Facial fat grafting (also known as fat transfer) is often a viable option for patients wishing to increase volume in facial features for a more youthful appearance. The procedure can also smooth out wrinkles and lines resulting from the natural aging process. While dermal fillers are often a great solution for these concerns, a patient’s own fatty tissue contains stem cells that can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen in the face. By harvesting excess fat cells from one area of a patient’s body and transferring them into the facial areas targeted for treatment, that patient can also benefit from a slight recontouring at the harvest site. Common facial areas where patients consider fat grafting include the cheeks, nasolabial folds (lines between the nose and mouth), and the jawline.
The Fat Grafting Procedure
In order to be a candidate for fat grafting, you must have an adequate amount of fat in a designated “donor area” to transfer to the treatment site. Our plastic surgeon will begin the procedure by taking fat cells via liposuction from an area with excess fat — most often the abdomen, hips, or thighs. The extracted fat cells are then filtered and prepared in a sterile environment for reinjection into the targeted facial area. To provide the most natural-looking results, our surgeons perform the fat transfer by injecting tiny amounts of the prepared fat cells at a time, allowing for a smoother result and more subtle transformation. Results are often much longer-lasting than that of a dermal filler.
Fat Grafting Recovery
Normal activities can typically be resumed within a few days after the fat grafting procedure; however, this is dependent on each individual’s unique needs. Any discomfort following treatment can be alleviated by medication. It is normal to experience mild swelling or bruising, but this should subside with time.
To learn more about facial fat grafting and how it can improve your appearance, we encourage you to set up a consultation with one of our skilled plastic surgeons.