Fat Grafting to the Face

What is Fat Grafting/Fat Transfer/Fat Injection?

A fat grafting procedure, also called fat transfer/fat injection, transfers fat from areas in which you have excess fat, such as the outer thighs, and injects it into areas that may be lacking in volume, such as your face, hands, breasts or buttocks.  This safe, long-lasting, well-tolerated procedure produces a natural-looking result.

When to Consider Fat Transfer?

  • If you have facial areas that appear creased and sunken
  • If you desire more permanent correction than is provided by temporary fillers
  • If you wish to improve your body contour, revise scars, fill bodily depressions and rejuvenate your face and hands
  • If you have contour irregularities, or obvious signs of breast implants post breast implant surgery and wish to improve the result

What is Intended Result?

  • Improved facial/ body contour
  • Enhanced features
  • Reduced scarring

What is the Procedure Like?

  • Fat transfer is performed usually on an outpatient basis.  Both the areas from which the fat is taken and the treatment site are anaesthetised with a local anaesthetic.
  • Using a small needle/cannula, fat is removed from an area of the body where it is tightly packed, such as the outer thighs or the abdomen.
  • Once removed, the fat is processed to remove excess fluids and then re-injected just under the skin using another needle/cannula.

What is the Healing Process?

  • Moderate swelling is usually evident for two weeks after the procedure.  Some bruising may also be apparent.
  • The surgeon usually over-corrects defects to allow fat reabsorption, so the over-correction can make the patient’s face look too plump or swollen for about one week.
  • Patients can typically resume their normal activities right away.

What are the Risks of Fat Transfer?

The specific risks and the suitability of the fat grafting procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation.  All surgical procedures have some degree of risk.  Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally.  Major complications are unusual.

The risks in most surgeries are similar. Some of the potential complications of fat transfer are:

  • Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
  • Haematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
  • Infection
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures

What are Other Options?

Additional cosmetic procedures that would enhance the result are face lift, eyelid surgery, facial implants, chemical peel and laser/IPL skin treatment.