Facial Fat Grafting or Fat Transfer

Fat atrophy and volume loss in the face has recently been recognized as a major contributor to facial aging. Hollowness of the cheeks, temples and the lower orbital region, sharp demarcations in between different areas of the face and a facial contour transition from oval to rectangular are all manifestations of volume loss in the face. These are subtle changes that combine to give one a deflated and aged appearance. As part of our non-surgical treatments, fat transfer can help rejuvenate the face by erasing such volume changes.

Facial volume augmentation is a facial cosmetic treatment that can be achieved in several ways. There are a number of commercially available injectable fillers to augment the face; products such as Restylane, Juvederm, Scupltra and Radiesse. Although these fillers are easy to administer, they lack permanency. Fat grafting is a permanent way to restore facial volume, and an attractive alternative to commercially available facial fillers.

Dr. Khosh performs fat grafting in Manhattan, as an in-house procedure. A small amount of fat is gently harvested from the lower body, prepared carefully, and then meticulously injected into designated areas of the face. Fat transfer can be used to enhance the appearance of the cheeks, brow, temple and orbital regions. After this procedure, you will notice not only improved facial contours, but may also notice more vibrant and healthier skin.

Facial Liposculpture

In some cases, fat does not need to be added, but reduced, which will enhance a patient's facial features. Facial liposculpture is used to remove fat from under the skin, usually in the neck or jowls. This can give a thinner appearance and is often combined with a neck or face lift to remove or tighten excess skin.

To learn more about fat grafting, fat transfers or facial liposculpture, contact the office of Dr. Khosh to schedule a private consultation.

Case Study

This 46 year old patient requested consultation for facial rejuvenation. She wanted natural appearing enhancement of her face. I recommended upper blepharoplasty and fat transfer. She underwent fat transfer from the abdominal area to the upper and mid face.

  • Patient: 46 year old female fat transfer candidate
  • Problem: Aged appearance of the face
  • Procedure: Fat transfer, Upper blepharoplasty

Frequently Asked Questions

How much fat is usually transferred into the face?
The volume of fat transfer is dependent on the needs of each patient. On an average patient, 10 to 15 ml of fat is transferred during one session.

I plan liposuction on my lower body, can that fat be transferred into my face?
In order for the transferred fat cells to remain viable, the liposuction needs to be performed with a delicate low suction technique. The standard body liposuction is performed under high suction with possible addition of ultrasound or laser, both of which are disruptive to the fat cells. One option would be to harvest the fat transfer cells before the standard liposuction during one procedure.

If I gain fat after fat transfer, will my face become fuller?
Yes, but not necessarily due to the transferred fat cells. The face always becomes fuller with weight gain and this process will not be significantly affected after fat transfer.

Where is the donor area for fat harvested?
Fat cells can be harvested from the abdominal area, the flank area, the outer thigh or the inner thigh. The incisions are only 3 millimeters and do not leave a visible scar.

How many fat transfer sessions are necessary to achieve final results?
Most patients reach their desired results with only one session of fat grafting. In some patients, a second procedure may be necessary.

How is the recovery from fat transfer?
The donor area may be sore or slightly bruised for one week. The face is swollen for less than a week. There is minimal discomfort and patients typically return to work and social activities within one week.

Do I need general anesthesia or sedation for this procedure?
No. Most our patients undergo the procedure under local anesthesia. Occasionally sedation is used to relax a very nervous patient.

Related Procedures

Fat transfer is a rejuvenation procedure for the face. Other facial rejuvenation procedures can add to the effects of fat transfer include: minor office procedures such as Botox injections or laser skin resurfacing with fractional lasers, small surgical procedures such as blepharoplasty or neck liposuction, and larger surgical treatments such as face lift, brow lift, or neck lift.