Fat Transplantation

  • Medical Name: Fat Transplantation
  • Common Name: Fat Transfer, Fat Injection, Fat Grafting, Microlipoinjection, Structural Fat Grafting
  • Anesthesia Type: Local Anesthesia
  • Procedure Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • Recovery Time: 1 week
  • Procedure Location: Office
About Fat Transplantation

In youth one has well-balanced and proportionate facial volumes along with smooth facial contours. The lips are full, cheekbones are prominent, the area under the eyes is soft and the face is wrinkle-free. As we age, the soft tissue of the face thins and the skin slowly wrinkles, loses elasticity and begins to lax, eventually creating draping, furrows and bags.

Structural fat grafting, also called fat transfer and fat transplantation, is a way to restore lost volumes and soften indentations, wrinkles and folds anywhere on the face and body.  In the aging face, it is used to reduce deep facial furrows and wrinkles, restore volume to cheek bones, around the eyes, under the eyes, lip augmentation, and mid-facial areas like the nasolabial folds. Fat transfer can also be used to correct congenital defects, traumatic and post-surgical defects, liposuction depressions and irregularities and hand restoration.

Fat is removed from a donor site (often hips, abdomen or thighs) with a syringe or micro-cannula. It is washed prior to re-injecting. Once re-injected, the fat is molded into an aesthetically pleasing contour and donor incisions are closed with tiny sutures. You should expect swelling, bruising and some soreness at the donor and recipient sites. Since about 30% of the fat will resorb, extra is injected to allow for that. It is also common to have repeat injections, so during your initial procedure, extra fat may be frozen for future treatments.

Ideal Candidate for Fat Transplantation

The ideal candidate for fat transfer is in general good health and has reasonable expectations for the procedure outcome.

Benefits of Fat Transplantation

Men and women can rejuvenate volume in the face lost in the aging process. Because it is the patient’s own tissue, fat transfer is a “natural” implant that avoids the risks involved with using synthetic implants, such as implant rejection, transmittable diseases and autoimmune reactions.

Risks and Limitations to Fat Transplantation

Although fat transfer is a very safe procedure, every surgical procedure has risks of complications. Risks involved with a fat transfer include bleeding, infection, bruising, allergic reaction to sutures, scarring and numbness.

Alternate Methods to Fat Transplantation

Filler injections such as Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse

*Alternatives may not provide equal results, but may be appealing for other reasons.