5 October 2023

The Benefits of Facial Fat Transfer: Long Lasting Results with Minimal Invasiveness

Facial fat transfer is a cosmetic procedure that involves the transfer of fat from one area of the body to another. It is used to restore facial fullness, reduce wrinkles and lines, fill in depressions, and improve facial contours. The procedure can be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as dermal fillers or laser resurfacing.

Definition and Benefits

Facial fat transfer is a minimally invasive procedure that uses autologous fat (fat taken from the patient’s own body) to provide natural-looking results. It is an effective way to rejuvenate the face without resorting to surgery, and it has few risks compared to other cosmetic procedures. The main benefit of this treatment is that it provides long-lasting results with minimal downtime.


The procedure involves harvesting fat from an area of the body where there is excess fat, such as the abdomen or thighs. This fat is then purified and injected into areas of the face where volume loss has occurred or where more definition is desired. This process can be repeated multiple times until the desired result is achieved.


The recovery time for facial fat transfer varies depending on the individual, but typically takes about one week. During this time, patients may experience swelling, bruising, and soreness at the injection sites which should resolve within a few days. Patients should avoid strenuous activities during this period and follow their doctor’s instructions for post-procedure care.

Common Fillers

The most common types of fillers used in facial fat transfer are hyaluronic acid (HA) based fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane. These fillers are safe and have been proven to be effective for restoring volume and smoothing out wrinkles and lines on the face. Other types of fillers such as calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) or poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) can also be used for facial rejuvenation but are not as commonly used as HA fillers.

Long-Term Results

The effects of facial fat transfer will typically last between 1-2 years before additional treatments may be necessary to maintain results. However, many patients find that after several treatments they no longer need additional treatments as their results become more permanent over time due to collagen stimulation from the injections.

Who is a Good Candidate for Facial Fat Transfer?

Facial fat transfer is a popular procedure that can help restore volume and fullness to the face. It involves harvesting fat from one area of the body, purifying it, and injecting it into areas of the face where more volume or fullness is desired. To ensure optimal results, it's important to understand who makes a good candidate for this procedure.

Age Range

Patients must be at least 18 years old in order to undergo facial fat transfer. Generally, the ideal candidates are between the ages of 30 and 50. As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity and collagen production slows down. This can cause wrinkles and sagging skin. Facial fat transfer can help restore some of that lost volume, but younger patients typically have better results since their skin still has some elasticity left.

Health Considerations

Patients should be in good physical health prior to undergoing facial fat transfer. Those who suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes or autoimmune diseases may not be ideal candidates for this procedure due to an increased risk of complications during surgery or recovery. Additionally, individuals who smoke or consume alcohol regularly may not be suitable candidates since these substances can interfere with healing processes.

Treatment Goals

The best candidates for facial fat transfer have realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. Although this procedure can help restore volume and fullness to the face, it cannot completely erase wrinkles or other signs of aging. Patients should also understand that multiple treatments may be necessary in order to achieve their desired results.
Ideal candidates are aged 30-50, in good health, with realistic expectations of outcome.

What to Expect During the Procedure?

Pre-Procedure Assessment and Preparation

Before undergoing facial fat transfer, you should be evaluated by a qualified plastic surgeon. During the consultation, your doctor will assess your overall health and review your medical history. They will also discuss your desired outcome and expectations from the procedure. It is important to be honest with your doctor about any medications you are taking, allergies, and other health conditions. Your doctor may also take photos of your face for medical records. Depending on the extent of the procedure, they may recommend additional tests such as blood work or an EKG. Additionally, they may ask you to stop taking certain medications prior to surgery such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs.

Anaesthesia Options

Facial fat transfer can be done under local anaesthesia or intravenous (IV) sedation depending on the extent of the procedure and patient preference. Your doctor will discuss these options with you during the pre-procedure assessment and help you decide which option is best for you.

Fat Harvesting and Injections Processes

The fat harvesting process involves liposuction where fat cells are removed from one part of the body such as the abdomen or thighs using a thin tube called a cannula. The harvested fat is then purified and prepared for injection into areas of concern in the face such as hollows around eyes, cheeks, temples, jawline, lips, etc. The injection process takes approximately 30 minutes per area treated.

Post-Procedure Care Instructions

After undergoing facial fat transfer, it is important to follow all post-procedure care instructions provided by your doctor. This includes avoiding strenuous activities for at least two weeks after surgery and wearing protective headgear when outdoors for several weeks following surgery. You should also limit sun exposure until all swelling has subsided and apply sunscreen when outdoors for protection against sun damage. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to reduce inflammation or prevent infection after surgery. Finally, it is important to attend all follow-up appointments with your doctor to monitor healing progress and ensure optimal results from the procedure.
Evaluate overall health, assess desired outcome, stop certain medications, liposuction and injection of fat cells, follow post-op care instructions, attend follow-up appointments.

Risks and Complications

Facial fat transfer is considered a safe procedure with minimal risks, however, like any surgical procedure, there are some potential complications. Patients should be aware of the possible side effects and reactions that may occur following the procedure.

Possible Side Effects and Reactions

Immediately following the procedure, patients may experience swelling, bruising, redness and soreness around the injection sites. These side effects usually subside within a few days or weeks after the procedure. In rare cases, patients may experience an allergic reaction to the anaesthesia used during the procedure.

Long-Term Risks

In some cases, facial fat transfer can lead to lumpiness or asymmetry in the face. This is more likely to occur if too much fat is injected into one area of the face. If this occurs, additional treatments may be necessary to correct it. Additionally, as with any injection-based treatment, there is always a risk of infection at the injection sites. To reduce this risk it is important to follow all post-procedure care instructions provided by your doctor.

Cost of Facial Fat Transfer

The cost of facial fat transfer will vary depending on the size and scope of the procedure, as well as the geographical location. Generally, it can range anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000. Some clinics may offer a package price that includes all costs associated with the procedure. This can include pre-operative exams, anaesthesia fees, fat harvesting and injections costs.

Factors That Affect Cost

The cost of facial fat transfer is affected by several factors such as where you live, how much fat needs to be harvested and injected, and how many areas are being treated. The amount of fat that needs to be harvested will depend on the size and scope of the desired result. If more than one area is being treated or if additional treatments are necessary, then the cost may increase.

Insurance Coverage

In most cases, insurance companies do not cover facial fat transfer procedures unless they are deemed medically necessary. However, some providers may offer financing options for those who do not have access to insurance or who cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for this type of procedure. It is important to check with your provider prior to scheduling an appointment in order to understand what costs may be covered under their plan.

Additional Costs

In addition to the cost of facial fat transfer itself, there may also be additional costs associated with pre-operative exams, anaesthesia fees, medications and post-operative care instructions. These should all be discussed with your provider prior to scheduling an appointment so that you can understand what expenses you may incur during treatment. Although facial fat transfer can provide long-term results that can help improve self-confidence and enhance one's appearance, it is important to consider all associated costs before committing to this procedure. By understanding all potential expenses up front, patients can make an informed decision about whether or not this type of treatment is right for them.