acid), a facial fat transfer achieves the same face-smoothing results as injections without the risk of allergic reaction. Palo Alto facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephen Schendel, offers fat transfers with excellent results. He uses fat from the patient’s body to fill in sunken cheeks, smooth out wrinkles, augment lips, or fill in hollow areas under the eyes. A fat transfer is safe and effective and produces lasting results.

Surgical Technique

During the consultation, the surgeon and patient will discuss what donor sites will be most suitable and desirable for fat removal. During surgery, fat is removed from the donor site using a cannula. The fat will then be purified using a centrifuge, which is a device that spins the fat at a high speed in order to remove any impurities. The fat will be placed in a syringe and augmented into the transfer site. The surgeon will simultaneously massage the area so that the fat settles where needed to create a satisfactory shape and contour. Multiple injections are usually needed.

During/After Surgery

A fat transfer is considered an outpatient procedure and is performed at an accredited surgical facility. In the majority of cases, especially where larger injection areas are concerned, general anesthesia will be used. For smaller areas, such as the lips, the surgeon will use a local anesthetic. After the procedure, the fat removal areas, as well as the injection sites may be swollen and red. This will subside in a short time. This procedure continues to be popular among patients because it offers little risk and little downtime, while delivering great results. 

Expected Cost

A fat transfer procedure will vary greatly in terms of cost, but the surgery could run as low as $3,000-$5,000, or as high as $5,000-$11,000. The reason for the expansive price range is because there are two procedures that have to be accounted — liposuction and the actual fat grafting/transfer process. The price is subjective until it is known how much fat is going to be removed from how many body parts and where the transfers will take place.  

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Average Cost  
$5,000 - $10,000
Recovery Time  
2-4 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
2 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
2 Weeks
Procedure Recovery Location  
Outpatient
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Fat Transfer FAQs

Long-Lasting Results?

When performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, a fat transfer can result in an enhanced appearance that can last for years. While some of the fat will be reabsorbed back into the body, a skilled fat transfer expert will understand the proper mechanism behind creating a result that will last. There are new modern techniques available to help lengthen the life of the transferred fat cells. Plasma Rich Plasma is an example of this. When added to the transferred fat, it can increase the cell survival. This is a therapy that is still being studied.

One-Time Surgery?

A fat transfer typically results in long-lasting fullness. However, because a portion of the transferred fat will be reabsorbed into the body over time, some of the results may diminish. The good news is that this is a procedure that can be performed again very easily, resulting in additional body contouring and enhancement.

Alternative Procedures?

While fat transfers produce great results for many patients, there are other alternatives that some may consider. Luckily, the market for injectables is wide and diverse. An injection, such as BOTOX®, may produce the results some patient’s desire — especially where wrinkle correction is concerned. For patients desiring volume, there are countless filler products that offer many different choices and options. Some fillers, including collagen and hyaluronic acid, offer temporary outcomes, while the heaviest of fillers, PMMA, offer lasting results.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.