Fat Transfer in Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, NY

Natural Face™ Clinics, led by Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim, features CoolSculpting® treatments for patients residing in the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area, including Ithaca and Rochester.What is a Fat Transfer?

Traditional fat grafting has been around for over 125 years. Over that time, generations of surgeons and physicians have studied to refine and perfect the technique to make it more predictable, safe, and effective. While fat grafting has been used for numerous other medical applications, our focus is to use this time-proven technique to achieve youthful and natural face rejuvenation.

Fat Transfer in Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, NY

How Does Fat Transfer Work?

Fat transfer is aimed to add volume to areas of the face where volume loss has resulted in a hollowed, aged appearance. Areas of the face that are traditionally reinforced with fatty-soft tissue to provide youthful, round contour include the jawline, cheeks, under-eyes, and temples. As one ages, several processes contribute to loss of volume in these areas including bone resorption, fat and muscle shrinkage, and migration of soft-tissue (facial droop). This results in a hollowed, tired, and sometimes unhealthy facial appearance associated with the aging process. However, some young patients can also experience this problem if they are endurance athletes, have undergone significant weight loss, or if it is simply part of their hereditary traits.

Based on the patient’s preference, a fat transfer can be performed while awake through minimal sedation or through twilight sedation in the operating room setting. We begin with the removal of fat through traditional liposuction of the abdomen through a small slit around the belly button. After adequate fat has been removed, fat is processed to optimize for transfer. Next, fat is injected to the areas of volume loss on the face using small micro-cannula. The key is to inject in deep plane to avoid palpable nodule formation, a known risk in fat injection.

What is the Recovery for a Fat Transfer?

We tend to overcorrect to anticipate for some fat graft resorption within the first several months. First several days, patients will notice swelling at the site of fat grafting. Most of the swelling is from numbing medication or from the saline solution in which fat grafts is transferred, and the body will quickly absorb it over the following few days.

Over the first several months, the grafted fat goes through inosculation, during which it settles into a new home by recruiting new blood supply and establishing a connection with surrounding structures.  During this time, patients may notice that the initial result of new facial volume (from swelling) is dissipating. However, after this settling period, the grafted fat will begin to volumize and the result will become more apparent.

What are the Benefits of a Fat Transfer Over Alternative Options?

Contemporary trend is to seek non-invasive treatments for facial rejuvenation. For this reason, more patients undergo dermal filler treatments in our practice to restore volume.  These include hyaluronic acid-based fillers, including Radiesse®, and Sculptra®.

There are several significant advantages to a fat transfer for facial rejuvenation compared to the non-invasive fillers. First, most patients have plenty of fat around their abdomen to donate to volumize their face. Whereas each 1cc of volume costs hundreds of dollars for non-invasive fillers, one treatment of fat transfer achieves a minimum 20cc or more of volume to restore volume throughout the face in multiple areas. Second, fat grafts last a long time. Depending on the type, the fillers may last from 6 months to several years. However, a fat graft is one’s own living tissue, and after its initial swelling and settling, a fat graft stays put. While it is vulnerable to shrink if one’s metabolism changes (with aging or weight-loss), it is by and large living tissue as part of the face. Lastly, fat grafts do more than just add volume.  A fat micrograft contains stem cells, which is involved in promoting survival of the fat graft but also influences the repair and remodeling of surrounding tissue including the skin. As a side note, the first described fat graft was performed in 1893 to treat scars.

We recommend that the patients who are interested in a fat transfer should seek consultation to explore all treatment options to determine which procedure is the ideal option for them, given their unique anatomy, expectations, medical profile, and risk factors.

Double Board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim at Natural Face™ Clinics specializes in aesthetic enhancement of the face, head, and neck, exclusively. Patients come to see us from the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area, including Ithaca and Rochester. At Natural Face™ Clinics, we specialize in restoring the youthful neck contour, tired appearance of the brows and eyes, and skin laxity. We offer customized treatments, both surgical and non-surgical. Find out more by scheduling your personal consultation today.

Plastic Surgeon in Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, NY


Dr. Sang W. Kim

Harvard Trained, Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sang W Kim, MD is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery, nasal/sinus surgery, and hair restoration surgery.

Natural Face Centers
I was working in Central New York and had an upcoming event and needed to get 2 areas of Dystport done. They were able to accommodate my schedule( as it was short notice) Dr. Kim’s entire staff was so friendly and welcoming!! During the procedure , even Nurse Dan held my hand and kept me smiling the whole time!! I was incredibly impressed with Dr Kim as he made sure he took the time to explain the process as well as not “ being rushed” something I have experienced with previous Doctors. I live in Florida but will be seeing Dr Kim from now on, and will be recommending their office to my fellow New Yorkers! It’s been almost 2 weeks since my appointment and the results are amazing!!! So happy! Thank you so much Dr Kim, Mary and the rest of the staff !

- michele goodwin

Dr. Kim is a world-class facial plastic surgeon. I’ve been to the top surgeons in the country from Beverly Hills to Miami and I found Dr. Kim to be superior. His face and neck lift were flawless and so natural that no one could tell I had anything done, but everyone said I looked ten years younger. As Syracuse is a discreet location, I would highly recommend anyone who wants a top notch face and neck lift to fly in. His bedside manner is as fantastic as his work. I can’t recommend Dr. Kim enough. I think he is the best Facial plastic surgeon in the country.

- Shelly Cohen

I am very happy with Dr. Kim and all of his staff. Not only did I have a surgical procedure done but I also go there every week for allergy shots and they couldn't be nicer. And Dr. Kim is awesome - - great bedside manner! I highly recommend them!!!

- Sheila Guenette

57 years old and wanted to start my new path in life retired...not looking tired! I did extensive research and sought out 5 surgeon recommendations. I was extremely impressed with Dr. Sang Kim for several reasons: 1 - He specialized in and only performs /neck surgeries, 2 - Dr. Kim is younger and probably more newly established, but there was no doubt that he is a perfectionist and a professional in his field, 3 - He is patient and really listens. I felt confident and trusted that he was giving me his best recommendation for my concerns, 4 - He didn't try to push unnecessary or extra procedures, 5 - I was impressed by how obvious it was that Dr. Kim's administrative and medical staff liked him and respected his work. But most of all, I am extremely satisfied with the results of my face lift!

- Shannon F

I can't say enough good things about Dr. Kim. He is the most patient, professional, and personable physician I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Instead of being rushed through the practice, every member of his staff made me feel welcome and important from the moment I walked through the door. He wouldn't perform a single procedure on me until he fully answered every minute question I had (all of which he eloquently and candidly answered); you can tell that his formal training was exceptional. His bedside manner and skilled technique easily make him one of the best kept secrets in Syracuse. I have referred numerous friends to him who have also, in turn, referred their friends. Make the consult and see for yourself... you won't be disappointed!

- Deanna Hillman

Dr. Kim and his staff were incredible. I had a face lift done this past summer and I was treated with dignity and respect by everyone. Dr. Kim is an exceptional surgeon and one of the nicest and kindest doctors I have ever met. I had a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend Dr. Kim and his entire staff. I recently went back to Dr. Kim for injections. Again my experience was wonderful. He explains everything he is going to do and what to expect. I didn't bruise and I love the fact that he doesn't overdo. He and his staff are just incredible. If I could give more than 5 stars I would.

- Debbie Ely

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