Facial fat grafting is an innovative facial rejuvenation and anti-aging treatment. The procedure involves the transfer of harvested fat from one area of the body to the face. Facial fat grafting effectively restores lost volume in areas like the cheeks and chin. It can also minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Fat grafting typically uses fat from a distant location, like the thighs or buttocks. The fat is purified (harvested) before it is injected into the face. For some, facial fat grafting may kill two birds with one stone – removing unwanted fat from one area of the body via liposuction and using it to enhance the appearance of the face.
Facial fat grafting can be used on the following areas:
- Sunken cheeks or temples
- Under eye area
- Naso-labial folds
- Jawline and chin
The procedure can also be used to smooth out fine lines and shallow scarring, and to give lips a fuller, more youthful pout.
About the Procedure
Facial fat grafting is done in two basic steps. The first is the removal of fat pockets from another area of the body, such as the stomach, hips or waistline. This is done through a liposuction procedure that uses a fine tube called a cannula inserted into the fat tissue. The cannula loosens the fat, while a gentle suction device removes it from the body. Liposuction is usually performed under local anesthetic, although sedation or general anesthesia may be used for removal of larger amounts of fat.
Once the fat is removed, it is harvested for injection into targeted areas of the face. Injections only take a few minutes to complete and do not require any type of anesthetic beforehand. Most patients will need to spend 1-2 hours in recovery after the procedure, primarily for observation after liposuction.
Recovery and Results
Most of the recovery time after facial fat grafting is due to the liposuction performed at the beginning. Most patients return to regular activities within 4-7 days, depending on the amount of fat removed and the number of areas treated. The most common side effect of facial injections is mild swelling at the injection sites, which subsides on its own within a few weeks.
Results from facial fat grafting can be seen right away and will continue to improve over the following weeks. This procedure provides long-term results, both from the liposuction and the facial injections. While a single session of fat grafting is usually sufficient, some patients may need more than one session to achieve desired results.
Dr. Geoffrey Leber—our board-certified plastic surgeon—and his staff are here to help you achieve your aesthetic goals in a safe and caring environment. If you’re interested in scheduling a procedure, reach us by phone (480) 945-5522 or email us.