Facial Fat Transfer / Grafting

Fat grafting (or fat transfer, same thing) is a procedure where fat is removed from one part of the body, purified, and injected into another part of the body to plump it up.  It’s most commonly performed in the face, breasts, buttocks, and hands.  Fat grafting to the face is a great way to restore lost volume, especially if you have a face that has gotten gaunt with age.

Fat is usually removed from your thighs, hips, or abdomen and purified using one of several methods.  This purified fat is then injected via tiny incisions into its new location.  Not all of the fat stays, but what does stay sticks around long term – five to ten years or longer.

The percentage of fat that stays is dependent on many factors.  Here are a few:

  • Location – fat that is grafted into your cheeks tends to have a greater percentage take than fat grafted into your lips.
  • Technique – poor harvesting techniques or injection techniques can impact how much fat stays.
  • You – Your body’s inherent metabolism can help determine how much fat it allows to stick around.

Facial fat grafting is one of my favorite surgeries to perform.  It’s minimally invasive and can provide a softening and rejuvenating effect to the face.

Interestingly, I performed a lot more facial fat grafting ten years ago than I do now.  I think this is because of two things: (1) the emergence of excellent soft tissue fillers like Juvederm Voluma, and (2) The Real Housewives shows.  So many of these housewives have been overfilled resulting in pillow faces that it’s scared many women away from fat grafting.  It’s a shame because the surgery can get such awesome results when performed conservatively.

To learn more about Dr. Youn performing facial fat grafting, click HERE.

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