Excessive fat on the face or neck can have an aging effect, but so can too little volume in the face. Today, facial plastic surgery focuses on volume replacement in the form of fillers and even fat. Facial fat transfer, or facial fat re-injection, offers some of the most natural-looking and long-lasting results.
What is Facial Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer or re-injection works like other dermal fillers to rejuvenate the face, minimize wrinkles and creases, and restore lost volume to the cheeks, the under-eyes or the lips. Also known as fat grafting, this noninvasive procedure is designed to improve the contour of the face. It can be used to counteract lost volume from aging, weight loss, or illness.
Facial fat grafting is designed to restore lost volume and gently and subtly restore volume to the hollows around the mouth, cheeks and eyes. Please note that while adding volume can help minimize the appearance of folds, wrinkles and lines, fat grafting is not necessarily the best option for wrinkles and lines that can be treated with other fillers.
Dr. Todd Hobgood
Double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Todd Hobgood has dedicated his career to treating and improving the head and neck. His focused expertise ensures that your results reflect your own unique desires and the complex anatomy of your face.Meet Dr. Hobgood
Facial Fat Grafting Procedure
Facial fat grafting involves transferring fat from one area of the patient’s body to the face. During the procedure, excess fat is removed from one site, such as the hips, abdomen, thighs or buttocks, and transferred to the areas that require sculpting and volume.
A small incision is first made in the donor site and a cannula, or narrow hollow tube, is inserted to dislodge the fat through a syringe that draws it out. This is known as a liposuction procedure. The fat may then be prepared and injected into hollow areas of the face or creases to restore volume. This procedure may be performed under general anesthesia or under local anesthetic with sedation. The entire procedure generally takes between one and three hours.
Facial Fat Injection Recovery
One of the advantages to facial fat transfer is a quick recovery, typically between three and five days for most patients. Swelling and redness are normal for the first two days, as well as minor discomfort. Dr. Hobgood may recommend that strenuous activities wait for up to two weeks, depending on how extensive the procedure. Most patients return to work within the week. Results of a fat transfer are immediate; although, the final results are not visible until swelling subsides.
Are You a Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer?
Men and women in good physical health who have lost volume in their face and who have realistic expectations are good candidates for facial fat re-injection.
How much does facial fat transfer cost?
The price for facial fat transfer, which includes collecting fat with liposuction, ranges from $4,000 to $7,000 depending on the size and number of areas treated.
Does fat transfer leave scars?
No, facial fat transfer is performed using very tiny incisions that do not result in scarring.
Are there risks to facial fat grafting?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. This procedure does have minimal risk, however, as the patient’s own tissue is used. Rare complications include scarring, bleeding and permanent discoloration.
How long do facial fat transfer results last?
Facial fat transfer results are very long-lasting, as the majority of transferred fat cells integrate with existing tissue for permanent benefit. Your face will still be subject to normal aging and gravity, however. The body may also reabsorb some fat over time, so follow-up procedures may be required to achieve the desired long-term results.
When can I return to work after a fat grafting procedure?
You may return to work as soon as you feel comfortable. Most patients can return to work within two to five days.