Facial Fat Transfer: Facial Volumization and Rejuvenation
While younger faces benefit from evenly distributed fat across the face, over time, many areas begin to lose volume. As part of the aging process, facial fat begins to clump, shift, and generally decrease in volume, leading to sagging and sunken areas.
Facial rejuvenation procedures revitalize your face by increasing the volume of your features. One popular option is facial fat transfers, a safe and effective procedure that fills out the face using your body’s own fat.
Dr. Corville has been performing fat transfer procedures for over 20 years. His decades of experience help to assure every fat grafting procedure performed in Cornerstone’s New Jersey facility has ideal final results.
What Is a Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer procedures involve removing fat from a donor site — such as the abdomen — and redistributing it to an area that lacks volume. These procedures are used to enhance areas across the body, including the buttocks, cheeks, and breasts. Much like synthetic fillers or implants, facial fat transfers augment the treated site to provide a fuller, more youthful appearance.
Facial fat transfers, also known as facial fat injections or facial fat grafting, primarily focus on injections to the cheeks, lips, jawline and the area around the eyes, providing natural-looking results using only a small amount of expertly distributed fat.
How does it work?
During the procedure, living fat cells are removed from your own body and injected into areas that lack volume.
While a portion of the cells transferred this way die and are reabsorbed by the body, those that survive the process reintegrate into the body and act like normal fat cells in their new location.
Where can it be used?
Fat can be injected wherever it’s needed to provide a fuller, rejuvenated look. Every face is unique, and facial fat injections can be customized to suit your specific needs.
Fat can be injected across the face to provide different effects by improving volume in the targeted areas. It can be used to:
- Enhance the lips
- Fill in sunken cheeks
- Erase marionette lines (the folds that go from the corners of the mouth to the nose)
- Improve skin sagging under the eyes
- Address tear troughs
- Minimize dark circles around the eyes
Fat injections can also be performed in multiple locations across the face, such as the temples and jawline, for facial contouring.
Why we recommend facial fat transfers
Facial fat transfers are a safe and effective facial rejuvenation option. Beyond enhancing volume, the procedure reduces wrinkles and improves both skin texture and tone.
While there are many facial rejuvenation options to choose from, facial fat transfers offer a variety of advantages over other procedures.
Fat injections are a longer-lasting alternative to one of the most popular facial rejuvenation options: facial fillers. As the procedure uses your own fat, facial fat transfers are considered to be more natural than synthetic fillers.
Additionally, fat injections carry fewer risks than dermal fillers. Because synthetic fillers introduce a foreign material into the body, patients are more likely to experience irritation, allergic reactions and other negative side effects.
Are You a Good Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer?
Certain chronic health issues or poor physical health could lead to risks both during and following the procedure. In order to pursue any cosmetic surgery, it’s important to be in good overall physical health.
Before undergoing a facial fat transfer, patients should strive to attain a satisfactory stable weight that they’ll be able to maintain in the future. This helps ensure the recovery process will go smoothly and your results will remain ideal over time.
In order to perform the procedure, patients must first have enough body fat to safely harvest. If not, it will be impossible to perform the transplant.
In short, a patient must meet the following minimum criteria in order to pursue facial fat grafting:
- Be in good general health
- Have achieved a stable weight
- Have a sufficient amount of fat to safely remove from a donor site
Why choose Cornerstone N.J. for your fat transfer treatment
Successful facial fat transfers rely on a combination of technical skills that take years to perfect. The skill of your injector directly impacts your final results, which is why every facial fat transfer performed at Cornerstone is carried out by Dr. Coville himself.
Dr. Coville has extensive experience performing fat transfer procedures. His skill and training have helped innumerable patients achieve stunning improvements in facial volume and contouring.
What to Expect During the Fat Transfer Procedure
While the technical skills of your injector are crucial towards determining the final results, much also depends on your adherence to post-procedure instructions.
Prior to your procedure, you will undergo a consultation session in our New Jersey office where you’ll have the opportunity to meet our team and ask any questions you may have about the process. Together with Dr. Coville, you can explore your treatment options and begin to draft your customized facial fat grafting procedure.
It is important to groom the area where fat will be harvested 24 hours prior to your procedure. If you’re prone to cold sore flare-ups, medication may need to be applied to the treatment areas prior to the procedure.
Upon arriving at our facility a local anesthetic will be applied to the donor site and treatment area. Oral sedatives and nitrous oxide gas are also available if needed.
While patients are typically awake during facial fat transfers, traditional anesthesia can be used upon request in our outpatient surgery center. You can speak with Dr. Coville about your anesthetic preferences during your initial consultation.
During the procedure
Dr. Coville will begin your facial fat transfer by harvesting a small amount of fat from your donor site. Depending on the amount of fat you have and your specific preferences, fat may be harvested from the inner thighs, inner knees, lower abdomen, or flanks.
The fat is then cleaned using a specialized process known as decanting and centrifugation. This helps to eliminate damaged fat cells unlikely to survive the grafting process. The remaining whole cells are then ready for reinjection.
During the third and final step of the process, fat cells are injected into the targeted areas. In order to ensure a higher fat survival rate, small droplets of fat are slowly injected into subcutaneous tissue, the innermost layer of skin.
Recovery and aftercare
The recovery process following a fat transfer procedure typically requires seven to 10 days of home rest. For a portion of this time you will need to minimize your movement and may be required to stay in bed. As you rest, place an extra pillow behind you while you sleep to keep your head elevated.
During the recovery process, it’s important to avoid applying pressure to the area where fat has been injected as this can damage fat cells and impact your final results.
Bruising and swelling are normal parts of the recovery process, and while they may last for as long as one month, both typically subside within a few days of the procedure. Cold compresses can be applied to the treated area to help reduce any swelling or discomfort. You may also need to take medication in order to manage your pain.
Most patients are able to return to work after two weeks of recovery, with little to no sign of the procedure being performed. Final results can take up to six months to become fully apparent.
Fat Transfer Results
While final results are visible three to six months after the procedure, noticeable results should slowly begin to appear as swelling subsides during the first 10 days of recovery.
As the healing process progresses, you should begin to notice changes in your face, particularly around the treatment site, including:
- An increased amount of volume
- Tighter skin
- Improved facial contouring
- A more youthful skin tone and texture
How long do the results last?
Unlike synthetic facial fillers which last for 6 to 18 months, the results of facial fat transfers last indefinitely. While some of the injected fat will die following the grafting process, the fat that survives the recovery process is essentially permanent.
Facial Fat Transfer Cost
Facial fat transfers are customized for each patient depending on their needs. As a result, the price of the procedure varies by patient.
We offer complimentary consultations in our New Jersey offices where you can meet with Dr. Coville to create a customized plan and receive a price quote for your rejuvenation.
Fat Transfer FAQ
Who will be performing the fat transfer treatment?
Dr. Coville personally performs every fat transfer procedure carried out at Cornerstone’s New Jersey offices. With over 20 years of experience transferring fat, you can rest assured that your facial fat transfer is being performed by a seasoned professional.
Does facial fat transfer have any risks or side effects?
While facial fat transfers are relatively safe, no procedure is entirely risk-free.
As with all procedures, there is a small risk of poor aesthetic results. In some cases, more fat may survive the procedure than expected, leading to overcorrected results. Conversely, more fat cells may die than expected leading to undercorrection.
It’s also important to be aware that aesthetic risks can persist even after the recovery period. The fat cells that are transferred to the face and survive the recovery process will continue to act as normal fat cells. This means their appearance can fluctuate over time if weight is gained or lost. The shrinking or expansion of these cells may impact the results of your procedure.
While rare, infection at the treatment site can occur, although the risk is greatly diminished by following proper pre- and post-procedure instructions.
Again while rare, these procedures sometimes result in fat necrosis, causing a small lump to form in the treatment area, leading to aesthetic concerns or mild discomfort. While this issue typically resolves itself, additional procedures can be performed to address potential fat necrosis.
Can facial fat transfers be combined with other procedures?
Yes. The procedure is particularly common alongside facelifts and eye lifts to bolster their overall revitalizing effect.
Is fat transfer good for weight loss?
While some fat is removed from the donor site, fat transfer procedures are not an effective weight-loss method. Facial fat transfers only require a small amount of fat to be removed from the donor site.
Do I need to use my own fat for the procedure?
Facial fat transfers require having enough of your own fat to perform the procedure. Using fat from another donor is not a viable option as it would lead to a number of safety concerns.
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